Be consistent!! Wow, there’s a new and mind-blowing concept. I know you’ve never heard that one before, and you must be floored with my originality and creativity. It’s nothing new that consistency is one of the most crucial keys to success, in just about anything you want. We know it, we hear it, we say it, we believe it yet for the most part we ignore it. Then, if that’s not crazy enough, we force ourselves to go through the pain of re-starting, and, getting back on track time and time again. We are very intelligent beings, just not very smart sometimes!
So, whilst I’m not going to give you originality this week, I am going to give you the truth, and, hopefully, move you closer towards consistency, and the abundant success that will come with it. I am almost fifty-plus GST. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s 55 years old. At my age, I am proud of my wellbeing, I excited about how I look and feel, and, I enjoy my level of physical fitness. People always say to me, “you’re so lucky that you are as disciplined and committed to your health as you are.” I believe I am blessed, not lucky, and as for disciplined, well, not really!! I mean, I was for a while, but now it’s just what I do. I don’t have to think about it, debate it or negotiate it. I exercise and eat well because it’s important to me and it’s the way I operate. It’s just like brushing your teeth.
There are times, in the evening, I find myself brushing my teeth, and I can’t for the life of me remember walking into the bathroom, or, putting the toothpaste on my brush. You? It’s just what I do. Similarly, for me, my alarm is set for 5:30am to get up and exercise, yet I am always up before my alarm, and, before I even know what I am doing. My consistency is not because of my ability, my discipline or any special talent, it’s simply because of the time I took to turn this daily action from something that is annoying, painful and uncomfortable, to something I just do. But it wasn’t always like that.
As a footballer, in my younger days, I couldn’t wait for the end of a long season. The seasons were hard work; pre-season was lunge-busting and the season was bone-jarring, and once it was all over, I would allow myself a month or two of rest, recuperation and maybe just a little bit of indulging on food and drink! I really enjoyed it, but boy did I pay for it on the first days and weeks of pre-season training, when myself and a number of my teammates often found ourselves suffering immensely as a result of our physical neglect.
Make the decision and consistency is a piece of cake…
There was one pre-season, in particular, I remember with torment, as the pain is still etched into my memory, and this was over 35 years ago. The season had ended, and I decided to go for a trip to the USA for a few weeks. It was winter there, the weather was cold, snow on the ground and so I justified to myself that I could take a few weeks off training, and, indulge myself. Wow, did that decision sure come back up to haunt me, in more ways than one! When I got back to Australia it was summer, and, hot!
The first training session after Christmas relied on the players having reached and maintained a certain level of fitness, one which I did not acquire in the USA. I tried to keep up and I pushed myself as hard as I could. It was painfully torturous. My lungs were burning, my muscles were melting, my gut was churning, and, before I knew it my lunch was revisiting! I somehow got through the session, and, survived. I then struggled over the next brutal few weeks, as I slowly regained my fitness level and caught up with the group. It was after that pre-season that I decided to never again put myself through that agony, and, that I would avoid the pain of re-starting by not stopping!
I have held true to that decision ever since, for well over 35 years, and I am so incredibly grateful for the decision, and the resultant habit it enabled me to form. Exercise for me now is not a struggle, not a chore and not something I need to negotiate, it is just something I do, consistently. It’s interesting and important to note that once I had made the decision, the rest was actually very simple. I definitely won’t say easy, as many gut-busting sessions will provide evidence for, but doing it, and, staying in top physical shape was never questioned again from that one point in history.
So, are you ready to make history in your own life? If you are sick of the pain and discomfort of re-starting, you can do it right now, with a simple but serious decision. Are you sick of yo-yo dieting, on-and-off training, floating in and out of health, and, desire optimal wellbeing? Great, make a decision, get started and… don’t stop! Are you over filling your bank account, spending it all only to have start from zero again? If so, find a way to make additional income and keep doing it, so your bank account always has a surplus.
I learned the lesson again just very recently. A couple of weeks ago, the real estate agent came to inspect our house. The day before, it was a mess, as I had just let it all pile up. So, I got to work cleaning, sweeping, scrubbing and wiping. It was a big, painful and tiresome job. Once the place was clean and looked good, I decided to keep it that way to avoid the pain of cleaning from scratch all over again. I discovered that it is so much easier to tidy as you go, consistently. Who knew?
There’s nothing mind blowing here, is there? Boring stuff, but significant in the journey towards being happier, healthier and more successful in life. One of the things I have learned, so far in my passage through life, is that the process of achievement is not always fun or glamorous. In fact, sometimes it is darn right inconvenient and uncomfortable. It doesn’t require natural talent, it requires effort and work. I doesn’t require knowledge and intellect, it requires a willingness to learn and improve. It certainly doesn’t happen when you stop and painfully start, over and over again. It happens when you avoid the pain of re-starting and keep going with consistency.