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September 28·5 min read

Unlocking Consistency Part 1: Defining consistency

From the definition of consistency to strategies that turn ideas into repeatable actions.

When it comes to achieving most things worth striving for, the difference between success and a lifetime spent wondering “what if” is consistency. Reaching the pinnacle of your profession, creating your masterpiece, or shedding a few stubborn pounds isn’t a matter of just flipping a switch or catching a lucky break. It’s about putting in a sustained, disciplined effort over time so you can find yourself in a position to succeed when it counts. 

Though it’s easy to understand consistency on a basic level, applying a consistent effort day in and day out can feel daunting for many who embark on their health and wellness journey. Just look at the fact that 80% of people who set New Year’s resolutions give up by the start of February. We know what we need to do. We know why it matters to us. What we don’t always know is how to keep doing what it takes long enough to see the results we want. 

So what’s the reason for this consistency conundrum? Whether on TV or social media, you don’t have to look hard for examples of people pushing fast results with minimal effort. Even if you see through the fad diets, miracle cures, or wacky exercise gadgets, it’s still all too easy to absorb the belief that any plan that can’t deliver visible results in weeks or even days isn’t worth sticking to. 

While it’s obviously important to make sure any exercise program is properly oriented towards your goals, the harsh truth is that most of the time, it’s not the plan that fails — it’s the person who fails to adhere to the plan. There’s often more than one contributing factor to inconsistency, and sometimes one issue can lead to another. It may start with impatience in the face of slow progress, and without the right frame of mind, a good support system, and the flexibility to push past excuses, it’s all too easy to feel like putting in a consistent effort is more trouble than it’s worth. 

So what does it take to make steady progress towards your goals? What does real consistency look like? And how can you create the right set of circumstances to set yourself up for sustainable success? Those are all questions we’ll answer in our Unlocking Consistency series, which begins right here and right now. By the time it’s over, you’ll have an excellent idea of not only the benefits of a consistent approach to health, fitness, and nutrition, but some of the subtle ways you can break down bad habits, excise your excuses, and put your mind on a consistent path to wherever it is you want to go. But first, it’s time to turn to the dictionary. 

The many meanings of consistency

Consistent habits are built step by step. For our purposes, the first step is to truly break down the meaning of consistency, so we can understand its component parts.

Over at Dictionary.com, consistency has four definitions: 

  1. Steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, or form.

  2. Agreement, harmony, or compatibility, especially correspondence or uniformity among the parts of a complex thing.

  3. The condition of cohering or holding together and retaining form; solidity or firmness.

  4. A degree of density, firmness, or viscosity.

Achieving consistency starts by operating with a vision in mind. Essentially, it’s the same process as setting a New Year’s resolution, but making it as actionable as possible. In the case of fitness, your guiding principle can be as straightforward as “working out and eating right will take me to where I want to go with my fitness.” Choosing your principle is easy, but the adherence is the real sticking point for some. Steadfast adherence to that guiding principle can mean taking the time to work out even on busy days, or staying on top of your nutrition even when travel might offer a ready-made excuse. We’ll delve into what that looks like, and how you can cultivate that adherence as you go. 

Consistency is also about making sure your efforts are harmonious and compatible with your goals, so that each individual action is part of a uniform effort that moves you towards what you’re after — especially with something complex like health and fitness. Even though you may feel like you’re performing consistently just by going to the gym and going through the motions, real consistency is a matter of making sure that what you do actually fits with what it takes to get results. Sometimes that process can benefit from the guidance of a personal trainer. But no matter which route you choose to take, a well-rounded plan will not only help you attack your goals from every angle, it can also keep things fresh so you can keep coming back to what works. 

As that third definition suggests, consistency centers on retaining your form to stay solid and hold firm. In practice, that means flexibility is your friend. While achieving true consistency isn’t a matter of just doing anything and expecting to get to where you want to go, it does mean controlling what you can control and doing something even when it feels like circumstances are stacked against you. It might mean sneaking away to the hotel gym to squeeze a few lifts while traveling, or making the best food choices out of whatever’s available rather than using the lack of control as an excuse to go crazy at the buffet. You don’t need to be perfect to make progress, and sometimes consistency is about maintaining momentum rather than making huge leaps. Over time, building healthy habits will sustain you regardless of your environment. 

While that last definition feels like it might better describe molasses or motor oil than your workout plan, there’s still something you can take away from it: the importance of a firm resolve. Moving consistently towards your fitness goals manifests as physical action, but willing your body to do what you know what you need to do requires mental fortitude. If acting consistently didn’t require any thought or any willpower, well, you probably wouldn’t need to read this right now. Staying consistent will inevitably mean warding off excuses, persevering in the face of setbacks, and holding firm even when progress isn’t apparent.

In Part 2 of our Unlocking Consistency series we will dive into avoiding the inputs of inconsistency so you can steer clear of them and build sustainable habits. Stay tuned as we continue this series that will help you live a healthier life and give you the keys to Unlocking Consistency!


If you’re focused on a more consistent approach to fitness, adding a personal trainer to your support system can be a solid first step. By translating your ideas into workout plans made up of smaller steps, a Future coach can help you move from ideas to actions. Their exercise expertise and motivation mastery can help you cultivate consistent exercise and nutrition habits that are built around who you are and flexible enough for how you live. They’re always in reach, keeping you accountable to your new habits while putting you in the right frame of mind to recognize success and stay focused on what you can control. With a Future coach, you’ll move a little closer to creating consistent habits you can be proud of every single day.

Take that first step today and reward yourself with a discount off your first month when you sign up.

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