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Once in Awhile Doesn’t Work (Hint: Being Consistent Does)

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by Angela Gallardo in Articles

I am not a morning person by nature. (Who truly is?)

In fact, a previous night-owl tendency was one of the main causes of my poor health.

I love the evening. Dark + quiet + herbal tea. I know all you moms can relate.

The problem with not using dark hours for what they’re made for (sleeping) is that you’ve got to make those hours up somewhere. Unfortunately for me, I was born incapable of sleeping in daylight. The sun would rise just hours after I’d fallen asleep; I’d be awake for good and more than a little cranky. Repeat this for a few nights, then I’d try to “catch up” by getting 10-12 hours of sleep (with the help of a little NyQuil).

Compound this situation over 5 years and you’re left with insomnia, a lot of exhaustion, and a pretty much broken circadian rhythm.

Does it stop there? Of course not.

I was not immune to the sleep-loss trickle-down effect that brought hormone imbalance, intense food cravings, and an overall unenthusiastic attitude about life.

Nearly 3 years ago, I decided to make some big changes.

Yes, I did decide to stop self-sabotaging. I did decide to commit fully to Paleo. And I did decide to get more sleep by going to bed earlier. But it was a more profound decision that made all of these changes possible.

I decided to choose consistency.

I tossed out my persistent cynical attitude (“all THOSE people achieve better health/weight loss/etc but not ME!”) and chose to put my faith in consistent action.

Let’s talk it through:

“Maybe if I get to bed by 11 p.m. for just 7 days straight, I won’t wake up cranky.”

“Maybe if I’m not cranky, it’ll be easier to stick to my morning routine and start each day with a nourishing breakfast.”

“Maybe if I start every single day with a nourishing breakfast, I’ll be more productive, positive, and upbeat (and a better wife/mom/friend/employee).”

The conclusion:

“Maybe if I get to bed by 11 p.m., it could change my whole life.

Consistency holds a great amount of power. It’s only when you’re consistent with healthy habits that your body will thank you. That “thank you” will come in the form of the results you are hoping for: more energy, less digestive distress, weight loss, and so on.

It’s only with consistency can you truly gauge the pay-off of your efforts.

On Being Consistent

Many people are quick to discount the benefits of healthy eating and lifestyle habits simply because they’ve never been consistent enough to see results.

For example, it’s easy to say you can get by on little sleep if you’ve never experienced getting a lot of sleep on a regular basis. It’s easy to say you’re doing fine with a 50% paleo diet if you’ve never tried consistently for 100%. (or something very close to it)

Try consistency on like it’s a brand new pair of shoes. Dedicate yourself to just one new pattern. The one that’s been nagging you, begging you for attention because it’s ready for a change. Give it a week, then give it a month.

Since I’m currently in San Jose, immersed in Unleash the Power Within all weekend, this quote from Tony Robbins felt most appropriate:

“It’s not what we do once in awhile that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”

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