I'd made a decision to take my lunch to the gym with me today, as I knew I was going to have a heavy session, so I thought I'd rather eat before walking home past all the shops and getting tempted! Anyway, whilst eating, I got talking to one of the personal trainers there.
During the conversation it came up that I'd been going to the gym for about a year now, pretty consistently bar a few trips abroad. Here's the interesting thing though. It occurred to me that there's a mistake people make when being consistent. I suspect that this might be happening in your life.
What I realized is that I'm being consistent in going to the gym but despite being consistent and going regularly my target was wrong. My target had been to go consistently but there was no challenge, beyond going, that would help me improve. Going through the process itself doesn't necessarily give you the results you're looking for.
Think about it this way. If you have a prayer practice or meditation practice. There's a significant difference between getting the ritual itself done and when you focus in on the act itself. If you're invested in how you want to do it. If you have an aspiration for that individual act - this takes it from being a ritual to a being real act of worship.
There are many things we are probably doing as a ritual - dieting, exercise, prayer, meditation, whatever it may be. They're done habitually, but are we losing out on some of the value or benefit of what we're doing?
Whilst I've been consistent in my gym visits, the lack of challenge meant that I was missing out on something. I was missing out on improving.
It's thought that to make something habitual, it takes around 66 days. So what about the challenge that goes with it? The reason that you're doing it. How do you set a challenge to help you maintain. In my view, it has to be a lifetime thing.
So if you're being consistent, but you haven't got a challenge that goes along with it, pushing yourself to excellence, you're potentially missing out on the full benefits of your consistent acts.
I suspect that this applies to many of us. I know it applies to me.
Going forward, it's certainly something that I will be doing - adding challenge to my consistency in order to be even better.
I challenge you to do the same. Create habits that are going to serve you.
- There's a mistake people make when being consistent.
- Have consistency without an accompanying challenge means you could be missing out on the benefits.
- Create habits that are going to serve you.
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