Effort and Consistency

The dictionary defines consistent as: “unchanging in nature, standard, or effect over time, as in adhering to a certain pattern or way of thinking.” When you wake up and brush your teeth everyday, you are consistently adhering to the daily teeth brushing pattern. 

Effort is defined as, “a conscious exertion of power, hard work or a serious attempt.” In order to consciously exert power, we have to make up our mind to do something. We then have to act on that decision and make it happen. Effort implies that the job is not going to be easy, and it may even require some unpleasant experiences. 

Therefore consistent effort is the act of habitually and consciously exerting ourselves toward a positive goal.

When it comes to exercise, we at ATF observe that often when people skip workouts, they will feel the need to make up for the missed effort by trying to overdo it. They will even ask their trainers to “punish” them. Not only is this an ineffective attempt to make up for the lost workouts, but also a person is more likely to get injured by doing this. Instead, applying consistent effort is always the best choice when trying to achieve a goal.

To accomplish anything of value one must apply consistent effort towards solving the problem. Whether you’re trying to climb a mountain, write a book, change a habit, or lose 15 pounds, results come through consistent effort. For someone trying to quit smoking, for example, they will likely need to make many attempts. They will likely experience repeated failures. But studies have shown that the difference between those who are able to eventually quit and those who don’t is consistent effort. The same is true for the marathon runner. Each training run prepares them more for crossing the 26.2 mile finish line. The writer writes a few pages every day. Eventually our big goals are realized over time through many small but consistent efforts.

Therefore to achieve, we first must decide on a goal, then come up with a realistic plan with doable steps. Then most importantly, we must establish a level of effort that we can maintain consistently. To complete the marathon, one decides to compete months in advance then follows a specific running schedule designed by experts. Alternately, if we want to lose weight we establish our diet plans, and buy and plan our meals for the week. Over time, we see progress. When it comes to improving our fitness, start with setting small achievable goals like two to three light workouts in per week. Maintaining that level of consistency for a month or so makes real progress. Once you are in the groove you can consider “punishing” yourself, but at that point, why would you want to?

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