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The Power of Consistency

There’s no perfect workout.

There’s no perfect diet.

You won’t make much progress from any one WOD, no matter how intense it is.

The key to progress is really to keep showing up at the gym 3-5 times every week. Each workout will build on the last workout, if you do them a day or so apart.

Here’s how to make that easier.

  1. Start with an appointment. Make a plan with someone else to exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon.
    Book an appointment with a trainer or coach, or commit to a schedule with a friend who won’t let you down. Put it in your calendar.
    A goal without a plan is just a wish. If you think to yourself, “I can probably exercise three times a week!” it won’t get done.
    But if you make an appointment to meet someone, you’ll do it. Plans get swept aside. If something’s important, it gets an appointment.
  2. Every time you keep that appointment, it will get easier to keep the appointment. Over time, these appointments become habits. You no longer “try to go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays”–it’s just what you DO.
  3. In time, these habits will become your lifestyle. Don’t worry about whether the workout is perfect for you that day–that’s actually an avoidance tactic. Don’t work on your glutes – work on the habit of showing up. When you build a fit lifestyle, you’ll be fit.

The stuff we mostly worry about–“Is this workout the best use of my lunch hour?” “Should I be following a different diet?” “Is HIS program better than mine?” — doesn’t actually matter. These are all just tricks we pull on ourselves. The habit is the answer.

Yesterday, it rained. It was a cold rain, and I had a very tough workout assigned by my coach.

I had a mountain of work to do; I had good coffee at home; I was snug and warm in my basement.

But at 10am, I got on the bike and went out in the rain.

Not because I’m an exercise fanatic.

Not because I love riding in the rain.

Not because I’m a competitive athlete.

Because it was Tuesday at 10 o’clock, and on Tuesdays at 10 I ride my bike.

After working out for 30 years, and coaching fitness for over 20, I promise you this: it’s more important to show up today than it is to wait for the perfect time, the perfect gym or the perfect workout. Habits are more important than any program.