07 May Consistency > Intensity
Catchy, motivational phrases are gold, unless you’re feeling the burn in a workout and then you’re dished one of these phrases mid-huff when you’re already contemplating ending the workout early. So, assuming you’re not working out while reading this, we have one of those motivational phrases for you, “Consistency beats intensity seven days of the week.” That’s a bold statement right there, so let’s take a look at definitions to fact check.
Consistency: the achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.
Intensity: the quality of being intense.
Intense: of extreme force, degree, or strength.
How can one approach beat another? Well, the key here is the application, so let’s hone in on applying this to goal setting.
If you set a goal – food, fitness, financial, etc., then it’s safe to assume that for most goals, you won’t achieve it overnight with one healthy meal, one solid workout, or one day of sticking to your budget (intensity). While it would be amazing to instantly reach your goal, generally good things take time. And along with that time, there is also a need for quality daily habits (consistency) to backup your intentions.
So if new research is accurate and creating habits is actually based on the difficulty of the habit instead of a specific timeframe (such as 21 days), then repeating these habits day in and day out in place of highly restrictive eating or vigorous, body aching workouts is the way to go. That may look like having a goal of increasing fiber intake, so every lunch and dinner you consume half a plate of veggies. Three months after this change, you get a new set of bloodwork results and the proof is in the pudding. However, one day of intense plant-based living, wouldn’t have achieved the same results as the lunch and dinner veggie approach. Sorry!
The takeaway here is to identify your small, manageable goal, then create a game plan with quality daily habits to achieve your goal. Afterall, intense approaches are like flooring the pedal in your car, you might get there quicker, but that will suck the gas out of you and drain you faster than you’d like. Then you’ll be stuck and back at square one.
What is one goal that is worth the effort of creating an intentional and consistent game plan?
By Victoria Emmitt RD