People often ask me how I stay so fit on an ongoing basis and my answer is always the same; consistency. I started working out at the age of 13 and have missed no more than two weeks in a row for the past 35 years. I don’t say this to brag or boast but instead to emphasize the importance of being consistent. I for one, would probably have quit my fitness routine years ago if I took long breaks in between or let it slip for too long.
Anything in our life is easier to maintain if we keep it as a regular practice. Literally scheduling time for everything that is important to you is not only necessary, it is the only way to accomplish what you set out to complete.
Regardless of what it is, from keeping your house clean and tidy, to meditating, or fine-tuning a hobby, to staying healthy, everything must be carried out with consistency in order to be your best.
When we put ourselves first along with all that we deem important, we not only keep momentum, but we also gain a sense of pride, self-love, and confidence that we have what it takes to get things done.
Those who self-sabotage tend to habitually let their good habits slide only to beat themselves up afterwards in a repetitive, downward cycle. While nobody is perfect, and I for one, have definitely struggled with consistency in areas other than my health, here are some steps to consider which may help to keep you on track:
- Do A Little Bit Each Day– When it comes to staying organized and on top of things, do little things each day rather than waiting for it to pile up. Staying organized means putting receipts and clutter away on a daily basis instead of once per month for example.
- Schedule It In– Literally, schedule it all in. Get an old-fashioned day-planner if necessary and write things down. Book specific times during your day with to-do lists but ensure that you also keep space open for fun, leisure, and spontaneity too.
- Find Your Why– This is especially important when it comes to fitness. Your why is your burning desire. Why is it important to stay fit? Why do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or stay active? Dig deep and find the underlying meaning behind everything that you do. Sometimes looking good in the mirror or getting a hot date is enough motivation to make it stick.
- Put Yourself First– Things won’t get done in your life if you always place others needs before your own. Are you constantly going out of your way to help people while letting your own values fall to the wayside? It’s okay to be selfish! It’s okay to love yourself enough and to place importance on all the things that you value, ensuring that you make consistent space for it.
- Healthy Boundaries– Sometimes we overdo things. Know when it’s time to say enough to work, family, friends, and obligations so that you have more than ample energy to give back to yourself. Balance is key here and only you will know where to draw the line and set healthy boundaries.
- Give Something Up – Sometimes you’ll need to watch less TV or reduce your time on Instagram if you really want to achieve more in your life. Make a list of all the things that are important to you and those which you intend to focus on. Then, set out to get them done daily or weekly depending on what it is. If this means giving some things up that have less importance, do it! You may even find that this is the kick you’ve been looking for to finally create a change that you so desperately desire.
Each of us has some areas where it’s easier to remain consistent than others, we are human after all. With a little attention, conscious effort, and practice, you will begin to find more balance, joy, self-respect, and pride in how you live your life and the direction that you are headed.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com
He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
One thing that I have learned with almost 50 years under my belt is that consistency is the key to living a more satisfying and successful life. I’ve also figured out that being consistent always wins over hard work.
The problem that many of us have in life is that we lack consistency in certain areas. We tend to work hard for periods of time whether it be at our job or an exercise regimen but then we often slack afterwards because we feel burned out or tired.
When we overdo it in any area of our life it only makes sense that we’ll eventually lose momentum. Even with diets, we tend to be extreme for short periods to get the results we desire but the strict discipline is difficult to keep up and we end up gaining all of the weight back soon afterwards.
Moderate and consistent effort wins every time. People have often asked me how I have stayed fit throughout my life and my answer is always consistency. I don’t push too hard, I never have, and I have worked out 4-6 days per week since I was 13. Almost 37 years of consistent fitness has gotten me amazing results. While there were certainly times that I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, not once did I find it hard work.
While I have not been consistent in all areas, I definitely have the fitness and health component covered. None of us can be balanced in all areas of our life at all times and many of us put more emphasis in certain areas over others. But if we could learn to redistribute that effort into all parts of our day-to-day life from our spiritual practice to our work to relationships and our healthy lifestyle habits, we’d enjoy more stability and a smoother ride throughout.
