We’ve all heard this advice but how many actually follow it?
This sounds so simple, yet is much more difficult in practice. Even though I’ve known about this for many years, I still struggle with it.
I remember going for a health check-up about ten years ago, where the doctor I saw specialized in sports health and injuries. As part of the health check-up, he took me to the hospital fitness room to test my fitness and then gave me some exercises to follow over the coming months.
As part of this, he asked how many times a week I could exercise. Being all enthusiastic, I said I could commit to five times a week. He looked a bit doubtful, as he’d probably heard his patients say this many times in the past and then not stick to it.
At that point, he advised me that it was better to do less but to be consistent. He said I’d have better health overall if I exercised twice a
week for the rest of my life, rather than five times a week for a while, followed by a break because I was busy, followed by another spurt of enthusiasm, etc.
He said that consistency wins every time.
Over the years I’ve come to understand that he was right. If I overdo things in the gym, I tend to need a few rest days, and then those days can easily turn into weeks and sometimes months.
I know this because I’ve done it multiple times. Some things are just harder for me to learn. Now I promise myself to go twice a week, and a third time if I feel like it. The result is that I rarely miss a session now, and as far as my fitness goes, I am very consistent.
It’s also the same in other areas of your life. Take this book for example. When I first had the idea for this book, I sat down and wrote the first five chapters. I thought the book would be done in ten days if I kept that up. But what happened?
The next day I wrote another two chapters. The day after I decided I needed a rest. Then life got in the way and I put it aside. It was months later before I got back to it.
Strangely, I had already written the header for this chapter. So even though I typed the words “BE CONSISTENT”, I just ignored them. Now I’m back on track, and even if I feel like writing more than one chapter a day, I’ve decided to stick to doing just one per day.
I know that will keep me consistent, and that the book will be finished in another six weeks or so.
Being consistent works with so many aspects of life, that this is something that can propel you forwards.