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Motivation vs. Consistency: Which One Helps You Build Lifelong Habits?

by Editorial
Motivation vs. Consistency: Which One Helps You Build Lifelong Habits?

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Motivation vs. Consistency

n the battle of motivation vs. consistency, which one wins? Whereas each may be key parts of your well being and health journey, we at Lindywell consider one is healthier at serving to you construct lifelong habits than the opposite. 

The distinction between these two might not be so apparent on the floor, so let’s break down the nuances between motivation vs. consistency. Plus I’ll share why one in every of them is extra necessary for constructing lifelong habits than the opposite.

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What Is Motivation?

We’ve all heard the time period motivation, however what does it actually imply? Effectively, Frontiers in Psychology defines motivation as a need or need to do one thing pushed by a way of intrinsic (inner) satisfaction or the hope of an extrinsic (exterior) reward. 

Whenever you really feel motivated, dopamine is launched into your mind. This then will get you to go do the exercise, end the undertaking, or full no matter activity is in entrance of you. Think about motivation the spark that lights your fireplace paired with the keenness to take motion. 

Motivation to eliminate nagging neck and again ache is what bought me to take my first Pilates class and that second of motivation modified my life. Nevertheless, it’s not what’s stored me displaying up on my mat daily (properly, most days) for greater than a decade. That was the results of consistency.

What Is Consistency?  

If motivation is the preliminary spark, it’s the dedication to consistency (whether or not you’re feeling motivated or not) is what sustains that long-term momentum. Consistency is required to construct sustainable habits so that you try this factor (I.E. figuring out, consuming nutritious meals, taking a each day stroll) no matter whether or not you’re “within the temper” or not. 

Consistency requires focus, stamina, and perseverance. You need to be keen to beat the resistance till the motion turns into as automated as brushing your enamel. In the end, it turns into part of your new id.

This consistency is essential as a result of it takes time to show one thing right into a lifelong behavior. Whereas it differs for everybody, on common, a brand new behavior will kind after 6 – 8 weeks of constant adherence. You might not be motivated for all six of these weeks, however when you’re keen to point out up anyway. That dedication to consistency will get you to the end line.

Motivation vs. Consistency: Which Is Extra Necessary? 

Whenever you’re in that zone of excessive motivation, you may really feel unstoppable. You’re energized, formidable, and prepared for what’s forward. That’s as a result of motivation has been discovered to boost ideation, efficiency, innovation, and self-efficacy for a time period. The important thing phrase: for a time period. 

That is great, and we will all admire a great second of motivation, can’t we? It’s when the pantry will get reorganized or we lastly placed on these new mountain climbing boots and hit the path! As euphoric (and useful) as this state may be within the second, motivation hinges in your emotional state—and that fluctuates.

Motivation shouldn’t be regular or dependable sufficient by itself to create a everlasting behavior. That is the place consistency is available in.

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The Energy of Consistency

Let’s say you wish to flip each day motion right into a behavior as automated as brushing your enamel. One thing you do as a part of your day—you don’t even query it more often than not. Your motivation to start out could be to coach for a race that you just’ll run with a buddy. This will ignite your need to start out figuring out at first, however what if… 

  • One thing sudden throws your coaching schedule off?
  • You end the race however your motivation for each day motion drops to zero?
  • You’re not working as quick as you’d like, so that you begin feeling much less excited to do it.

A dedication to consistency retains you displaying up in these bouts of low motivation as a result of it’s not a short lived feeling—it’s a selection you make, a dedication you maintain. 

Earlier than we maintain going, nonetheless, I wish to make one thing clear. I don’t need you to confuse consistency with forcing or getting it “good.” Forcing or striving for “perfection” in a exercise or with another motion can create resentment and even result in damage or giving up altogether.

Consistency is about taking some motion, any motion, towards what you need. Within the instance of coaching for a race, consistency means you’re taking time to carry weights or stretch for quarter-hour when you don’t have the power for a whole coaching run. It’s displaying up for your self over and over, in no matter manner is supportive that day. 

