Staying consistent might be the key to overcoming most of the obstacles and making the changes you want to make in your life. What would happen if you stuck with your diet plan, weight management and nutrition programs? How would your life change if you consistently worked on your personal relationships?
Still, asking those questions are way easier said than done. You know the challenges you face in being consistent. The temptations to that pull you off track. Feeling like you’re not getting anywhere. The comments people make.
So, even if you realize that consistency is key, how do you stay consistent in anything you do?
7 Steps to Being More Consistent
1. Get to Know the Habit Loop
Habits are at the heart of everything we do consistently. Have you managed to get in the habit of walking in the morning? It’s because you developed a ‘habit loop’ to do so. A habit loop has three steps.
The Cue: The Reason for Doing Something
Your cue might be to live an overall healthier lifestyle.
The Routine: The Action You Take in Response to the Cue
Walking increases your metabolism and heart rate, which helps to improve your health.
The Reward: What You Get by Taking Action
You feel better. You look better. It feels great to be outside. You connect with neighbours.
The habit loop makes it easier to repeat an action over time. When you understand the habit loop, you can start developing specific habits knowing that you have more chance of success.
2. Have a Direction: Set Clear and Achievable Goals
This may be the most important step of all. If you want to be healthier, only going for a walk isn’t going to get the job done. And walking too far and/or too fast can ruin your efforts before you even develop your habit loop. It’s important to break down your overall objective into smaller, easier-to-achieve goals.
To have a healthier lifestyle, you may need to improve your diet, be more active and address any mental and emotional challenges you face. To get more activity, you go for regular walks. To make sure you stick with it, you could just try walking around the block at first. Or walk to the corner. Or just to the end of the driveway. Do whatever action you feel is achievable and that delivers the reward you need to develop the habit loop.
3. Be Resilient: How to Be Tougher than You Think You Are
You’ve been down this road before. No matter how hard you try, something always comes along to knock you off track. So how will this time be any different? Staying consistent means being resilient in the face of hurdles and setbacks. And that starts with transforming how you react to each obstacle.
Instead of thinking about them as ‘hurdles’ and ‘setbacks,’ try to look at them as signposts for how to achieve your goal.
If you come back from your walk and you’re too tired, it’s not a reason to quit. It’s a sign that it’s time to set a new goal. Try a shorter walk or find a route that isn’t as hilly.
4. Make Time: Give Your Efforts the Time They Deserve
Your morning’s are probably busy enough. If you add a walk, it can add to your stress instead of helping you deal with it. But that walk is important for your health. So you need to set aside time enough to make it a habit and not a hindrance. Wake up earlier, or walk after lunch or in the evening.
5. Have Accountability: Be Responsible for Taking Action
Regardless of your goal, it can be difficult to achieve by yourself or without the right tools. You need to find ways to hold yourself accountable for staying consistent. You can start a journal where you track your cues, actions and rewards – and what did and didn’t work. You can also share your goals and progress with friends, family, or mentors who can offer support and encouragement.
6. Be Kind to Yourself: How Would You Help Someone Else?
If someone you knew was trying to achieve a similar goal as yours, what would you say and do to encourage them? Pay attention to the tone and language you would use and make sure you speak to yourself in the same way. In other words, treat yourself with compassion, goodwill and kindness.
7. Celebrate Milestones: They Can Be Where You Least Expect Them
It’s important to celebrate achievements and progress, no matter how small they might seem. Is today the first day you’ve ever gone for a walk just for exercise? Woohoo! Went for a walk two days in a row. Never did that before!
Milestones can be found even when you think you may have suffered a setback. Let’s say you started walking for exercise for the first time. You manage to get into the habit and it starts to become easier. But, one day, you just don’t feel up to it. You either cut your walk short, or you don’t feel like walking at all.
Should you be discouraged? Nope. That’s a celebration-worthy milestone. You’ve actually done an activity for so long, you need to take a break. We all need time away from even the most enjoyable activities. And taking a break from your activities can help you stay on course in the long term.
The nutrition counsellors at your nearest Herbal One Centre are ready to help you improve your diet and nutrition, and achieve your weight loss and weight management goals.
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