This 2011 has not, thus far, been a stellar year for consistency. First there was the Long Bad Cold. Then there was the Stressful, Horrible, No-Good February. By the end of last month I was fast becoming a weekend athlete, meaning NOTHING was happening at all during the week, and I was trying to cram in ridiculous marathon sessions of exercise on the weekends. It felt very unbalanced and bad. Finally at the end of last week, which was really a peak of stress and misery, I looked at myself and realized that I was going 5-6 days or more between workouts. And I was feeling it.
At the very same time, I happened upon this brief little video of wisdomness from one of my favorite online buddies EVER, MizFit (aka Carla Birnberg). She spoke some big truth about “no more fits and starts” and I could not stop thinking about it. In other words, consistency is KEY to long term success. The absolute key. And I realized how extremely inconsistent I was getting. Here’s the video so you can see for yourself above. (it’s SUPER SHORT! and to the point)
The next thing that happened is that I was seeing people getting their #7day chips from the awesome Brad Gansberg. Brad is relatively new to the health/fitness blogging community but he has been making a HUGE difference in so many peoples’ lives already, by encouraging them and giving them big kudos for making their goals either 7 or 30 days straight. It is amazing how motivating this has been to so many. I’ve been mulling over the many various things I could “chip” about, and which ones were I willing to commit to and try to accomplish for 7 or 30 or more days in a row? (believe me there are many options I could choose from!)
Then I took a look at the charts from my DirectLife activity monitor. I did not like what I saw; ie weekdays that were barely little blips of light green shag carpet, not even CLOSE to my daily activity goals, followed by huge peaks on the weekends, like 160% of goal. It just wasn’t what I wanted to be doing.
The MizFit video about fits and starts, the visual reminder from my DirectLife reports and then the #7day chip all came together. I decided that I would try to chip together a week’s worth of at least 30 minutes of exercise. I think I had gotten myself into the mindset of believing that I HAD to work out for an hour or more. But often, if I was going to work out an hour, and add transportation and a shower, it could be a 2 hour chunk of time that I just don’t have right now. So I’d do without and that SUCKED.
I decided to commit to 30 minutes a day. I started 5 days ago. And every day since then I have climbed onto the (until now mostly used by Mr. McBody only) elliptical machine in our garage, put in my earbuds, set the iPod on shuffle and GONE. It’s been amazing – some days it’s been a virtual stroll and other days like this morning I really kicked it. Once I got all carried away and went for an hour. But every time it made SUCH a difference in how I felt. I’m going for that 7 day chip!! I want one!
This was a really important lesson to learn. That a little something is so much better than a lot of nothing. My thanks go out to MizFitOnline, Brad Gansberg and DirectLife for the nudgy reminders.