I have a couple of pieces of paper that hang on the basement wall where I do my morning workout. On these pieces of paper I track information about my workouts. The information goes back to the end of 2013 when I first decided to try to keep track of it and has the date of the workout and the number of reps I did on the bench press.
After I finished my morning workout today, I had the urge to go back and view my past workouts, just to see if I noticed any patterns.
In my mind, it always felt like I was more active with my home workouts in the winter, but the notes actually didn’t support that at all. I was just as active in the summer months as I was in the fall. In fact, there were probably more work outs in the warm months than in the winter.
As I continued to go thru the dates, I did notice one big thing that I had never noticed before–the length of time. It seemed that whether it was the summer, winter, spring, or fall–I tended to go hard for about two weeks and then I would slowly fall off. Then, a couple months later, I would pick it back up again and repeat almost the exact same pattern: lift for two weeks hard, do some random workouts here and there, then completely stop lifting for a couple of months.
This has been going on for almost two years now. At first I was a little upset at myself, but then I started to feel a little happier because at least I had written down enough information about my workouts to see the pattern. When I thought back and tried to figure out why it was that I usually fell off after the second week of lifting, I realized that it wasn’t because the workout routine was getting to difficult. In fact, it was almost the opposite. I usually stopped working out after two weeks because two weeks was about all it took for me to start seeing results. Since I never had any lofty goals for my lifting, it was easy for me to completely drop my workout routine once I started seeing a noticeable change in my physique, which usually took around two weeks. I would chill for a couple months, my body would return to where it was before I started lifting, then I would repeat the entire process again. It was pretty wild to see the story being told right there on those notes that I had never analyzed before.
This whole thing made me start thinking about consistency. Being able to do something well for once or twice is good. Being able to do something well over a short period of time is even better. But being able to do something well over a long, sustained period of time is what separates the good from the great.
All of us want to be great at something. We say the right things and we even do the right things from time to time. But are we consistent? Are we showing up, day after day, and performing at the same level over a long period of time? The sad truth is that most of us aren’t. Whether it’s working out, our relationships with our families and friends, our careers, or practicing our craft–most of us are inconsistent. And until we’re consistent there’s no way we will be able to achieve the results we desire and the rewards we deserve.
Consistency is Everything.
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