The quote in the photo from Bruce Lee is one of my favorites.
I think the older I get the more it hits home both in my work and personally.
At the gym often when people are getting ready to join they are feeling really motivated.
They’ve decided to make a change and are ready to get after it. They want to start working out 5+ days a week, hit it hard, quit drinking, cut out all sugar, go to bed early, get stronger, lose a bunch of weight…
The list can go on.
I tell them that is fantastic! It is great to see them so inspired to make positive changes and that we can definitely do all those things… We just can’t do them all at the same time.
I explain we should focus on just one thing to start with and make sure we get that dialed in before we move on to the next piece.
Sometimes I feel like I might be bursting their bubble a little bit but I know that it is the truth.
If I want to help them to be successful long term then creating consistency around one habit at a time is key.
So the first thing we prioritize is consistently coming to the gym to workout 3+ days per week.
During their first month I specifically tell new members to not push themselves too intensely.
We want them to feel like they could always have done a little bit more, pushed a little harder, gone a bit faster.
Leaving a little in the tank ensures they don’t burn out, over do it, get way too sore or tired and then not be able to come back and do it again soon.
Personally I’ve fallen into the same trap of feeling motivated and wanting to make massive sweeping changes.
I might start strong and get after it with intensity. The problem is that motivation is fleeting and when it goes so does the effort and intensity I was relying on previously.
I hadn’t created a consistent habit or routine to sustain the progress and so any results I had seen go back to where they were before I started.
Consistency is like a muscle. We need to train it regularly. Once it is strong we can then apply intensity on top of it at various times to improve and accelerate our results.
Until we’ve built that consistency muscle adding intensity will only be wasted effort.
So the next time you are feeling motivated to make some improvements apply that energy and intensity to figuring out the best way you can consistently take small steps in the direction you want to go.
Need some help getting consistent?