In today’s “I want it now” society, we look for the quickest, easiest way to look good and be healthy.
However, maybe that is the total wrong appoach. So, what is the secret? Well, maybe there is no secret. After nearly five years of personal training, in both the one-on-one and group exercise setting, there have been a couple of variables which have remained constant with those that experience results and undergo change with their bodies. Those variables are Commitment and Consistency. Let’s take a deeper look into what it really takes to get fit.
As a professional in the fitness industry, may I please be up front with you? Becoming physically fit is a matter of behavioral change, and commitment is an essential factor in truly changing your lifestyle. Nothing in your fitness journey will yield lasting results if you are not willing to first commit. As we know, becoming physically fit takes a multitude of actions including proper nutrition, time for exercise, sufficient sleep, and avoiding substances that are detrimental to our health. However, none of this can be achieved before we sit down, get serious with ourselves, and exercise our own will-power by making a commitment. Commitment is defined as “the state of being dedicated to a cause.” This means that when we commit, we stick to it. I’m sorry, but if you are skipping exercise multiple times per week because you “don’t have time” or you “don’t feel like it,” then you are not committed to becoming fit. If you eat ice cream and cookies throughout the week just because you feel like it, you are not committed to being healthy. It’s that simple. If we want results, we must commit to doing what it takes to get results. This is between you and you. It may sound cliché, but the only one who is stopping you from becoming physically fit is the one that looks back at you in the mirror. Over a stretch of years, I’ve seen individuals come and go with no progress or results simply because they were not willing to commit. On the contrary, I’ve worked with individuals for years at a time and seen mind-blowing results. Lasting results come from long-term commitment. If you are setting out to reach a fitness goal (weight loss, muscle gain, fitting a dress, athletic performance, etc.), but you are not willing to make a long term commitment, please stop now. Save yourself the wasted time and energy. First, think about what it will really take to reach your goal, prepare mentally, and get to a place internally where a true commitment can be made.
Once a commitment with oneself is established, the road to becoming fit and healthy can begin.
Now it’s time to be consistent. The reason commitment must come first is because consistency is birthed from a commitment. A commitment to keeping up with our favorite tv show means consistently watching each weekly episode. A commitment to our job means consistently showing up and working hard. Have I made it clear yet that we do not become consistent with something until we have first made a commitment to it? As previously mentioned, becoming fit is a behavioral change. This means that we stay consistent over time with the actions that align with our desired results. Consistent is defined as “unchanging in nature, standard, or effect over time.” Hypothetically, if we assume that reaching our goal will take three days of exercise per week, being consistent means we exercise three days per week until we hit our goal. Our behavior is unchanging over time. I’m sorry, but if skipping exercise and binging on sugar is becoming routine, you are not being consistent. Having experience with hundreds of individuals with the common goal of getting fit, I have watched consistency either make or break them. The one who signs up for two sessions per week and shows up to both sessions is far more likely to transform his or her body than the one who signs up for five sessions per week and only shows up when he or she feels like it. When it comes to consistency, I have concluded that being inconsistent is major symptom of not being truly committed.
In conclusion, commitment and consistency are the initial keys that unlock the possibility of lasting physical change.
These two internal forces work directly with each other as commitment produces consistency and consistency reflects commitment. Honestly, becoming fit and healthy is fairly simple. There is no magic pill. There is not cookie cutter plan. There is no over-night fix. We know what we have to do. We know the answer is diet and exercise. However, before the wheels start turning, a commitment must be established with oneself, and from there, a manifestation of the commitment will be seen in consistent action towards the goal. The fitness goal you hold in your mind is as simple as this equation: Commitment + Consistency = Change.