Commitment & Consistency
Good afternoon folks,
I’ve decided to write about Commitment and Consistency for my this Blog Post because without those two things, practically nothing can be achieved and maintained long term.
Let’s say you’ve just decided that you want to get in shape for your holiday later this summer. In order to do so you must:
- First, decide to commit to that goal – for instance, this commitment may include joining a gym and hiring a Health and Performance Coach such as myself to help you with your exercise and nutritional habits. This is brilliant but it’s only half the battle….
- Secondly, you must be consistent with your efforts to your commitments to achieve your goal because if you’re not, it simply remains a good idea rather than a genuine possibility.
As you can see, merely deciding you want something isn’t enough. Once the decision is made you must then take action. Do you think the athletes of the London 2012 Olympics got there by being half arsed!? Of course they didn’t. Now I realise we aren’t all professional athletes but either way, the principle remains the same whatever your goals are.
In my experience as a Health and Performance Coach, this is one of the main reasons people struggle to follow through and achieve their goals once they’ve made the decision to seek help. Fortunately, nowadays this presents very little problem due to many years experience with these types of health goal related issues but the best advice I can give you as my reader and likely not my client is to break your goal down in to smaller ‘chunks’, this is what we refer to as setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals are defined as follows:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Timed
Lets say your goal is to lose 20kg (44lbs) of body fat in the next year, it’s not wise to just set out to lose 20kg! Of course, this is what you want to achieve by the time your year is up but it’s too easy to think to yourself “Oh it’s ok, I have a whole year so no hurry”. If your programme is good, you shouldn’t have to rush to lose 20kg in a year but unless you commit to it early and remain consistent throughout the year you’re likely to leave it far too late and have to take extreme measures to achieve your goal or fail!
So, what do you do instead of aim to lose 20kg in a year?? Well, one approach would be to break it down as follows:
– Losing 20kg in one year is also equal to 1.66kg (3.66lbs) per month.
Now I don’t know about you but to me, 1.66kg per month sounds much easier than 20kg per year.
So you would decide to aim to lose an average of 1.66kg (3.66lbs) per month. You could even break it down further:
– Losing 20kg in one year is equal to losing 0.38kg (0.84lbs) per week.
Either approach above would be regarded as S.M.A.R.T. but which you would choose would be dependent of what length of timeframe you work best in.
How much and what aspect of your goal you decide to break down is completely up to you. Personally, I use fortnightly intervals with my clients as I have found that one week tends to be too soon and one month too long. I also often monitor circumference measurements and Body Fat % instead of weight lost when helping clients lose body fat because often ‘Weight Loss’ can include muscle mass and that’s something we don’t want.
Whatever you choose will depend on your individual goal but either way, commit to it wholeheartedly and do your best to be consistent.
By now you should have an idea of how small you want to ‘chunk’ your own big goal. If so, now you need to decide what you’re going to change to start making progress. I’m not really able to tell you what to change because I’m not aware of the specific dietary and lifestyle habits you have that have gotten you to where you are but in my experience the main things holding people back regardless of their health goal tend to be (in no particular order):
- Dehydration (Lack of Water Intake)
- Lack of Protein Intake
- Excessive Carbohydrate Consumption (particularly refined ones)
- Poor Sleeping Patterns
- Not Enough/Too Much or Non-Relative Exercise
- Worrying about others too much and not enough about themselves
- and the list goes on….!
If you know that any of the above are issues for you then it would be a good idea to focus on correcting those first in order to help you achieve your health and performance goals.
For instance, you may know you don’t get anywhere near enough sleep. Perhaps you’re in bed after mid-night almost every night and you wake up feeling even more tired than when you went to bed. You know, like most people do, that we need an average of 7-8 hours a night to function optimally but you’re currently getting around 5 – 5.5 hours a night. You first S.M.A.R.T. Goal may be to get to bed every night by 23:30 within 2 weeks. It’s not the ideal of 22:00-22:30 but it’s certainly better than after mid-night and just as importantly at this stage it’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relative and Timed.
Setting your goals in this achievable manner practically guarantees your success and success breeds motivation, which in breeds success. This method of goal setting can be applied to absolutely any goal or ambition you have, it doesn’t have to be health related because the principles remain the same.
Action Plan (Example)
- Decide what you’d like to achieve long term (gain 26 pounds of muscle)
- Break it down into smaller ‘chunks’ (1lb a fortnight)
- What’s needed to achieve goal (Calories Up, Weight Training, More Sleep, etc..)
- Which is easiest to achieve first (Weight Training)
- Go to gym minimum of 3x a week (Hire a Health & Performance Coach if needed)
- Monitor changes in weight and circumference measurements
- As soon as they stop moving towards your goal, add a next change (Calories Up)
- Repeat steps 6-7 until goal is achieved.
Commit to the above and be consistent with your efforts and anything is possible.
Good Luck. We hope to “see you” next week.
In next weeks Blog Post we’re talking Water. We’ll be looking at the quality of different sources and ideal intake but until then, take it easy.
Your friend in Health & Performance,