For me, this implies selecting a exercise that matches my power stage and wishes for the day. Generally that’s a difficult, 30-minute routine. On different days it’s simply 10 minutes of stretching. It doesn’t matter what the motion is, however that I’m taking the time for my thoughts and physique every day.

3 Methods to Harness Consistency

Consistency is tough for all of us. I struggled for years to stay with a constant exercise routine despite the fact that I all the time had the most effective of intentions. The excellent news is, all it takes is a number of small adjustments to harness the facility of consistency to construct the lifelong habits that help you thru all seasons. 

Listed below are a number of of these methods that can assist you maintain displaying up, even when motivation wanes.

1. Start with small, incremental actions.

As you construct a brand new behavior, it’s tempting to intention as excessive as doable, however this may backfire. Whenever you’re over-ambitious and tackle an excessive amount of, burnout comes knocking. Earlier than it, the motivation has fizzled out and also you’re not taking any motion in any respect. 

Scale the behavior all the way down to the best micro-actions you may consider. For instance, if you wish to apply mindfulness each day, begin by reminding your self to take three sluggish, intentional breaths a minimum of as soon as every day.      

This is the reason a lot of our exercises for Lindywell are 15-20 minutes. We wish to make it straightforward to make time to point out up in your mat. You don’t want 60 minutes to provide your physique the motion and nourishment it wants! That is the expertise of so many Lindywell members, together with Jordan, who shared:

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“Lindywell’s exercises are various, attention-grabbing, and efficient. I really like that the majority are below 25 minutes, so I can really make time many mornings to rise up and work out earlier than my children rise up. My relationship with my physique is healthier than it has been for years as a result of I do know that I’m taking good care of myself in a sustainable manner.”

2. Pair the brand new behavior with an current one. 

Consistency hinges on repetition. One of the best ways to recollect to repeat that motion is with habit-stacking. To do that, you join the brand new motion to an current routine that’s already second nature to you. 

Utilizing the identical instance of mindfulness, with behavior stacking, you may do these three sluggish breaths as you get in your automotive on the finish of the day or whenever you get up every morning. Take heed to my behavior stacking podcast episode to study extra about this!

3. Hyperlink the behavior to a optimistic affiliation. 

On the most simple stage, a behavior will take root when a stimulus-response affiliation types in your mind. In different phrases, I do X, and Y occurs. That is simplest if it’s a optimistic affiliation. 

If we proceed with the mindfulness instance, you might discover you’re feeling much less anxious after you’re taking three deep breaths as soon as a day. Whenever you acknowledge this, you’re inspired to maintain doing it as a result of anxiousness doesn’t make you’re feeling good, and deep respiratory does.

Earlier than it, these three breaths flip right into a 5-minute each day meditation after which some days you even do a 20-minute each day breathwork session. Sooner or later you understand you haven’t felt anxious in weeks, regardless of some current obstacles and challenges. That’s the facility of consistency.

Consistency Is Important for Constructing Lifelong Habits

Lifelong habits show you how to navigate every season, it doesn’t matter what you’re going by. On the subject of motivation vs. consistency, the latter is extra highly effective in serving to you construct these. Whereas motivation is a wonderful start line, that alone gained’t show you how to construct habits that show you how to handle your self in each season, as motivation naturally comes and goes. In my ebook, consistency beats motivation each time!

One method to apply being constant is to begin a 14-day free trial of Lindywell. Our Pilates exercises vary from 15 to half-hour and are good for inexperienced persons and skilled practitioners alike! Join in the present day to get on the spot entry and see when you may be constant for 14-days straight.

Lindywell is essentially the most superb program I’ve ever taken half in. I’ve stayed on monitor for five days per week since I started nearly two years in the past. That is as a result of many choices accessible on the positioning, the each day selection and suppleness of doing this system in my schedule. It actually is genius. – Anne

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