Consistency is one of the cliches that people throw around whenever someone talks about having the desire to accomplish anything. This cliche is necessary because achieving your goals will be almost impossible without consistency.
Building your body and developing the muscle development you want, is not something that will happen overnight. It is a slow process. There are ways to speed up the process with supplements but it is something that happens over time and not without you being consistent.
Being consistent is something that will help you to achieve anything in almost every aspect of your life and therefore will benefit you in so many ways once you have mastered the craft.
In this article, I will be sharing with you what it means to be consistent and how to be consistent in your bodybuilding journey.
What does it mean to be consistent?
According to the Oxford dictionary, consistent means “acting or doing the same thing over time”.
Notice the keyword, “over time”. This simply means this will not be a case where you will see results right away. There is a quote that I love and think it perfectly sums up what you will experience while trying to achieve a goal.
By a mile, it is a trial, by a yard it’s hard but by an inch, it is a cinch. – Zig Ziglar
Whatever you are doing, it has to be something that you have to be willing to do in small chunks one day at a time. Consistency demands a lot from you.
What Consistency Demands from You
Consistency requires hard work. Being consistent will not be a walk in the park. Be prepared to sweat, be prepared for tears, sacrifices among other things as well as successes but that will not be possible if you are dwelling on negative thoughts and failing.
Change Your Mind Set
I believe that the mind is one of the most, if not the most powerful tools that the human body possesses. There is something that happens to you when you constantly think about something. There are many matters of the mind that still cannot be explained. It is almost like the universe aligns itself with whatever you are thinking about and it gives you exactly what you want, whether good or bad. In Jamaica, they call it having a “goal’s mouth”. What this simply means is, everything you think or constantly talk about will come through. This happens to me so often that it scares me. Your mind is a tool that can be an asset or a liability. Therefore, use it and train it wisely. Take a look at this article on how to change your mindset.
When you start your bodybuilding journey, you have to be in the right mindset. If you start thinking that you are not getting the results you want in the time you want it, it will cause you to be demotivated and give up.
Surround yourself with wholesome environments and positive people. Listen to inspiring music while training to keep you in a good mood and give you the strength to power through your workout.
Stop Relying on Motivation
We are all human and at some point get depressed or feel demotivated. However, you owe it to yourself to get out of that rout and motivate yourself. If you don’t stay motivated you will not make the changes in your life necessary for your personal growth that allows you to be consistent. Don’t tell yourself that you are not feeling motivated today or you are not in the mood to go to the gym today. The truth is, you will never feel like it until you take action and start seeing results. Even then, it will still be a challenge with things as simple as going for a healthier breakfast option.
I mentioned this before but it is worth repeating. Surround yourself with like-minded and positive people. Use social media to your advantage and follow health and fitness enthusiasts. Someone saw me going through Instagram one day and asked if I was obsessed with bodybuilders. I laughed because I didn’t notice that I had created a habit of surrounding myself with health and fitness thought leaders that I could hang out with virtually to fill my mind with supporting information and advice. When I don’t feel like going to the gym, I go on Instagram and I can guarantee that it will have at least one of my friends or bodybuilders I follow, leaving the gym, in the gym or going to the gym. It is very motivating. They are walking illustrations of consistency and I love it. There are a lot more things you can do to stay motivated. This is a really good article on how to stay motivated.
Make A Commitment
You have to commit to constant change. Commit to yourself that you will stick to the regular exercise and diet routines even when you don’t feel like it. Remember my previous article on goals, you have to know your big why. What is your reason for doing this? Why did you decide to go on this journey? Remember why you started and where you are trying to go. This is where visualizing comes in. Imagine yourself achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. Imagine yourself receiving that Pro-Card. Imagine yourself receiving that trophy. Doing things like visualizing can help you focus and keep you motivated to stick it out.
How to Be Consistent
It’s easier said than done so how do you be consistent? I have seen so many people, including friends and family, suffer because they were not consistent. I have to admit that it is hard. I don’t consider myself an expert in this field but I will share some of the things I have done to improve my consistency in almost everything I do. Once you have mastered consistency in one area of your life and you start seeing great results, you will start seeing improvements in other areas of your life as it will eventually become a habit. Here are seven things you can do to improve your consistency in bodybuilding and other areas of your life.
