I strongly believe the key to success at getting fit is consistency. I work out hard every day, so I get great results. But if I worked out even harder sometimes and then took other days off to relax and eat unhealthy food, my results wouldn’t be as good, even though I might work harder on some specific days.
Consistency is key. I keep myself consistent by using a really simple system that is apparently used by Jerry Seinfeld for writing (Seinfeld actually denies using this, and says it’s just something he heard about online).
It’s very simple. All you do is hang up a calendar on the wall or near your desk and put a big X on the calendar for every day you achieve your goal. Your goal can be something super simple like doing an easy workout, walking for 20 minutes, writing something, or whatever you want to do. I keep my goals simple, like eating three healthy meals per day or working out for one hour in the evening.
If you achieve the goal, you put a big X on the calendar. The next day, you just need to do the same thing. It becomes a challenge to keep the chain going, but the goal is to make sure there’s a big X on the calendar for every single day of the week. I take weekends off and let myself have Saturday and Sunday without any big red X marks on my calendar, since working out and eating clean every day tires me out and I causes me to lose motivation over the long run.
So there – that’s the simple system I use to hold myself accountable for my health and fitness. You can also apply this to doing your work, studying for an exam, learning a language, or anything else. I love this system because of the simplicity and the visual reminder of the importance of achieving your goals that the calendar creates.