Failure versus Consistency
You’re going to fail. You’re going to miss workouts some days. You may not get enough time to cook your meals and have to go off the plan to eat something. You may suffer from work overload and won’t be able to do anything for an entire month or so. You will be traveling for some days and taking your vacation. Instead of eating outside food in moderation, you may end up bingeing.
Losing weight and building the physique of your dreams isn’t about being perfect—it’s about consistency. Nobody is perfect (despite what some portray on social media)!
The following is an example that highlights the differences between people who do and don’t make progress toward their fitness goals in the longer run.
Let’s say there is a person named “XYZ” who has done a great job as he has set up his nutrition plan for the upcoming two-week period. His plan is simple, he’s going to eat 2,200 calories, including 150 grams of protein, each day. In the table below, I summarized his plan to only show his total calories in relation to his plan versus his execution of that plan.
I highlighted the first day (the first Saturday in green) that he failed to adhere to his nutrition plan. He struggled on this day for whatever reason, and we all struggle with our diets at times. You pick the reason.
How did that person respond?
He responded by basically quitting his diet for the next entire week (see the days after the 1st goof-up highlighted in green). He let one day of failure turn into two days of failure, then three days of failure, and so on.
“XYZ” was not consistent in following his nutrition plan. He failed on the first Saturday of this plan. That is fine! That person (and you!) are not going to be perfect and that is okay! In this example, the person was consistent in following his nutrition plan five out of 14 days (35% of the time).
His identity is that of someone who fails and is not able to get back on track very quickly. That’s why he has a give-up attitude.
How you respond to failure is going to dictate your overall success as you are trying to reach your fitness goals
“ABC” has also done a great job by having a nutrition plan for the upcoming days ahead. His plan is to eat 2,500 calories and consumes 150 grams of protein each day).
I highlighted the first day (the first Saturday in green) that he failed to adhere to his nutrition plan. How did “ABC” respond? He responded by getting right back on his nutrition plan the next day. He didn’t allow one day of failure to continue the next day.
Take a look at what happened on the second Wednesday of the second week ( highlighted in green). He again failed to follow his nutrition plan again. How did he respond to this second day of failure? He responded by getting right back on his nutrition plan the next day. Once again, he didn’t allow one day of failure to continue into the next day.
“ABC” identity is that of someone who fails occasionally but then gets back on track as soon as possible. He doesn’t allow the frustration of failing one day to disrupt his entire journey of building his optimal body. Overall, “ABC” was consistent in following his nutrition plan (85% of the time). That’s why he has a “back on track” attitude.
What is the ideal percentage of consistency in your diet to see results? I’m not going to give you an answer here. That is not what this post is about. The lesson I want you to embrace is what you’ll do when you inevitably have a bad day, a bad week, or a bad month of sticking to your plan. It could be your nutrition plan. It could be your workout plan. It could also be your food preparation strategy. The takeaway from this post is to get back on track as soon as you can and forget about your failure. It’s in the past, and now 100% of your focus is on completing your next workout, adhering to your next day’s nutrition plan, or preparing the next few days’ supplies of food. Have a plan. Execute that plan. Get back on that plan when you fail.