Many of us start doing something because we have been inspired by a movie, video or something we have come across recently. However over the course of time, our drive and passion for that thing slowly dies off and we end up never achieving that goal/dream of ours. Why? Sometimes, we try to console ourselves by saying that we failed because that dream was too extreme. That standard that we were aiming for was too high. It was too impossible to achieve realistically, or because we didn’t have enough time or the right equipment and environment to achieve it. Maybe. But I don’t think that that is true for most of us. Our dreams of losing that 10 kg of fat, get well-defined 6-pack abs, save up enough money to afford the down-payment for a house etc., I sincerely believe that most of the time, it is possible!
Maybe i’m wrong, maybe i’m right. But this is why I say that I believe it is very possible most of the time.
Too often than not, we start off being extremely driven and motivated. Let me use the example of somebody trying to lose 10 kg of fat (i’m not going to say body weight loss because 10 kg of body weight loss does not necessarily equate to losing 10 kg of fat. But going in depth will be a post for another day). Anyway, so this person after watching some fitness video or movie with a super shredded actor/actress, they have this goal of losing body weight. And too often than not, they just dive straight into what they think will help them achieve that goal- Going to the gym/exercising everyday for 2 hours/dieting and eating only salads etc. This starting point and period of their weight-loss program is when it is most crucial and where the vast majority of them fail without even realizing why. Here’s why.
Before you even start something, ask yourself, is what I want to do feasible and am I able to keep such an intense routine over the long run? Is exercising everyday for 2 hours feasible? Am I going to be able to keep and stick to my veggie diet all the way? Am I going to stick to it? Or am I going to eventually break down and fail? Im not condemning this burning urge and drive in us to do something to our very best when we first start something. No. Rather, I actually strongly encourage it!! But, what I strongly recommend you do is to keep it on a leash. Control that drive. Don’t get carried away to wanting to take everything you do for that dream of yours to the extreme and to the next level. Sometimes, it is better to slow things down and keep it consistent.
You can’t sprint a marathon. Let me give you this analogy of a marathon runner. When you watch a marathon race versus an Olympic 100 m sprinting event, what is the biggest difference you see? The pace of the runners isn’t it? 99.99999% of us are not able to keep up such an intense intensity over the long run. Sooner or later, we are all going to burn out and feel unmotivated. We are going to hit ‘the wall’ as long distance runners like to say. But what we can control is how fast its onset will be. Pace yourself for the long run. The faster and more intense you start out at the beginning, the sooner you are going to burn out and fatigue. This is reality. Pace yourself, keep a constant cadence and tempo and you will realize that you can last and cover a much longer distance overall than if you were to sprint and go all out at the start.
It can be a vicious cycle. Many of us due to our enthusiasm initially, fall into the trap of starting out too fast and have set too strict a routine that we cannot maintain. Sure, maybe you can keep to the schedule you have set for the first week, first couple months, or if you’re really good, the first half a year. But what happens after that? You hit ‘the wall’. You get demotivated. You lose sight of your goal. You start to believe that what you set out to do is impossible and decide to cut your losses before you waste any more time. Then a little while later, you get inspired again (may be by the same thing, or this time to do something totally new). You then start out really passionate, but over time, things slowly taper down and you fail again. Eventually, you start to believe that you are good-for-nothing, that all these things that you wanted so badly to achieve in the past were a total waste of time and should not have even started in the first place. You tell others that this goal of theirs is impossible and should not even bother trying. But is it? You have fallen into the trap of the vicious cycle. Start. Fail. Give up. Start. Fail. Give up.
This is why I believe so strongly in the power of CONSISTENCY.
There are so many other pros of being consistent too, like the creation of a new positive daily/weekly habit that will give back so much more over the long run! This topic is so vast, I’ve definitely missed many good reasons too. I’d love to hear your favourite reason for being consistent!
A little every day, becomes HUGE over time. Start small, start somewhere, start now.