5 Tips for Being Consistently Consistent
While we know consistency is the key to success or accomplishment in sport (or life), it is also the hardest to master, especially this time of the year. Acquisition and mastery of a skill, a technique, or a lifestyle change will require you to be a consistent athlete. So how do we stay consistent with being consistent? Here are a few tips to help you stay on your game through the holidays and feeling confident.
TIP #1: Make a conscious decision to remain consistent.
Say out loud to yourself, “I am committed to remaining consistent each day in my goal. I am doing this!” Notice the statement is in the present tense. This technique commands your subconscious mind to act now, not later. Consistent actions require consistent thinking, specifically consistent thoughts that you are and will remain consistent.
TIP #2: Revise your concept of time.
The only time you have is RIGHT NOW. Later on, next week, next month, or next year is only a concept or thought in your mind. Tomorrow is not here, next week, month, or next year is not here. Right now is here. The point of power is always in the present moment and all the anxieties or worries about later on are not happening now. So let go of thinking, “I have to be disciplined and consistent all day, week, month, or year,” TO “I am disciplined in this moment. Right now is the only moment I need to pay attention to. I am only required to be consistent and disciplined in this moment.” Be in the NOW.
TIP #3: Have a plan. Know your objective.
The definition of a “plan” is: “A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective:” A plan is in place so that you don’t have to do the thinking before hand or in the moment. Preparation is consistency’s wonderful cousin!
You must have a plan to be successful, even if it’s a daily plan. For example, you could prepare your meals for the week or get a nutrition consult for a meal plan. Pack your gym clothes the night before and write in your planner what your workouts will be for the week. Buy and implement TriMarni Coaching and Nutrition 5-week Triathlon Transition Plan to build base and strength.
It is imperative that you have a plan so that you know where to direct your actions, thoughts, effort, and time. It must be a plan that you want. It must be in line with your values and your hearts desire. The more emotionally invested you are in your plan, the more you will remain committed, the higher your chances are for success.
TIP #4: Remember that feelings and thoughts are temporary and subjective.
Any negative feeling or thought that could intrude on you being consistent is temporary. It is an illusion. In the moment it feels very powerful, but in an hour, 10 minutes, or tomorrow you could feel very different. Don’t let temporary illusions of stress, anxieties, worry, or insecurity derail you from your plan. In moments like these it’s critical that you push through the discomfort and JUST DO IT! Execute. Do the workout, eat the healthier option, or make the time. Remind yourself how you will feel after your workout, or after you have conquered the moment. It will be worth it.
TIP #5: Do one thing at a time. Be in the present moment.
In my mindfulness skills training we call this doing one thing mindfully. It is being fully and 100% present in your moment. Allow your mind and body to be present and engaged. When you find yourself distracted or your mind wandering you bring it back to full attention of your moment. For example, if you are working on foot position, pedal stroke, freestyle catch, elbow angle, etc. you are fully and acutely tuned in to that and only that aspect, nothing more and nothing less. This concept is why mantras and self-talk are powerful. They bring your attention back to the constructive action at hand and in the moment.
BONUS TIP: A great concept that I came across, thanks to one of my Wattie Ink teammates Chris Hague, is thinking of this time as “pre-season” versus “off-season.” Off-season sometimes implies letting everything go, permission to be in excess, or dare I say it, an excuse to not be as disciplined as we normally would be. “Pre-season” has come to mean, for me, preparation, transition, build up rather than let go. It gives me a sense of focus and empowerment. Try it out and see if it works for you my fellow triathlete’s. Obviously, for my runners/trial runners, short course swimmers, skiers, basketball players, and footballers we are still in season so this may work for you later:)
When all else fails and the above tips do not work, then use the foolproof guide below to help you stay consistent.
If you are “not feeling like it”…do it any way.
If you are sad…do it any way.
If you are busy…do it any way.
If you are tired…do it any way.
If you are feeling good…do it any way.
If you are “too stressed”…do it any way.
If you are unmotivated…do it any way.
If you are on vacation…do it any way.
If you are unsure…do it any way.
If you find yourself making excuses…do it any way.
No matter what trust that you can and will stay consistent. Be patient one moment at a time. You are an amazing person with valuable gifts to offer the world, but first master the gift of giving the best to yourself- through being consistent with your hearts desire. Once you stay consistent with yourself, every thing else falls into place.
This article was written by Dr. Petruzzelli, an accomplished athlete who played competitive soccer for 18 years before transitioning to competing in triathlons and road racing.