Consistency and Change are the Stuff of Life

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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle
“Consistency is the hallmark of the unimaginative.” ― Oscar Wilde

To be consistent, or to not be consistent.  That is the question.  Actually, this is the cop-out question.

The answer to the cop-out is: Be consistent in effort but not consistent in method.

What does that mean?  It means in order to produce the effects of your dreams you must work consistently toward them.  But change your game along the way to suit the challenge.

I am the first to admit that consistency is one of my greatest challenges.  But I also know that nothing of worth will ever materialize without consistent effort toward its attainment.

For example: I want to gain muscle.  I am in my mid-forties now.  I knew all along that after age 30 muscle mass deteriorates quickly.  But I had no idea of the reality of that statement until now.  My muscle is receding like a coastal waterline just before a tsunami.

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Okay.  I have been known to be a little hard on myself sometimes. However…

“…NOOOOO,” I say! I need to build my muscles!  If I had been consistently working out throughout my adult years, I wouldn’t be in this scrawny position. To the contrary of what I know I should do, I get on a “kick” and go to the gym for six weeks, quit for a year, then go back for six weeks, quit, etc… Suddenly, I went from 21 to 46 years of age.  What happened to the last 25 years of potentially consistent workout time?  When my patients come in for a visit and say to me, “Damn, Dr. Claire.  You need to eat a burger,” I know I’m in trouble.

I have once again completed the 6th week of going to the gym, and I am once again starting to see the results I need. I am also getting that familiar, “ugh; it’s raining out and I have a lot to do,” muttering in the back of my mind.

Let me tell you: the back of my mind has never had good advice for me.

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Bottom line: if I am not consistent now, I am going to follow the fate of many who never consistently did what they needed for themselves.  I could very easily live the remaining 20, 30, 40, 50 years of my life in constant pain, tottering around with the help of a cane or walker.

What’s more, as a chiropractor, I make my living with my body…so what the %&$* am I thinking? Get to work, lady!  Working out is part and parcel with your job!

We all make our living with our bodies.  Isn’t sitting in a chair hammering away at a computer using our bodies? Isn’t truck driving, sales calls, tending to bedsides, running behind children and their activities, international travel and meetings, surveying, contracting, cleaning house, sculpting and piloting using our bodies?

I can’t go to the gym, work out a little, skip years, go back and work out a little, and expect results that are lasting.  I’m wasting my time not being consistent, and if I am not consistent I’m going to die in pain and suffering and as a burden to my husband and daughter.  Nice way to ruin more lives than my own.

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The same goes with eating right.  Eating right for some reason has never been a problem for me, but for many of my patients, it is a real problem.  85% of people who lose weight gain it back within a year.  What do the 15% who keep it off know that 85% of people don’t?

Here’s the answer: once it’s off, you have to develop consistent patterns of eating well in order to keep it off.

The weight loss industry is a multi-billion dollar industry.  According to Marketdata, this year it is up 1.7% to $61 billion dollars.

Let me repeat that.  $61 billion dollars (click here for a link to PRweb’s article on the matter).

Why so high?  Because 85% of people who want to lose weight are not consistent in habit with keeping the weight off. There are big dollars in stop-and-start weight loss efforts.

The only magic formula to a healthy life is consistency in effort.  Once again, I refer back to The Nine Essentials of Health as a guideline for what we should do every day to be healthy.

Nine Essentials of Good HealthNow…here’s a bit of a twist.  Be consistent in effort, but not in product.

This is what the skeptics of consistency mean.  Your body gets used to a routine and will not change in accordance with your will unless you change your tactics along the way.  If you work out using the same weight in the same order for more than two weeks, your body acclimates to the routine and ceases to improve.  You “plateau.”  Similarly, if you eat the same meals every day, your body acclimates to them and ceases its progress.

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This is a universal truth that is applicable to every area of life. The only thing that grows in a stagnate environment are pathogens and parasites.  You can apply this adage to your financial situation, the growth of your business, your relationships with others, your relationship with God and spirit, the seasons, artistic efforts, and your body.

What’s more, we need to cultivate growth and change in all areas of our lives.  Dan Miller, an excellent business coach, made up a diagram of the different areas we need to cultivate in order to live a full and vital life.  He says (and I agree) that we must grow equally in the following areas in order to make a positive impact in our lives and in the world: spiritual, career, financial, social, family, physical, and personal development (click here to download your own copy).

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We must all be consistent in our efforts toward our goals, but must not get caught in a set routine.  If we do, we become inconsequential.  We become insignificant.  We become expendable.  Nature does not need us anymore, except as food for the living. We stagnate, cripple, die, and make room for more vital people and ideas.

Okay.  I am off to the gym.  I am on week 7. Hooray for me!

 

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About Dr. Claire

CLAIRE FITZPATRICK is a Doctor of Chiropractic in New York City. Her specialty is helping women and men aged 30-55 eliminate signs and symptoms of early aging. She is owner of JOY! Health and Bodyworks, LLC a holistic, integrative network of holistic practitioners who specialize in health issues related to early aging. She is the author of the ebook, "The Nine Essentials of Health: A Must Have Guide for Healthy Living."

Posted on 06/03/2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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