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  • Consistency vs. Motivation: Which Is More Important?

    16th May 2022

    16th May 2022

    Innermost ambassador and co-founder of True Escapes retreats Dottie Fildes brings us the low-down on the differences between consistency and motivation, and how to keep the two in balance when working towards your goals. Read on for enlightenment...

     

    When working towards a goal, of any kind, you may come across barriers or obstacles that test your patience, willingness and desire. More than likely, your goal is something that requires actions that you’re generally not used to doing. If that weren’t the case, it wouldn’t be a goal because you’d already be doing it, right? 

    So how do we go about performing those actions in a linear way to achieve said goal? We’ve all heard that consistency is key, but why? For the purpose of this article I’ll refer to an exercise-based goal but the same approach can be transferred to most areas of life; relation-ships, career, health etc. Read on for my top tips to stay consistent and a little gift at the end! 

    "Freshers Week"

    I’m not referring to daily late night boozing, ending up in someone else’s room questioning what the hell happened last night… I’m talking about that immediate rush of motivation when acting on a new goal. You know what I’m talking about. That first week when you’re invincible. Alarm set nice and early, hopping out of bed and practically skipping off to the gym. You’re on fire, checking off the to-do list, then BAMN. Out of nowhere, it’s gone. Now what? A week, maybe more goes by of “why is this so damn hard?!”, “Ugh. I cannot be bothered”, or “I’m way too tired”. The issue here is not a lack of desire, you still want to achieve your goals but the reliance of motivation. This is often aligned with potentially way-to-high expectations. 

    Be S.M.A.R.T.

    A way to determine whether your expectations are aligned with your lifestyle is to ensure they are “SMART”. Be Specific, make them Measurable, are they Achievable and Realistic? Give them a Time frame before you re-assess again and adjust if necessary. Break your goal down into bitesize chunks so that the reward and feeling of success is more frequent. Rather than focussing solely on the end goal, you now have mini-wins along the way. That in itself is motivating (an additional bonus), but it will also ensure you’re on the right track! 

    Turn Up For Yourself

    This one is HUGE. You can have all the help in the world; a PT, a coach, a private chef, a therapist, but they aren’t going to do the work for you. The gritty stuff, when it gets hard, it’s YOU that has to put the shift in. On the hardest days when you really don’t want to, they’re the important ones. They’re the ones that install the positive life-changing habits. Show up, do what you have to do to get it done. Inaction is Action; If nothing changes, nothing will change. 

    Manage Expectations

    Life is full of ebbs and flows, peaks and troughs. There are going to be days you wake up full of beans, others not so much. It is imperative that your actions and expectations are replicative of this. Expecting perfection every single time will only drive you into a heap of stress and frustration. Referring back to the above point of just showing up, understand that perhaps this training session or this meal or this meeting isn’t going to be absolutely perfect but it is in some way an improvement and it is action. 

    Non-Negotiables

    Without realising it, we have some already installed non-negotiables. All different yet reflective of our personal morals, beliefs and passions. If you were to look at your goal and think about the bare minimum of what you’d have to do every day in order to get there, what would they be? Make these EASY. It could be something like: 10 minutes of fresh air, drinking 2 litres of water, 15 minutes of screen less time before bed. They are just small examples. Again, make them “SMART” but so insignificant to your day-to-day life that you don’t necessarily have to factor them in to your diary or it be-comes an added stress to your day. Start with small incremental habits that build to something a bit bigger and more impactful. Remember, they are non-negotiable. Every. Single. Day. 

    7 Day Working Week

    Sounds pretty hideous I know but trust me on this. Imagine if you didn’t ever get the Sunday Scaries ever again?! That dreaded “Smunday” feeling as you think of all the stuff you have to do when Monday comes back around. The thing with consistency is, it will become second-nature, like brushing your teeth, or getting dressed. The more you do it, they less effort it requires. By drawing your mini-goals through the weekend, you’re staying accountable. Better yet, there’ll be way less “damage control” required by Monday. Win-Win! 

    Accountability Buddy

    Things are always better with friends right?! More fun and then in turn, easier. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who not necessarily have the same specific goal but the same interests will drive you forwards. 

    Now for that, I have just the thing… 

    Introducing TRUE Escapes: Let us show you how with our four main pillars: Train, Replenish, Unwind and Engage. With these pillars, you can stay consistent, stay accountable AND have a great time in the process. We have an Escape coming up in June and as a dedicated Innermost Insider we’d love to offer you a 10% discount! All you have to do is quote INNERMOST10 in the registration box. To find out more, click here.

