I recently had one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in ages. On Friday night my husband surprised me with tickets to Saturday Night Fever, plus dinner and a night in a swanky hotel afterwards (believe me, this is not a common occurrence!).
The performers in SNF were phenomenal (I’m always secretly jealous of anyone who can sing and dance – definitely not my forte!) and it got me thinking how much practice and rehearsal they must do to get to the level they’re at. It must take an extraordinary amount of persistence and perseverance to hone their skills.
Even if they were born with natural talent, they would have had to work at them day after day consistently for years to become as proficient as they are.
But what if they hadn’t persisted? What if they’d taken a few classes when they were younger, dabbled in dancing for a year or two, then given up (as I’m sure many others have along the way). If they’d thought “it’s too much work, I’ll never make it, maybe I’ll try Pilates instead, or F45 or swimming instead”? They would never have known how good they could be because they didn’t have the patience and persistence to give it a red-hot go.
I see a lot of parallels with fitness and diet. People will try one thing – half-heartedly stick to it for a bit then get distracted by the lure of something new and shiny and different without ever really giving the first thing a chance.
It’s the exercise equivalent of Tinder (not that I’ve been on there… but I get the gist of it!) – you find something you like, but then something else catches your eye and you start to doubt whether the first thing you picked was really the right choice, and you don’t stick around long enough to find out. You just keep jumping from one thing to the next without ever giving anything a proper chance.
Which is not to say you should stick with something you don’t enjoy. Just like dating, training shouldn’t feel like a chore (you’ll certainly feel uncomfortable at times but you shouldn’t hate every minute… also a little like dating!).
But if you’re switching between things all the time in the hope that the next thing will be the magic bullet, the thing to give you the results you want, when you haven’t really put in the effort consistently in the first place, then you’re going to be disappointed.
I get it. It’s easier to blame the thing you’re doing (or not doing) for not getting results; it’s harder to look inwards and say, “maybe I’m not making the effort, or not being consistent with it”.
When it comes to training it’s less important what you do, and far more important how consistent and persistent you are with whatever you do.
The shiny object syndrome is even more prevalent when it comes to diet – there are literally soooo many options out there, with advocates for each of them promising that theirs is the only diet you’ll ever need to get the results you want (the diet industry is worth multi-billions of dollars precisely because it preys on people’s vulnerability).
Don’t worry, I’ve fallen for it too – I’ve dabbled in paleo and keto and fasting and low fat and sugar-free etc etc. And any of those can and do get results for people if they’re consistent and stick to it.
But what also gets results (and is far more sustainable in my opinion) is being consistently consistent – no fad dieting, no yo-yoing, no extremes, not switching from one thing to the next to the next – just healthy eating and training that you enjoy and that challenges you. Consistently. That’s it.
And that’s part of the issue – it’s kind of basic and even a little boring right? Shiny object syndrome is far more appealing – ‘oh look, maybe that next training or diet craze will be the one that solves all my problems for me!’
But simple, healthy habits, repeated consistently, will get you to your goals way faster than taking a million detours will. Trust me on this one!
If you want a strategy that works long-term – and someone in your corner to help you reach your heath goals and keep you accountable on the way – then I’d love you to join our 12-week Healthy Habits Transformation, either online or face-to-face in Sydney’s inner west.
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