There's ONE WAY to achieve your own version of healthy - and it ain't cake!
Join me in this episode as I chat consistency, cake and confidence.
Imagine if you actually DID all the stuff you said you were going to?
Where would you be with your health & your goals?
How would that affect your self-esteem & your confidence?
Don't know how the hell to do it?
Don't worry, I got you covered with some top tips for getting some momentum, staying consistent and having the habits, routines and environments to support you in doing that!
In this episode I chat about people who might sabotage your consistency...you can grab my FREE resource on how to deal with them here.
And if you want more tips, accountability and support, come on over to my FREE Facebook group, the Food Ninja Dojo, and hang out with all the other action takers.
So it's another solo episode today, and today I want to talk about the C word. Because I know a lot of people have a problem with the C word. It's something they really struggle with. I'm here today to make you more comfortable with the C word. Before we get started on that, I want to talk a little bit about when you're trying to make positive changes to your health, and maybe even your business. So if you are trying to get healthy, if you're trying to lose weight, if you are trying to have a five figure month, if you are trying to be more visible in your business, many of us fail at the things that we're trying to achieve. So why does that happen?Hayley:
If you think about it, when we want to make a change, we're so desperate to get the outcome that we try to change too much all at once, you know that kind of new year's resolution mindset where we decide we're going to give up smoking and lose 10 kilos in a month, and we're going to start going to the gym six times a day, or we decide that I need to be more visible, I need to have a bigger audience, so I am going to post on all of the social media channels three times a day, and I'm going to start a podcast and I'm going to start doing reels and I'm going to start a YouTube channel and all this shit that we do to ourselves that makes us think, this is how I'm gonna get that outcome as quickly as possible, and that obviously leads to failure because we can't sustain it. And also, we get overwhelmed, because no one has got time for a complete fucking life overhaul when you're feeling shit, and you're low on energy.Hayley:
The reason you want to make changes to your health probably are because you feel like shit. So why then try and change every fucking thing about your life in one go? Why do you think you have the resilience and the energy and the capacity to do that when you feel shit? As business owners, we are not very good at starting small, so we just think, well, it's fine, I'll just make all these changes. And then inevitably, that leads to us feeling shit, like a failure because we haven't had enough willpower to do what we said we were going to do. We feel like a shitty person for not following through on things, and then what happens? We get back to swapping our running shoes for slippers again, back to the sofa for Netflix and binge because that's comfortable, back to hiding behind your keyboard and not being visible in your business because that's what's comfortable. And I think many of us are stuck in that circle. That kind of 'I'm going to start on Monday' sort of mindset.Hayley:
Something that I like to do when I am thinking of making changes in my business or with my health is to think about what I want to be or feel, so what kind of person do I want to be? How do I want to feel? Rather than what do I have to do? Because if you focus on what you have to do, and let me just say, obviously, you're gonna have to do some shit, right? You're gonna have to make some changes. But if you're constantly focusing on what do I need to do, it just becomes a big fucking to do list. Something else that you've added to your list of tasks that you have to do. It's like a chore and we all know what happens to our to do lists - we procrastinate over them rather than think about 'if I do these things, I'm going to become this business owner that I want to be' or 'I'm going to feel like this super energetic, healthy person'. We're like, 'fuck this shit, it's just another thing on my to do list so we don't do it'.Hayley:
Now there is a secret. Of course, you know, I'm working in the health industry. So I've always got that one secret that no one else knows. I'm being sarcastic. That's fucking weird when people do that, isn't it? 'The one secret fat loss trick that nobody else knows!' Like, really? If you have really found the secret to something and no one else in the whole industry knows about it, you'd be a fucking gazillionaire wouldn't you? It's ridiculous.Hayley:
Anyway, I digress, as I do quite often. Over the course of helping my clients achieve their goals, whether that be with their health or improving their health so that it enables them to improve their business. There is a secret thing, which will mean that they achieve everything that they set out to do. It's basically magic. And that C word that I've been talking about is consistency. Are you disappointed that it wasn't another C word? Like cake, or something, I don't know what you're thinking of. So yeah, you can't go far wrong by telling yourself 'I want to be consistent, I want to be a consistent person, I want to follow through on what I say that I'm going to do, I want to show up every day', in whatever medium that is. And it's a word that quite often stops me in my tracks, really, because when I find myself going off on a tangent, or letting a couple of behaviours slide, I just think about consistency, sometimes I just need to do it enough to give myself a gentle nudge in the right direction. Or sometimes it's a big fucking kick up the ass. But it does make me stop and think.Hayley:
