Consistency can literally make or break you – but it’s important to understand that “consistency” doesn’t necessarily translate to 100% of the time (no, not 110% either.)
Life is complicated – there are days that derailment occurs because of a last minute schedule shift. It could be, instead, that you come down with a bug. . .one that keeps you down for a lot longer than you’d expected. Nothing is for certain, no matter how well you plan, so you need to make room – if nothing else, mentally – for the possible blips that may arise.
The principle can be applied to anything – work, home life, fitness goals, an on and on. For the purpose here, let’s stick with health and fitness – keeping oneself in good shape is important, especially as we get older. For each of us, the goal is a little different…
It may be simply that we’d like to feel less lethargic throughout the day. Maybe we have a few pounds of extra “us” that we could honestly do without. It could be based on performance in our sports, for another… Whatever the case is, you must be consistent in your approach. Successfully reaching goals isn’t only about maintenance, but making it a lifestyle – a comprehensive course of daily actions.
So let’s say that most of the time you eat healthily, and exercise…but you suddenly can’t, for weeks, because you caught a nasty virus – not easy for those who have a need to move around, and for sticking to routine! (This happened to me just recently, quite unexpectedly, and it was definitely a challenge for my go-go-go personality.)
So what do you do when you simply can’t mange your regular schedule? Recognize that you:
- Are being told to “slow down.” Pay attention!
- You can still maintain a level of consistency
- Even without your specific routine, you aren’t going to go to hell in a handbasket
- Along with #4…it WILL be okay
You need to remind yourself that it takes a lot longer than you probably think to get completely off track. In the case of not feeling well, rest is necessary – the body has to heal and get back on track before jumping in head first (doing so is a surefire way to stay down for longer.) I have a hard time with it myself – I want to “DO,” and sitting at home, especially when I haven’t had a chance to move around, can bring my mood down quickly. But I was actually good about it – I took it slow, and for many days I did absolutely zero. That was exactly what my body needed.
With nutrition, consistency is HUGE. But again, remember that deviating from your plan once in a while is not a big deal. AT ALL. What matters is whether you take it in stride, and get back to the usual…or if you let it pull you into the downward spiral.
When I was sick, I wasn’t quite as hungry as usual…but I still prepared the meals I normally do, because even without the exercise, my body needed the fuel and replenishment. It isn’t worth abstaining because I think I’ll gain a pound or two. I might not be processing as much, burning as many calories, or even keeping my muscles as cut as usual…but even two weeks isn’t going to turn me into a lump!
It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t be “on” like usual – for some of us it isn’t just relegated to the physical, either, it’s as much mental. But take heart that when you do get back to it, you are going to do great – your motivation and mind WILL return to go-go-go mode, and your body will respond.
No matter what life throws at you, or how the routine shifts, you can achieve your goals – it’s a lot like the “be water” concept – allow yourself to be flexible. Move with tides, and you will find your usual stride soon enough.