Updated: May 2
One of the reasons why many people have failed at a plan or find it difficult to continue a habit they started is always due to the fact that they have no "compelling reason". It is easy for humans to be complacent and rest in their comfort zones. Very easy. When there is nothing strong enough to overcome our thoughts and feeling of complacency and comfort, we tend to see nothing wrong in a situation or position even when it does not serve us well. Your compelling reason is also referred to as your "why". Your "why" is what will get you on the go even at times when you feel tired to move a step. When you have a made-up mind, even winter will feel like summertime.
For you to win at anything, you will need to be skilled at whatever it is you are doing. That skill is simply borne out of consistency.
In other words;
Winning = great skill (acquired /learnt) + consistency
For instance, I always preach about whole foods, their health benefits and their healing prowess. But you eating whole plant foods once a week or twice a month will still leave you exposed to many lifestyle diseases and terminal illnesses, even in times when you are supposed to be living your best healthy life regardless of your age. Healthy eating has no date or day off. It is an everyday practice.
So, we see here that there is a big need for consistency. I know that creating and staying true to a new habit can be challenging sometimes. It often would mean that one will stop or discontinue one to begin a new one.
It takes time to build a habit, at least 90 days to go on autopilot with that habit. Hence, we need to learn a few tips to stay on top of our game all through those days till we become masters at the new acts. This will help you to continue to repeat positive similar behaviours till it becomes one with you.
I have curated and carefully outlined a few things to do in order to stay consistent. It may be one or two of them that you may be yet to practice or even all of them, but you need to be true to the process. And these are practical actions you could apply to every other area of your life. Your work, school, trade, and so on.
Tips on how to stay consistent.
1. Focus on one step at a time.
Starting a new lifestyle or habit can be a bit difficult because you are in most cases probably going against the regular. So what you should do is make a goal, and focus on that till you have mastered it. Multitasking is the lie that steals our time and makes us have several incomplete tasks at the end of the work day or specific time.
After you have mastered the one task you set out on, you can then move on to the next.
Do not try to do many things at the same time. You just might end up not being successful at any. The word focus also could be an acronym for F- follow O- one C-course U-until S- success.
Consistency could mean choosing to eat one fruit with every meal, drinking at least 2 litres of water daily, or even walking for 20 minutes daily. Anything you choose to start with, continue in it and be sure it has become a part of you before you add another. This is a very important growth move.
2. Celebrate yourself for every improvement.
Identify the little wins and be proud of yourself. Congratulate yourself and show yourself some love. You deserve it too. Don't wait till you have accomplished all goals before you congratulate yourself. Remember, "little drops make an ocean".
So, if you have been successfully able to cut out eggs or dairy from your meals, you should be proud of yourself for the benefits you're giving your body, while you look forward to correcting many other diet wrongs in your life.
3. You need to be courageous.
Perhaps you are the only one in your home, office, or among a group of friends who have chosen to be intentional with their health, and everyone else is seeing you as being a snitch or even a loser (since the only things you will lose are the lifestyle diseases and illnesses). They may feel so because you no longer join in what they still do. Be thankful and proud of yourself because now you know better.
Let me encourage you today to stay put and be courageous with whatever healthy choice you have made and are working on. Do not frail, because they too will see the benefits as they flow in now and in times to come. Only when you stay consistent also.
Likewise, your emotion may be your own obstacle sometimes. You need to overcome it. Let your heart and will win not your emotion. You know what you are living for, do not let foods that are emotionally enticing prevent you from reaching your health goals.
4. Have a support system.
Surround yourself with people who are on the same journey as you. It is easy to get good vibes and motivation this way. Look out for people who care about their health as you do, and make friends with them. build that circle and let encouragement flow in always. I will also encourage you to join similar groups.
5. Forgive your Errors.
Over the years I have seen people relent on keeping up with their new habits because it appeared to them as if they failed at some point. But I tell you; pick yourself back up from wherever you have fallen.
Did you skip a meal? Did you overeat? Did you break a long healthy streak you have been holding? Did you miss your workout? All you need to do is just get back in from where you fell out and keep moving forward. We all fall sometimes, but ensure you fall forward. Don't beat yourself hard. Just get back on track. That is the only solution. Not doing anything does not get anything done, regardless.
With these five practicable tips, you should be doing better at starting some healthy habits and staying true to them.