We get started on a diet or plan with the best intentions. Despite that, there are usually a combination of things that prevent 85% of people from succeeding and staying there:
- Falling off the wagon (inconsistency)
- Emotional eating
- Not enough time
- Stressful life (busy work/stressful personal life etc)
We start on a diet, we stop weeks in and have to essentially restart if we decide to do it over again.
This happens because:
the pain of not doing it is not enough for you to keep doing it
the pleasure of doing it is not enough to keep you doing it.
Imagine a lion chasing you – it’s much easier for you to run and keep running because if you stop, the lion will eat you. We are programmed to avoid pain, discomfort and fear. If we fear losing something eg losing money if we make a bet, or looking embarrassed (losing social standing) if we make a promise we don’t keep, we keep doing the thing to avoid the pain or loss.
The contrast is doing something for the love of it and for pure enjoyment. Imagine eating going out for a drink every weekend with your friends. It feels good so its easy to keep doing it every weekend because we gain more pleasure from doing it than not.
Well in this light, the solutions to building consistency is to create either an avoidance of a certain discomfort, or do things because you enjoy them.
They will both work, but ultimately, a more wholesome and positive experience is created when we do things from a place of love and because it makes us happy.
Choosing to keep doing something to avoid pain or discomfort can definitely be a strong motivator, but lifestyle changes that last usually have the majority of motivation coming from loving to do something rather than avoiding discomfort of something else (80% towards pleasure /20% away from pain).
Please note pleasure is not in the context of hedonism and dopamine adundance i.e. overindulging, taking substances and watching Netflix marathons all day.
In the context of health, moving towards pleasure means discovering that you really like cycling, it gives you energy, helps you lose weight and so you keep cycling as part of your normal routine.
Or doing yoga because it frees up your mind and you can touch your toes. Or eating healthy because you like how much energy it gives you and how well you sleep now.
Find a working program tailored just for you
If you follow what worked for others such as keto plans, 30day challenges that don’t take into account your own lifestyle, preferences, challenges, they wont work.
Following a program that tells you to have 5 small meals everyday while you only have time to eat once or twice a day wont work.
Following a program that tells you that you need to go to the gym 6 times a week while you can only manage 3 or 4 days isn’t going to work.
That’s why a program and a plan tailored around your lifestyle is going to the the game changer for you. You’ll be able to maintain results for a long time because you’ll include the things you do love.
You’ll work around the schedule you have. You’ll work out with efficiency and spend minimal time at the gym. You’ll get a program you like, keeps up with you daily and keeps your relevant goal in line.
This will keep you happy and enjoying things so you move towards pleasure – and are more likely to keep doing it.
You need accountability
You need a partner along your journey who can be objective, but be supportive enough of you goal to give you a caring ear, social support and assertiveness – because you still need to reach your goal.
You will need people in your corner – whether it be friends, your partner, like-minded people, or a supportive coach. They will need to be aware of your goals, needs, be in your corner and give you the push you may need from time to time
This will provide the avoiding the pain factor- because a part of you wouldn’t want to disappoint others around you who are on your team and want to see you win. Its a critical element in success because we rarely succeed on our own without any form of support, counselling or guidance.
This is also a very strong motivating factor that tends to keep most successful people going – being part of a community and having support could mean a world of difference.
If you’re looking for a program, our 1 on 1 coaching provides caring support and tailored guidance, click here to find out more. if its not a good fit for you, it’s no problem. Just find someone, anyone close who can be a caring shoulder to lean on on your journey.
With these 2 elements, it’s much easier to keep going than it is to quit – and that’s consistency in a nutshell.