As the story goes, when a young comedian asked Jerry Seinfeld if he had any words of wisdom, Seinfeld said, “Don’t break the chain.” What he was talking about was that he set a goal for himself of writing X number of jokes every day and when he accomplished this, he would cross off that day on the calendar. This created his “chain” or consecutive days of achievement.
The idea of this chain, or consistency tracking, is a way to motivate you into creating a habit that helps you work toward your goals. Currently, I’m using Duolingo to help me learn Japanese. The app sends me a reminder every day to not break the chain.
There is a definite desire to build that consistency record. Whether you are marking the days that you work out or eat correctly or practice your instrument…. checking off those days feels good and does add motivation. And… the longer your chain or record goes, the more you try not to break it.
Now, probably, at some point, you will miss a day/break the chain, and you need to jump back on and start again from scratch (as far as the chain is concerned), but having worked at that consistency, we are already ahead of the game, both in what we have accomplished goal wise and in the building of a habit.
So, start now and again as often as you need to. Build that chain. Build those habits that will lead you to your goals.
In describing how he helped one of his clients lose 8″ around his waist in a few short months, a personal trainer friend of mine, Chad Landers stated, “No crazy diets, no insane workouts. Just Savage Consistency with the basics.” I love the phrase that he used, “Savage Consistency” and needed to discuss that idea.
People often wonder why they aren’t seeing results from their fitness program. Well, of course, part of that might be that they aren’t controlling their diets. But the other part is often that they just aren’t working out consistently. Training once a week or every other week is not going to change your body or health status.
It’s like brushing your teeth. Just brushing occasionally is not going to keep them pearly white and cavity free. You have to make it part of your daily regimen. The same is true for working out or managing your diet. To see real results, you have to be consistent.
Here’s an important bit, though, it’s not an all or nothing thing. You don’t have to spend huge amounts of time at it. In my opinion, creating the habit is, initially, more important than how much you do during your workout. Show up. Do something. Show up again. Do a little more. Show up again…etc. Create the habit of doing, at whatever level, and you can build the time and intensity as you go.
Start your program with commitment to “Savage Consistency”. Commit to getting some kind of workout in (this may be 3 or more times per week) and some form of nutrition change in every day. Embrace the notion that something done with consistency is going to be better than having that “perfect” workout or diet day, once every blue moon.
P.S. Now, of course, something is better than nothing. So, if occasionally doing something is truly all you can manage, go with it. You just won’t see the results you could if you were more consistent.