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    We sat down with Innermost Insider and mindful wellness advocate Anj Magecha, who shares how she stays on track with new goals and habits whilst remaining true to herself, and what to do when faced with setbacks. Hey Anj! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Hey everyone, I’m Anj! I’m a 24 year old wellness geek working in consulting. I’m all about navigating life in London, trying to find a balance in my approach to nutrition, exercise and socialising, and improving my mental health and personal development 1% at a time. (And hopefully helping other people do the same!)  How did you become an Innermost Insider and what’s your goal as an ambassador for the brand? I’ve been a Innermost user since I joined F45 TCR in 2018, I was new to the gym, vegan, and in need of some serious protein intake to pack on muscle— at a time where most vegan protein powders were a bit rubbish! 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It's about not letting fear or doubt hold me back, but instead trusting in my own strength and abilities to overcome any obstacle even when it feels like it’s too difficult, or unfair. To be resolute requires a strong sense of self-discipline and self-control, as well as a clear vision of what you want to achieve. It requires a sense of resilience and adaptability, and the understanding that things sometimes get worse when they get better. Resolution has showed up for me in my journey with eating disorder recovery and weight restoration, with difficult conversations with therapists, even with holding boundaries with friends when sometimes it feels easier to let things slide. It’s not just about the big things! Ultimately, resolution is about living a life that is authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling. It's about having the conviction to pursue my passions and make a positive impact on the world around me. How do you go about setting goals in your life? So this is an interesting one. I suck at New Years resolutions. Or so I thought. With a background in disordered eating and a late diagnosis of ADHD I can retrospectively look back at some of my new years resolutions and understand why they felt so insurmountable.  To keep it brief, they were generally unrealistic, overly restrictive or prescriptive, and boring. And to be honest, sometimes goals aren’t going to be exciting.  I’ve read quite extensively around habit forming and achievement and currently quite like the 12 week year format (it’s a book, decent read but for a short version there’s a video on my TikTok!) The 12 week year has really resonated with me - it's all about focusing on what's most important and taking consistent, small steps towards achieving your goals over the course of three months, and then re-evaluating. So a year long goal gets broken into 4 three-month goals, then 12 one-month goals, and so on, until the minutiae of daily habits. It helps you focus on what matters most It keeps you accountable It allows for flexibility It helps you make progress faster Do you ever struggling with sticking to your goals and resolutions? How do you overcome setbacks? Overcoming setbacks in pursuit of your goals can be tough, but it's also an essential part of the journey towards success. Every challenge and obstacle presents an opportunity to learn, grow, and become stronger. I am a very emotionally driven person, when I get sad or anxious or I’m face with a negative life event, my goals are quite easily derailed. So for me it’s important to allow myself time to recuperate after a major setback, as it can be emotionally and physically draining to deal with challenges and obstacles. Taking a break to rest and recharge helps refocus and regain energy and motivation.I practice self-compassion and am not afraid to reach out for support when things feel overwhelming. I’m also a strong believer in setting boundaries for myself to protect my time and energy. Naturally some setbacks are less personal, things like the pandemic or tube strikes. In those cases I try to keep things in perspective: an old manager at lululemon used to say, at the end of the day, it’s just black stretchy pants and I apply that thinking to most areas of my life. Don't let setbacks define who you are or what you're capable of. Instead, use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Are there certain times where you feel more motivated to set goals or resolutions? Naturally times like birthdays and new years have loads of messaging around goals and time passing, but in my experience I find birthday goals and new years goals are just that. They exist until I feel less festive and then things get difficult. I find the goals that come to me in the other 75% of the year are actually more in line with what makes me feel happy and healthy. The 12 week year method really helps facilitate this for me. Furthermore according to a study published in the journal Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, people are more likely to succeed in their goals when they start working towards them immediately, rather than waiting for a specific time (like the new year) to begin. When we set a goal, we often have a burst of motivation and energy that can drive us to take initial steps towards achieving it. By waiting to start working on our goals, we risk losing that initial motivation and energy, which can make it harder to get started. So why wait for the new year to make changes that will make you happy? What advice would you give to others about setting goals and resolutions for the future? Check in with yourself to make sure your goals are your own and not what you think people expect from you. And don’t be afraid to set goals that people aren’t going to see happen, there have been points in my life where my goal has been to get out of bed every day for a week and they were probably more difficult and transformative than any weight loss or fitness goal I’ve set for myself.  Do you have any important personal resolutions for the next year? I have some goals from my previous 12 week cycle, including the turf games in summer 2023 hopefully, which naturally lends itself to some commitments around training style and frequency.  I think saying no more often is a big one for me. Not to everything by any means but I do a lot of things that I think I ‘should’ do and I usually go in eyes wide open knowing it’ll leave me not feeling great. So hopefully this year I’ll have the resolve to just say no straight off the bat!  That's a wrap! To keep up with Anj, check out her Instagram and TikTok. Read more