Motivation Articles

3 Simple Ways to Build Consistency

Because Consistency is the Key to Success!

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You don’t have to be an expert to figure out that consistency is pretty essential to successfully change your life, your health, and your weight. But it’s also pretty clear that building a consistent routine of regular exercise and healthy eating is not an easy thing to do.

You start off the day with the best intentions—to exercise, track all your food, and make healthy choices. But then life happens. One of the kids is sick, the babysitter is late, the snowplow blocked your driveway, the boss asks you to work overtime, or any one of a hundred other surprises that can really wreck your day. Before you know it, your plan is in trouble and your prospects for "sticking to it" aren’t looking very good. In fact, things are probably going to get worse as the day goes on. By the end of the day, you have no energy left for exercise, and the task of preparing a healthy meal feels like a big burden when what you really want is a break. Something has to give.

More often than not, "what gives" is your plan to exercise and eat right. When it’s hard to do everything, the things most likely to go undone are those that don’t affect or involve anyone but you—especially if those things aren’t exactly your favorite things to do anyway.

So how do you change this pattern? With the three rules for building consistency.

These three simple rules, when followed faithfully, will make it easier for you to be consistent with your healthy lifestyle habits—even on the toughest days.

Rule #1: Never tell yourself “I’m not motivated.”
That’s not the real problem, unless you really don’t want to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle. As long as you do want these things, you have all the motivation you need.

It may be true that sometimes you don’t want to exercise, or that you really want to stop and get fast food rather than cooking dinner. That’s understandable, but it doesn’t mean you’re not motivated. It just means that you want two different and opposing things, and you have to make a decision. Telling yourself that you lack motivation is just a way of denying that you really do have a choice. It makes the problem seem mysterious and out of your control, and it makes you feel less powerful than you really are, because you lack something (the motivation) you need. Not true!
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • Great article with real and helpful actions to take. I like that it was problem solving rather than judging. I struggle with Consistency and think this will help. Thank you! - 1/14/2016 10:25:25 AM
  • Sometimes I feel stuck and so I don't do anything. The idea that this just means that I want two different and opposing things - not that I am lazy, or unmotivated, or don't know what to do - really hit home for me. - 1/13/2016 6:41:14 PM
  • FULLYKAT
    I am feeling very motivated and supported by the 30 day checkins. - 1/13/2016 11:54:33 AM
  • This article came at the right time. I'm doing this with my daughter, who lives in another state. We keep each other motivated. She keeps me going. - 1/13/2016 11:19:23 AM
  • VAGIRL4
    This makes since. Now that I have these tools I can get moving like I should be. - 1/13/2016 10:24:02 AM
  • I never thought about me saying that "I'm not motivated" was just an excuse, but it's so true! I need to remember this article for the next time I'm not wanting to do something and realize that I have a choice, either the healthy choice, or the unhealthy one! - 1/2/2016 8:05:22 PM
  • Love that this reminded me that I have a choice. It i not lack of will power or motivation it i simply wanting one thing more than another at that moment. - 10/9/2015 8:39:07 AM
  • Need to have a plan B - some mornings I am just not motivated unless I have some place to go. - 10/8/2015 6:56:24 PM
  • HAIRYPRARIE
    Great article. Thank you. - 9/20/2015 8:17:09 PM
  • NONY1951
    very interesting articles and SPOT ON! - 7/22/2015 9:20:09 AM
  • Will work on a plan b, great tip thank you. - 5/25/2015 12:41:11 AM
  • Thank you--- Thank you, Coach Dean Anderson, for all your guidance here! - 1/8/2015 4:19:14 PM
  • Great article! I have been very inconsistent over the past few months and need to re-focus on consistency. I'll definitely try all of these, especially plan B with long work hours ahead.

    Thank you! - 12/29/2014 7:01:22 AM
  • I have, during an emotionally grueling triathlon, tried to convince myself I really wanted to go back to being the fat lady who just rides her bike. Fortunately, my Inner Coach took over and wouldn't let that part of me win. - 11/4/2014 2:05:50 PM
  • What a great article! Thank you, Dean! :) I have struggled doing that 10-minute exercise a day 5 days a week challenge and I couldn't figure out why... I understand now that it might have been too much at the time. I like the "Build Momentum One Step at the Time" section of the article. I think it suits me better than starting 5 days a week "cold turkey". - 10/24/2014 12:25:24 PM

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