Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start. Lately I’ve been working towards adding some new daily habits into my life, and that made me think about how important consistency is when trying out something new that you want to get yourself used to doing on a, well, consistent basis.
Then I thought about this post. Let’s get started.
Musings Episode 81: Consistency…
So the topic of consistency has been bouncing around in my head a lot since the last musing. I’m a big fan of the website T-Nation, and while other people may bash them about their supplement prices, they don’t force you to buy them (so shuddup), and they’ve got some damn fine reading material.
One particular article talked about progress in workouts, and how the key lies in consistency. It takes about 21 days of daily, consistent completion of a workout, for the brain to “programme” itself into forming a habit – 21 days – the same amount of time it takes for you to visibly see progress with your physique when you workout and eat right.
The key is also in the timing – doing it at roughly the same time everyday…the same way you would with waking up, eating, or going to bed.
But this whole 21 day concept doesn’t just stop at working out, it applies to all aspects of life.
I remember a year or so back I wanted to improve different aspects of my memory – so I tried memory games for 21 days. While the first week was a bit of a struggle (making myself sit down and take out the time just sit still and do something which seemed so simple), after three weeks I had a noticeable difference in memory improvement (and I already had a sharp mind before that, mind you).
Consistency is one ingredient of several that make up the whole recipe of moving in the direction that you want.
Like I mentioned in my last episodic musing, there are a range of other ingredients involved – standards, drive, quality relationships, comfort zones – that you have to take into account when planning and executing whatever it is you want to accomplish.
But in order to get the recipe’s results right, you’ve got to make sure you add in consistency bit by bit – it’s got to be part of each phase of the process.
You can have high standards, have the drive to achieve those standards, take your confidence from your comfort zone and help yourself get ready to progress towards something better, but if you don’t stay consistent – a milestone that you may want to achieve in a year, a month, a week – can easily turn into 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks.
It’s like learning a language – there are language courses out there that you can learn fluency in any given language to an intermediate level in 2-3 weeks; considering it takes about 1000 words to reach fluency, in theory this doesn’t sound all too difficult – and it isn’t.
If you studied everyday, for 3 weeks, you could reach this.
But if you studied on and off, took a day off here, another one there, and maybe only ended up studying once or twice a week, it’d take you significantly longer. You may even have to revise the stuff you learnt the week prior just because you’re not using it on a frequent enough basis to retain it.
This is why consistency is so important.
It’s what makes all the difference in your workouts, your diet, your education, your work, your business, everything.
Without consistency, while you may get things done eventually, you won’t necessairily get them done in the time that you want, or need.
You’ve also gotta factor in other people – which is why quality relationships are important – when thinking about accomplishing what you want to get done.
You can have the drive, the standards, the consistency – but you’ve got to be around and connect with people who won’t throw a wrench in the gears, so to speak.
If what you’re trying to accomplish involves cooperation with other people, you’ve got to make sure you’re working with cooperative people.
People who think that there’s not enough to go around, that you’re competition, that you may end up acquiring more than them (not that it would matter – we’ve all got our own path), cane be the absolute bane of consistency if they are a critical component in helping you move things forward.
You’ve gotta be around good people.
It’s amazing how there are a lot of factors involved here – a lot of little factors that make up the big picture.
Standards, drive, comfort zones, discipline, competition, cooperation, consistency – you could master one but one single factor wouldn’t be the only thing to pull you through, to get things done.
You’ve got to work at each one individually, bit by bit.
I know sometimes that can seem pretty annoying or cumbersome – but it’s about maintaining a balance.
The same way it’s wise for a person to avoid muscle imbalances by making sure they train all their muscles week to week, the same way it’s wise to maintain a balance approach when it comes to accomplishing what you’ve set out to do.
You’ve got to work on each factor individually, bit by bit.
But most importantly, you’ve got to remember that consistency is what keeps it all together.
It’s what turns those incrimental, small pieces of the puzzle, into the big picture.
Consistency is crucial.
Consistency is key.
Improve Your Lifestyle. Improve Yourself. This is Life. This is Rego’s Life.™
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