1- Be Realistic
Consistency is a great trait to have and while we would like to be perfect and do things perfectly every time, that’s not always the case. Therefore, go easy on yourself. You need to be okay with making mistakes and acknowledge that it is all part of the human experience. As you persist forward and break through you own barriers you will find out what works for you. Whether it is a particular diet plan or exercise routine, the nutrition coach you work with, your ideal sleep cycle, supplements and so forth.
2- Create A Ritual
What are rituals? A ritual is a series of actions or behaviors you do on a regular basis. The easiest way to do that is by working with a schedule. Schedule your plans and workout. For example, let’s say you decide to exercise at 6 am every morning. Over time your body will automatically expect that every day at 6 am you will be exercising. Your internal alarm clock will adjust. Sometimes you will find yourself automatically waking up at the same time without an alarm. The body will program itself to adjust your schedule if it is at a specific time.
3- Set Bite-size goals and stick to them
Set large goals and as large as you want them but break them down into smaller or short-term goals so you don’t get depressed that you are not seeing results. Create a workout and diet plan, break it up into small pieces and stick with it. By creating milestones along your very long journey, you will find a sense of fulfillment and will be very motivated to continue with until you have reached one milestone. There is a first time for everything. When you just start your journey, it will be a rocky start. Start slow, build momentum and make small progress. You will eventually get to one of your milestones in no time.
4- Increase your accountability
You are less likely to maintain a habit or a routine if no one is holding you accountable. For some reason when we pay for something our commitment level increases dramatically. When we receive free things in life our commitment level is much much lower and therefore our chances of success diminish. It’s almost like there’s an internal motivator to complete whatever you want to do when we buy things. It’s like we try to get our money’s worth. The same thing applies to your exercise routine and diet plan. If you are paying for gym membership, you will more likely go than if it was free because you don’t want to waste your money. It’s the same effect if you also paid to get a personal trainer. The money for the trainer as well as having to answer to your trainer is more than enough motivation to help you stay consistent. Exercising with friends can also help hold you accountable and make things fun and exciting.
5- No Excuses: Minimize Mental Barriers
We all make excuses when we don’t feel like doing something. I have been there and done that. I have an excuse I like to make when I’m in the supermarket and know that I shouldn’t be munching on donuts. I find myself saying, “I can burn it off in the gym tomorrow or I can diet tomorrow”. I sometimes stay in bed too and tell myself I will exercise in the evening or tomorrow. In fact, I did it this morning. Don’t think, “Oh I messed up my diet this morning, I might as well continue it for the rest of the day”. Remove the “all or nothing” concept from your mind. As I said in my previous article about sleep, it’s better doing something small than nothing at all.
6- Think of the Benefits
There will be days when you are going to say, “To hell with this. I’m done.” Believe me, those days will come and you’ll question yourself as to why you are getting up earlier to go to the gym, why you can’t just eat whatever you want; especially when it gets close to a competition and you have to eat clean . Think about what your body will look like if you consistently are eating clean and going to the gym for the next six months. Wouldn’t you be interested to know how you would look? I know I would be.
7- Enjoy It
Make your experience fun. Choose meal recipes you know you would like or think would taste really good. Do exercises you like to do. Mix it up. Use a combination of the four types of exercises and be creative. I don’t think I can stress this enough. Make sure you find joy in the journey because if you don’t, you will get to your goal not feeling very accomplished because you didn’t enjoy it. Not enjoying the journey will cause most people to fall off track if the workout routine feels like another task on the never-ending to-do list. Do exciting things like wearing a matching outfit, creating a playlist with your favorite songs or go to the gym the same time as your friends are going so you can motivate each other. It will no longer feel like a task to cross off your list. You will feel energized and can’t wait until your next workout.
There you have it, seven things I normally practice to improve my consistency. Whatever exercise, meal plan or route you decide to take while on your bodybuilding journey, please ensure you enjoy every aspect of the journey. Slowly challenge yourself as you make progress and watch how your habit of staying consistent with all things good increases over time!