Like brushing our teeth, doing something regularly and creating a routine makes it easier to continue. The longer we go without consistent action, the harder it is to get back to it. For example, have you taken time off from your exercise routine only to have months go by without doing anything? Have you avoided regular decluttering from your home only to quickly see things pile up in front of your eyes? Perhaps you notice that when you eat unhealthy foods regularly your body begins craving more unhealthy foods the longer you go.
Our spiritual and mental health also requires routine. When we run our spiritual batteries low, we become stressed, tired, overwhelmed, and grumpy. Committing to a daily gratitude and meditation practice for example, even for a few minutes per day will make the difference in how we feel.
When we act consistently it also gives us a sense of pride that we are taking care of ourselves and our life. We gain a self-reliance and confidence that we are committed to greatness and to being our best selves and we prove that we can in fact, do whatever we set our minds to.
The next time you find yourself slipping in any of the important areas of your life, stop, take a breath, and make a different choice. Push yourself if necessary and refocus your energy. Often the beginning is the most challenging but once over that initial hurdle, you’re set to go.
Sometimes just the simple awareness that we are off track or inconsistent is enough to snap us back into a new way of thinking, one that encourages us to keep moving forward towards our ultimate happiness and success in all that we do.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Let’s face it, exercise sucks. Well, maybe for a small percentage of fitness buffs, you love the feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits, building strong muscles, and working up a sweat.
But for most others, myself included, working out can be compared to a dental checkup. Not the type of check up that requires drilling, filling, or a root canal, but more of a bi-yearly cleaning and scraping. Mundane, routine, a little painful, and just something that NEEDS to get done!
People are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t enjoy exercising. They look at me and figure that it must be my number one passion. The truth is that it is something I endure because I know that it is assisting me in living a longer, healthier life. And quite frankly, it helps me to look better!
This is where most people would say “change it up, find something that excites you.” While I agree that keeping our routine fresh is vital, some people just don’t like to sweat, push, pull, and move. In actuality, I think that I am one of those people. I am MUCH happier sitting quietly with my morning coffee, writing in my journal and reflecting on life.
With all of this being said, I am here to share this with you so that you can feel better about your own blocks. Most of us would rather take that magic pill to keep us lean, healthy, and energized but the truth is, there is no such pill and the only way to achieve positive results is through exercise. This is where the tough love comes in. If you want to increase your odds of living a longer life, if you want to have younger looking skin and hair and you desire to look your absolute best, you MUST get up and move.
Other than exercise being boring, why do most people avoid it? Why do gym membership sales go up in January only to get unused for the rest of the year? I believe that it all comes down to self love. When we love ourselves enough, we are able to get through all of the excuses about why we don’t exercise. When we put ourselves and our health first, we take pride in who we are and in how we come across to the world. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I’d much rather travel the world and eat cake at this point in my life but to repeat, exercising your body is NOT an option.
If you’ve been avoiding it, making excuses, or doing it on or off, I challenge you to dig deep and find the reasons why this is. Really look inward and see what blocks come up when you think about skipping your neighborhood walk, spinning class, or training session. Find your own motivation, something that keeps you in the game regardless of the resistance that comes up.
If you’re dealing with depression get some help. Even mild depression can cause you to remain stuck. If you have a physical disability, for the most part there are still ways that you can move your body. I know it isn’t a bed of roses but we all have that inner motivation under the cloud of complacency.
I won’t share the benefits of a fitness routine, by now most of you know those. Instead, I suggest that you begin paying close attention to your inner saboteur that keeps you stuck and tells you all the reasons not to bother. Maybe it’s telling you that you’re too old, too fat, too tired, or that a bad heart runs in your family. Whatever it is, pay attention and begin to challenge this voice. I know that each one of you can overcome and get through all obstacles. I have seen it time and time again where people have changed their life through exercise after a lifetime of being sedentary. I am not telling you that it will always be easy, fun, or that you’ll see instant results. But I will suggest that in time, you WILL be doing yourself a favor by finally committing to a regular workout routine. Hire a trainer, Engage a friend, join a gym, research new classes. Now is the time!
Love yourself, put yourself first, and know that like life, it won’t always be a walk in the park. But we keep going, we keep moving forward, and we commit to always doing our best because that is the smartest option. Go for it! I promise to be there with you every monotonous step at a time.