The thing with consistency is, it's a skill. It's just like any other skill, it takes time to learn, and it takes practice to perfect it. And it's not something that will come naturally to you. So I think it's really useful to think about it in that way. Rather than have this really fixed mindset of, 'Oh, I'm just not a consistent person, I don't do consistency. That's not the type of person I am', consistency isn't an inherent trait, it's something that you can learn. And when you understand that, it makes it a lot easier, I can learn to be consistent.Hayley:
It's taken me quite a while to learn to be consistent, because I think in my past life in the corporate world, I used to really enjoy having that pressure of having a deadline, or, without sounding like a dick, being quite good at what I do. And you probably feel the same, if you're a business owner, you've set up a business because you're really good at one fucking thing. But with that brings a kind of lack of consistency, because you know that even if you're not consistent, when you need to do something, you can just make a balls out effort and just get it done, because you're really good at what you do, you're skilled, and you can do it whenever you need to get it done. But that doesn't always help us with consistency, because we're kind of like, 'yeah, I'll catch up to that tomorrow'. But you can't do that with your health, you can't catch up with your health, it's really important to be consistent.Hayley:
And there's a really fine line as well between that kind of positive stress, that that approach of working slightly under pressure all the time, a fine line between that, and it tipping over into 'wow this is a lot of pressure, let's just press the fuck it button' type stress. So it's a bit of a fine line to walk. So being consistent, even though it's not the most exciting thing ever, it will help you manage your stress levels, and it will help you make more progress.Hayley:
We've talked a little bit about how you can be consistent or feel consistent, but why actually is it so important? One of the things that also makes me think and really helps me to maintain some consistency is, being consistent means never having to get back in the swing of things again. And we all hate it, don't we, we're like, 'Oh, I've fallen off the waggon, I'll get back on it on Monday', which, I fucking hate that terminology anyway, you can't get back on it. This is your life, you need to make habits and stuff part of your life. It's not either on or off, that's very sort of black or white thinking. But we have all been in that cycle where we're consistent. Maybe we're consistent for a long time, but then shit happens, doesn't it? Something happens, life happens, and we're not able to be consistent. We have to start over. And I think it's that dread of starting over that keeps me consistent a lot of the time because the amount of times I've beaten myself up for probably being on the verge of probably achieving something really amazing, but having to start all over again. So I think that's one of the things that helps.Hayley:
Being consistent also means you're constantly making progress. So that really helps with your enthusiasm, it keeps your morale high. And also, it really helps with your self esteem as well. So follow through on the promises that you make to yourself, that makes you feel like a better person, let alone how that makes you feel in terms of how other people perceive you. If you are perceived as a person who always does what they said they're going to do, that's really good for your business, and your relationships and everything.Hayley:
So, being consistent means progress. It means increased self esteem, increased confidence, increased morale, so it's really important for our mental health as well. And, very often it is the difference between failure and success, because results take time. I know, boring. But results do take time. So if you are trying out the latest fad diet every two weeks, and then you sort of ditch it because it doesn't work, that is not consistency. Consistency is not two weeks of doing something in the hopes that it will work for you. It's being consistent and persistent.Hayley:
So at this point, you're probably thinking, wow, consistency is so fucking great. Why isn't everyone doing it? It's easy, right? It's the answer to achieving all of your goals, so why can't we do it? Why isn't everyone doing it? There's a few reasons. Number one, I keep talking about it, it's fucking boring. Especially as a business owner, you probably enjoy a bit of spontaneity, being a little bit impulsive, having new ideas and sort of following them down the rabbit hole and abandoning other things that you might have been working on. That's quite a common trait of a business owner, so when we talk about planning and habit and repetition, we're all sat there thinking 'if I wanted to do that, I'd have a fucking job'. So it can be construed as boring, but I think a bit of reframing around that, realising that these tiny little efforts that you're making every day are actually going to build into something really amazing. So trying to reframe that consistency, rather than just go 'this is fucking boring', have a bit of both in your life, there's room for both.Hayley:
So the next reason why not everyone is doing it is confusion. So, certainly in my industry, the media are very skilled at trying to confuse us. You've seen all those Daily Mail headlines about the latest superfood, stupid, frickin 800 calorie diets and a celebrity diet that I posted about the other day actually, which was, this woman who was basically saying that, rather than drink wine, just replace it with sparkling water with balsamic vinegar in it. It makes a fantastic substitute, apparently. Anyway, I won't start talking about that otherwise it'll turn into a rant, but, when we've got all these kind of miracle cures, coming out every couple of weeks, we skip from one thing to the next, thinking we've found the holy grail of fat loss. And, we do the same in our business lives. There's always a coach, isn't there? An online coach who's super popular at the moment, and everyone jumps on their bandwagon and, pays for their £1997 course, or whatever it is, then we find out that, oh, this person can't actually fix our business, because whatever they're teaching us, we have to apply it consistently. So you can't get away from consistency, you need it for results. Yeah, that is another reason why consistency is not the most attractive option.Hayley:
