Why Being Consistent is so hard?Rashi Bhargava
Ten months back I decided to challenge myself to run. I had received an email from Dr. Rajat on his new runners training program. Bounced off this idea and content of the program outlined in the email with my cousin who herself is a marathoner and trains extremely hard. I was really encouraged by her. It looked easy from zero to 5km.In my hey days I was a highly active sports player. Just like past performance of Mutual Funds is no guarantee to future performance, past track record of mine was no guarantee to the successful outcome. While taking on the challenge I was in a bubble. For a person who has been not in the best of fitness and suffering from back pain for a decade this was a tall order. And my issues in life were more psychological which itself was biggest roadblock to my success.
So, I failed twice in last 10 months and I started thinking probably I was not meant for this and I should accept my low fitness levels. I think somewhere my trainer too gave up on me. During this period, I was undergoing psychotherapy to deal with other baggage in my life. Something clicked and finally in September when Dr. Rajat Chauhan launched the 33 day Run and Bee mentoring program, I had an amazing determination to succeed and prove something to myself. Therapy by now was working wonders for me.
The mandate to me was to be consistent and be better than yesterday. Not to worry about form as form will come later. After all form is a byproduct of consistency.
Why its so hard to be consistent? When all of us know “The Key to Success is Consistency”
It’s hard to be consistent because we tend to focus on the outcome more than the process. In other words, we are more drawn to the positive feelings of outcomes rather than the struggle of the journey. Most of us quit during the struggle before we can experience the rewards of staying the course.33 Day Run& Bee mentoring was all about process and sticking to the basics.
For last few years being consistent was hard for me. I was focusing on the outcome and not the journey which was necessary for me to undergo however painful and hard that journey was. I was afraid of going through the pain and struggles of that journey. I can’t even remember when the last time was, I worked on something every single day of the year, except my Buddhist chanting and prayers.
I can derive some comfort from the fact that I am not alone in this. Majority of us want success but struggle to achieve. We know exercising daily is good for health but still struggle to do it consistently. We commit ourselves to lot of things every day believing intention is the fuel behind action. But intention is not good enough, we need motivation and most importantly need to act consistently with that intention. We equate intention with action. That is where things start going wrong. Skipping a day or two becomes okay and our consistency goes for a toss.
I wanted to run 5km.Every day I had the power to step closer or inch away from my goal. In my first two attempts I was getting away from my goal because of my inconsistency and missing the reason WHY. The success lies in the minute details of daily life. Consistently doing what is required towards my 5km goal on daily basis was the key to success. But I failed and doubted the process as I was just fixated by the end goal. I also lacked conviction about the process.
Olympic athletes train intensely every day of the year. He/She works towards being a better athlete, better than what he/she was yesterday and not just win a Gold medal. They work on who they want to be. Not just what they want to accomplish. They drive to become, not just achieve. They focus on action, without overthinking what they are doing or why they are doing it. They focus on the present without getting overwhelmed with the outcome.
The Key to consistency is to create habits
Changing your habits is about establishing a ‘new normal’ so that healthy living becomes your way of life rather than something you either do or don’t do. Lockdown brought this newfound awareness. And the first baby step I took towards my wellbeing was focusing on what I eat and mindfulness while eating. In my 3rd attempt towards zero to 5km goal. I kept things simple with clear focus on what needs to be done on daily basis for me to succeed. And for the first time in my life I did not take too much on my plate. The focus was on only high impact habits that will take me closer to my goal. And some of those habits were:
– Daily exercise or movement (walking/run/exercise as per my daily assigned task)
– Sleep of at least 7-8 hours(struggled on this front, but determined to overcome this)
– Daily hydration with 2-3 litres of water
– Balanced and nutritive food based on whole, unprocessed foods
– Stress management strategies to reduce the impact of stress with morning and evening ritual to help me destress.(morning and unwinding rituals thanks to my therapist have done work wonders)
Just like I don’t give much thought to brushing my teeth as soon as I get up or take shower in the morning, I started doing the same for my eating and fitness habits. Something which I started doing on autopilot mode like brushing my teeth.
These simple changes, over a period of time (through being consistent, of course) made a profound difference in my mental and physical wellbeing. What looked impossible, looked doable once I started being consistent and on my 33rd day I delivered.
Was it easy? No. The daily battle is between You Vs. You and determination to defeat inner demon which wake up early to stop/dissuade us from doing the right thing 😊
“We Become What We Want To Be Consistently Being What We Want To Become Each Day”