If you struggle with remaining consistent when working towards a goal, you are not alone! Especially when it comes to introducing fitness back into a routine, not being able to remain consistent is what I hear most often from clients. One of the main culprits for lack of consistency is our schedule - but not in the way you might think.
When starting something new, we tend to want to wait until things slow down. And I get it! Especially if we’ve struggled with consistency in the past, it makes sense to think that waiting until things get less busy will help us to remain more consistent this time around. But let's be honest: life seems to have a funny way of always getting busier, and never really slowing down. We just adapt to that level of busy-ness until it becomes our new normal, and then more things get added again! The reasons for being so busy (responsibilities at work, deadlines, family/friend obligations, health issues etc) may change over time, but it seems that our overall level of busy-ness rarely slows down for long before something else pops up.
So, while it might make sense to wait to start a goal when things slow down, there are 2 major reasons why the opposite is often true.
When we wait until life slows down to start something new, we often end up waiting indefinitely.
We do not have full control over our schedules. We cannot expect to remain consistent if we allow something [we do not have full control over] to dictate what we do or don’t do.
Instead of waiting for things to slow down, break down your goal into smaller chunks that you can fit into your schedule more easily. This might mean adjusting your goal temporarily to make it work. For example, it might not be possible to fit in 30-minutes of exercise every day right now, but maybe you’d be able to fit in a 10-minute walk each day, or maybe you’d be able to fit in some movement three days a week, rather than 7. You can always readjust your goal in the future when/if things slow down, but in the meantime, you’ve already been making progress!
When we wait until life slows down to start something new, we often do not know how to maintain consistency when life inevitably becomes busy again.
We cannot expect to remain consistent if we have never had to adapt or change our plans to accommodate unexpected variables. Even if it means we have to take a week off from working towards a specific goal, we’ll be much more likely to get back into the swing of things if we’ve had some experience handling similar circumstances in the past.
Working towards our goals through whatever hiccups we might experience from day to day teaches us adaptability and -- especially for long term goals, this is important! There will absolutely be days where you might not be able to fit in all your plans (including whatever actions you planned to take towards your goals!). The key is to remember that missing a day --or even just having to change plans-- is not a failure.
Remember, integrating goals into your schedule takes practice and time! You're likely to be more successful when you become less rigid with the expectations you place on yourself. Break your goals into actions that you feel confident in your ability to do, embrace the challenges, and give yourself some grace. Cheering You On,