“The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they are also easy not to do.” – Jim Rohn
A few weekends ago, I was up at my family’s cottage, with a breathtaking view overlooking the waves of Lake Huron. It was my favorite weekend of the year: our annual family reunion.
Amidst the usual laughter and countless games of bean bags, I fielded many questions similar to the one below:
“How did you do it?”
Unfortunately, I only get to see some of my relatives once a year, and several of the family members wanted to know how I had arrived to the lake 30 pounds leaner than I was a year ago.
They wanted to know what tricks I was using, whether I was Keto or counting calories, or if I was experimenting with intermittent fasting. We all want a quick fix, and we all want it now, in our society of instant gratification.
I could only smile when answering their questions, because I knew they probably weren’t going to like the answer.
The answer is consistency.
There’s absolutely nothing special about what I have done over the last 18 months of this personal journey. I’ve tried to get 1% better every day, a little more consistent than the week before. It’s really boiled down to two things: I exercise every day. I meal prep every week.
And that’s what’s ironic about this whole thing. I would run out of fingers and toes trying to count all of the folks that I know who probably can cook better tasting, healthier meals than I can. There’s nothing extraordinary about my knowledge in the gym. But I don’t know many people who can match the consistency I’ve had in these two areas of my life in 2017.
My mentor Joshua talks a lot about doing the unremarkable with remarkable consistency, and that’s truly all I’ve tried to focus on in health and exercise, and try to apply to all of the other areas of my life. There’s absolutely nothing special about trying to sweat a little each day, and planning out what you’re going to eat for the week.
As I am traveling by train today to Milwaukee, I think achievement is a lot like a train. It takes a ton of energy and power to get it moving. As the wheels begin to roll, it starts getting a little easier. And once it picks up speed, it becomes extremely tough to stop. Even more-so for really long trains. And that’s what I think consistency does. When you start stacking habits, it’s like you’re attaching another car to the end of the caboose. All of a sudden, after months and months of consistently doing the seemingly insignificant, you’ve got a train that stretches for miles.
When I started at the beginning of 2016, I wasn’t exercising at all! Then I started going 3-4 times per week. Then 5 was the minimum. Then I started folding in Precision Nutrition and the train really started to pick up steam. Now through 7.5 months in 2017, I’ve missed the gym a total of two times since the ball dropped on New Years Eve. I don’t say this to brag. I say this because I know if I can do it, anyone can do it. You just have to get on board.
No matter where you are right now, and no matter what area of your life this applies to, I would encourage you to start now. How long can you make your train?