How we can form good habits and get consistency within our training


Posted by on 1 May 2016 | 0 Comments

 Aristole wrote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.”


If we look at this quote, to form a habit, we need an action and consistency.  For anybody who knows me, in a past life,  I was a bricklayer by trade, so let's use my old trade as an analogy. If we call an action, our building blocks and consistency is our mortar. We start off motivated, we set ourselves goals to lose weight, get our next belt, compete in a competition etc.  We go and do a massive training session, let's say that's one big building block. A week later, we do another couple of training sessions, that would be some small building blocks. A couple of weeks later, we do a massive training session again, that's a big block again.  We start to see some results, we're beginning to build a wall and things are looking good.  Life then throws a curve ball as it often does and a big wind comes and blows our wall down. Looking at our blocks on the floor, we struggle to get the motivation to start building that wall again. Now let's say we do a couple of small training sessions in a week and then a couple next week, we start getting a series of small bricks down. We are also starting to get  consistency, our layer of mortar. We then keep training, laying our bricks down, laying down our mortar (consistency) and we get a nice strong wall. Life then throws its curve ball, that wind comes along but our wall stays strong because we have that consistency!!! We have that strong wall which makes it much easier for us to continue to build our wall



"When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren't the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation".   Arsene Wenger


As much as I hate to quote Mr Wenger (being a West Ham fan), he is right.  I go to a little place in Spain called Peniscola every year for a week. I immerse myself in the language and every year I come home speaking a little bit more of the lingo. Now I have been visiting there for several years, you'd think I'd be pretty good speaking Spanish.... Ahhhhh no, why? Or porque? The reason is that I have no consistency.  I have gone to Spain and laid down a massive brick but I have no mortar. Now if I was to learn some Spanish every day for an hour and once a week go to a Spanish speaking event, I would learn so much more and become a better Spanish speaker.

To sum up, consistency is king! Here are some tips for forming good habits within your training:


Set yourself goals:

Have a target, set yourself a goal and set yourself realistic, achievable goals.  For example, for the next 30 days, I'm going to attend 7 training sessions, set a visible timetable whereby you can tick off every time you attend a session.  By doing this, you are making yourself accountable and you are giving yourself a visual reminder of the habit you are trying to achieve.

I've seen people come in all super motivated, which is great! They train every session for a week, then you don't see them for the next three weeks, remember that brick wall.


Make appointments to train:

A little bit like above, but have your training nights scheduled in to your diary. Too many people let every little thing get in the way of training and before they know it, it's been months since they've been to a training session. And yes, I know life does get in the way sometimes and that can't be helped. But if every training night something gets in the way and you can't go, you should really ask yourself, is this something I enjoy doing?


Reward and remind:

Set yourself reminders that training is on and when you complete a session don't be shy,  congratulate yourself because you deserve it.  You've managed to get off that sofa and do something positive to help achieve your goals.


Associate yourself with like minded people:

If you were to give up alcohol, you wouldn't surround yourself with alcoholics.  You want to surround yourself with positivity and friends that are going to support you in your new habit.  You'll be surprised how friends can sometimes get jealous when they see you achieving your goals.




We have hard wired pathways to do what we've always done. Think about it, how many times do you respond to a question or situation with the same response. For example, every time I'm stressed or thinking, I always rub my chin like I'm Gandalf, it's the same response every time. You break bad/unwanted habits by interrupting them, breaking the pattern. So let's interrupt that habit of sitting at home, drinking beer, eating biscuits with a cup of tea. Let's form some new positive good ones that are going to get you moving and help you achieve your goals.


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