Consistency vs Intensity

Did it ever happen to you that started out something with great motivation and excitement but all of it fizzled out over the coming weeks or best case scenario, months?  If you aren’t lying, I am sure all of us have been through this. Maybe always. You would believe me when I say that there is a similar pattern of actions all this while for everyone and that is, a) high motivation and excitement before you start. b) Making intense plans to make things work. c) That results in intense activity. d) Which in return brings in either fatigue, burn out or injury. e) And thus you prefer doing nothing at all. That’s exactly how we are back at step 1. This pattern will happen with everything new you wish to start or achieve, maybe dieting, saving money, getting into shape etc. The enthusiasm that gets us started becomes our worst enemy. Now in this entire pattern, what was that one thing which according to you collapsed the entire planning? The intention? No. The planning? No. The high-intensity? Definitely a yes. Starting out with high intensity and unrealistic expectations from ourselves never goes a long way. 

Now let’s look at an alternate pattern. One that is practiced by the leading performers, athletes and artists. The pattern is simple, choose consistency vs intensity. A philosophy that says it’s ideal to kickstart with a routine that is practical, easy and most importantly enjoyable. Because the more easy and enjoyable it is, the less the chances of burnout and fatigue are. And hence you can stick to them over the long run.  And starting out easy does not mean you won’t make progress. It’s just that it will be gradual and incremental. And the results will be long-lasting. Not only this, it’s a given fact that your progress will tend to compound and accelerate over time.

Look at the current scenario of your life and form a routine accordingly. One that you can stick to in the long run for promising results. So, avoid forming intense routines that shall only result in burnout and are not practical. For example, instead of exercising for 6 days, for starters, you choose to exercise for two days of the week. And on those days instead of taking a head-on challenge, you start with simple walking. Eventually with, the consistency you do not just reach the target of working 5 days a week but also increase your challenge of working out gradually. This way you are not just consistent but also enjoy the entire flow. And notice the pattern? Consistent. Easy. Doable. 

Not to forget, you will always be inclined towards choosing the former pattern because it creates an oasis of quick results. However, this is exactly when you have to tell your mind that it is not the reality. And shall only lead to the opposite. Short-term intensity is not equivalent to long-term results. Long-term success is what we have set out to attain and consistency is the chariot that shall lead you to it.

A lot of us want to achieve our grand vision but in a short period. This itself is an unrealistic expectation. When we fail in achieving the same, we become disappointed and term ourselves as failures which we are not. Whenever we set a goal for ourselves, we lay out a plan but forget the most crucial factor and that is consistency! And it always takes a backseat as intensity is what we are attracted to. While on the other hand consistency isn’t as glamorous and exciting. And most importantly, it is not easy! Consistency not just helps in your goals but also helps maintaining your important relationships. 

Now that we are convinced of the importance of consistency, let us discuss ways in which one can stay consistent. 

  • To start with, create realistic goals for yourself ones that are doable, easy and enjoyable.-
  • Based on your goals, form a routine that will help you achieve the same. –
  • Whenever you achieve something, make sure you reward yourself for getting things done. –
  • Remember that mistakes and failures are a part of the process so dont let them stop you. –
  • As important it is to stay consistent, it is also crucial to take time off and recharge yourself. 
  • Take full responsibility of your tasks.
  •  It is important to remember time and again that consistency is associated with patience. You wont be seeing the results overnight. 
  • Get past all those negative thoughts as they are good for nothing. 
  • And lastly, build your willpower by small things to see promising results.

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