Thursday, March 15, 2012

Consistency


The world today is very focused on getting results fast. There are a million tricks that people use to cut corners and attempt to make things happen faster than they naturally should. The main issue with this is that the key to success in anything, except maybe for winning the lottery, is consistency and patience (and, who knows, those might be the keys to the lottery too!).
When it comes to fitness goals achievement, there is probably no more significant single factor than a slow, steady, progressive plan executed over a long period of time; in other words, consistency. So much advertising in this industry is geared towards "30 days" or "90 days" when the goal should be a lifetime. Of course, since most people have a hard time planning more than even a week ahead, let alone a year or a lifetime, the marketing campaigns and fitness packages that are available are almost always geared towards the "90 days" phenomena. The hope, of course, is that the 90 day results will carry forward for the rest of people's lives.  When it works, this is the optimum outcome. Unfortunately, though, when people start to think that they can have a ripped body or lose 50 pounds in 90 days and then it doesn't happen, they start pointing fingers and blaming others for their lack of success.
A lot can be accomplished in 90 days; significant changes can be made. However, if that is where it all stops, nothing is accomplished. In fact, sometimes, all motivation can be lost and the negative results are then compounded. The real question should always be “what kind of sustainable change can I make?” If that change is to exercise 3 days a week for 10 years, great! If that change, though, is to exercise 7 days a week for 90 days and then quit, you have accomplished nothing but a very short-term gain that will soon fade away. Short-term gains work well when they are followed up by additional longer-term goals but not when they are ends in themselves.
In the fitness industry, people constantly want to know how quickly they can get results. What they should be asking is: how long will my results of this intervention last! There is a commercial on satellite radio that I hear constantly praising the “10 minute workout”. Honestly, does anyone really believe this nonsense and think that this is the answer?  Since these types of gimmicks work from a sales perspective, they come and go all the time. I would bet my life, however, that nobody sees success by exercising 10 minutes a day regardless of the magical properties of the program.
So what is the answer? What is the great prophecy that is about to be unveiled? Be CONSISTENT and PATIENT! Not what you wanted to hear? Well tough! That is the only 100% true answer that you can get in almost any field. Basketball players want to know how to become great shooters. The answer is: take a million shots. As Malcolm Gladwell said in his book "The Outliers", it's the 10,000 hours on task that creates the expert. If people want to weigh a healthy amount and be in good physical condition, what should they do? The answer: well, if you can‘t guess it by now, then you should go back to the top of this page and read it all again.  There are no tricks, no corner-cutting dashes. If there was a magic formula, then everyone would have a gorgeous jump shot, everyone would play guitar like Jimi Hendrix, and everyone would be at the top of their game in their field - instantly, magically! I repeat: there are no tricks. There is only a belief in wanting to be healthy and the cultivation of an understanding that consistency and patience are the only "gimmicks" that will take you there. 

~Yoshia

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