This year has proven to me over and over again, that consistency over intensity will help you succeed at weight loss. Every. Single. Day.
My Running Streak
100 days ago, I decided to run outdoors every single day. I quickly found an entire community of ‘streakers‘! There are people who have been tracking a daily run for years! I already enjoyed running and exercise, but telling the world on Instagram that I was going to start an outdoor running streak, with no days off, kept me accountable on a level I didn’t think was possible.
So, it began. Every day I run outside, take a photo, and share to my instagram stories the pace and distance of the run that day. I just hit my daily streak of 100 days this week, and I can’t believe how quickly it went.
The longer I kept the streak alive, the easier it got. When you tell yourself you will exercise 3 times per week, it’s too easy to say, “I can do this tomorrow, and still hit my 3X this week.” The problem is, it’s easier to justify phoning it in, with every internal conversation of procrastination.
But, with a streak, there is no excuses. With a streak, it’s today, or the streak is broken. And before you are concerned that you’ll burn out, be aware that a streak doesn’t have to say anything about the intensity. My paces are pathetic. Sometimes, I’m walking. But I’m still getting out and logging those miles.
Streaks have recently become popular in the tech world as well. My teenagers create streaks where they are required to message someone every single day through snapchat. They’ll even keep a streak alive when they go on vacation, by handing it over to someone else to continue. That’s how dedicated they are to NOT breaking their streaks.
Other apps encourage streaking. MyFitnessPal announces to me through their feed which of my friends have logged in for a specific number of days in a row. And there are apps dedicated to heath streaks you can download from to your phone, and get badges and encouragement from app creators.
Personally, the accountability of Instagram was much stronger than a badge from My Fitness Pal. Especially, as I got close to day 100! Many people were anxiously watching to see if I’d make it.
Mastery Follows Consistency
To further support this theory, check out this article about procrastinating! After all, every health habit you procrastinate doing, brings you further away from your weight loss goals. Anyway, this article describes how Jerry Seinfeld used a wall calendar and a marker to have a writing streak (he called it a chain), and how it encouraged him to write every day, so that he didn’t break the chain.
James Clear said: “So often, we assume that excellence requires a monumental effort and that our lofty goals demand incredible doses of willpower and motivation. But really, all we need is dedication to small, manageable tasks. Mastery follows consistency.“
What Health Habits Streak can you start?
So, if you think a heath habit streak or chain can work for you in helping you meet your goals, here are some DAILY habits that are possible to do daily, and will move you towards your goals as well.
- Exercise daily- any intensity
- Track your food daily.
- Plan your meals for the day in MyFitnessPal before you eat.
- Write in a journal daily.
- Drink 64 ounces of water a day
- Get to bed by 10pm each night
- Eat 5 fruits and veggies per day.
- Commit to 3 meals, and no snacks! (check out my article, Stop Snacking To Lose Weight here)
- Limit screen time to a measureable amount.
While I’d like to download an app for tracking, being on a mobile device doesn’t give me the mental reward I desire. Instead, I love the idea like Seinfeld of having a big wall calendar and starting my chain! My commitment today is to see how many days I can log without snacking!