We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
We all know that consistency is the key to success in sports (and in life), however staying consistent is one of the hardest skill to master. I would love to tell you that I know all the secrets to keep on track but the truth is, I don’t. I still get out of routine from time to time (especially in winter when its cold, dark and wet) but I feel that I have became much more consistent over the past year.
Today is the first day of Spring which means that it is going to be so much easier to get out there and train! Here are my top 5 tips to stay consistent.
Training with a group is much easier than training alone. Knowing that your friends are expecting you add this extra motivation which can make all the difference. So grab a friend and get training together. If you don’t have a friend to train with no worries, a lot of fitness brands now offer free fitness classes where you can meet like-minded people and train together. If you love running there are a lot of running club out there. Check out the On The Run Tribe, Nike Running Club, Track Mafia or the Mightnight runners (just to name a few). For training you can join the Nike Training club classes, the Sweaty Betty in store classes or again the yoga classes with Lululemon.
2. Plan ahead
Taking a bit of time in the weekend to plan the week ahead will make a huge difference. I try to always put aside an hour over the weekend to cook a few meals (this way I have emergency meals ready in the freezer) and book my fitness classes. Once you have booked your classes for the week don’t forget to add those to your diary/calendar. You can also schedule all your alarms for the week ahead. If planned correctly, you will be amazed of all the things you can fit in your week!
3. Monitor your progress
There are a lot of apps out there which can help you monitor your progress. Whether you use a heart rate monitor, a running/training app or a diary – keeping track of your progress will be a great source of motivation. I believe that this is not only true for sport performance but also for general health. I know that most people would advise against weighting every day but I have been using my Withings smart body analyser for a year and following my weight curve has kept me on track. So find what works for you and start tracking your progress. We all know how hard it is to get back on track so seeing how far you have come will motivate you to stay consistent and keep doing what works!
4. Enter events/set goals
An event is a great way to set a goal put and put in place a training plan. If you can enter as a team even better. This way you can work towards the event together. I personally love adding upcoming events on my wall calendar, it is a great way to see the challenges ahead and definitely helps getting me out of bed in the morning. If you are into running, there are a lot of events all year round. The runner’s world event search page is a good place to start if you are looking for your next challenge.
You can also set a personal goal. To be consistent often means making small and sustainable changes. Indeed we can all stop eating sugar and carbs for a week but is this something we can keep up? So instead of radical changes, put in place simple challenges. For example, try to swap refined carbs for complex and monitor the results. What are the take aways after a month? Do you feel better, healthier, was it easy?
5. Make time
We are generation busy. Our diaries are packed with work, gym, social events and so on. Sadly being extremely busy has become a synonym of success. Surviving on 4 to 5 hours sleep and staying at the office until 10pm everyday does not necessarily mean that you are successful. In most cases it actually mean that you are struggling to be more efficient and in control of your time. Making time for things that you love doing is capital to your success not only in sports and at work but in life in general. And making time for yourself can be as easy as taking 10 minutes in the morning to meditate or swapping your oyster card for a running backpack so that you can run commute in the summer days.