Something else that stops us from being consistent is our environment. And by that I mean, not just your physical environment, even though that can make a difference. If your physical environment is you've got loads of kids, and they all like eating sweets and chocolate and crisps, and that's all you see when you open the cupboards, then your environment is not going to help you be consistent with your healthy eating. The same as if you have an office, and, the Friday cake run is law. I know that happened to me in the corporate world a lot, and if you don't join in people are like, 'Oh, you're so boring, you can't even eat a piece of cake, what kind of diet is that?', and all that kind of stuff. So that doesn't help. But also, people that you spend the most time with. Are they supportive of what you're trying to achieve, whether that be with your health or your business? If they're not, it can make it really difficult for you to be consistent, because your every action and behaviour has been questioned by other people whose opinion you value, which makes it really, really hard. I've actually created a free resource called the four saboteurs, which talks about how you might deal with some of the types of people who try and sabotage your efforts, knowingly or unknowingly, to be healthy. So I will put a link to that in the show notes and feel free to go download that and hopefully that will help you.Hayley:
But I think the biggest reason that a lot of people are not able to be consistent is, life. And, a lot of the time your business gets in the way. I'm talking about, obviously, health behaviours here. So, that could be positive or negative things. It could be weekends away, anniversaries, it could be that someone in your family really needs you right now and you have to be there for them. Maybe you have to travel a lot. Maybe you are doing a launch and when you do a launch all your health behaviours go out the window. So, whatever life throws at you, always remember, you will be better able to cope with it if you've been taking care of yourself. And one of the ways you can remain consistent when shit happens is to not tie your habits to your environment, because if the triggers for your habits are, you can only do these things at home, for example, you're not always going to be at home all the time, so try and think about how you can have habits that are kind of portable, that you can do anywhere, or think about how you can adapt your habits. So if you're not at home, cooking your meals yourself, plan ahead, be proactive, think about 'I'm going to this place, let's have a look at the menus, let's see what shops are nearby, are there any cooking facilities where I'm going?' All that forward planning will allow you to be more consistent.Hayley:
That's kind of why we can't be consistent, but I think the biggest 'secret'... I don't know why I'm calling these things 'secrets', I'm subscribing to all the shitty marketing that I hate. But one of the other things, or one of the most important things is, if you make the things that you need to be consistent with really small and easy, they will still work up against all of those factors. If you choose one thing and do it consistently for two weeks, and I always say to people pick the smallest thing and they're like, 'why the fuck should I do that? That's not going to make any difference whatsoever'. But the thing is, if you make the barrier to doing it so tiny, like I've done this with clients before, who are really struggling with consistency and making progress, and I've said to them, 'okay, ideally, I would want you to drink two litres of water every day. But do you think you could drink two glasses of water every day?' And they're like, 'Oh my God, of course, why wouldn't I do that? I'm going to drink a litre and a half'. And I'm like, 'no, no, no, just drink two glasses of water every day'. Because I know that if they come back to me a few days later, and say that they couldn't drink two glasses of water every day, they're going to be really fucking embarrassed. Who can't drink two glasses of water every day? What's your excuse gonna be for not being able to drink two small glasses of water every day? And that's why it's better to start small. Because you always want to shame yourself into, 'oh my god, I can't even drink one glass of water every day, I need to sort my shit out'. So I think choosing a very small thin, doing it consistently for two weeks, three weeks, or even a whole month, if that's what it takes you. However long it takes for that shit to sink in, basically. It could be something really small, like swapping full fat coke for sparkling water. Or it could be eating green vegetables with every meal. Those are things that should be really easy, and once you've nailed that, then add other stuff in, but don't make it hard from the outset.Hayley:
I've talked a lot about consistency so far, right? I always think these episodes are gonna be short, but actually I ended up just talking. I mean, it's still fucking weird. I'm sat in a room talking to myself imagining I'm talking to a lot of people and I just seem to sort of talk for much longer than I expected. So, let's get a conclusion. Thanks for stopping with me this far into the episode, let's get a conclusion out of this.Hayley:
I'm gonna give you some tips on how to stay consistent. Number one is, get clear about why. So get clear about what you want to achieve and why. I know this is fucking obvious, and you're probably rolling your eyes and thinking 'oh my god, everyone says about goal setting'. You'd be surprised how many people skip that step or, it's really vague and woolly and they just don't define it enough or think about it. But if you don't have a really good why, or one that you're really emotionally invested in, you haven't got a hope in hell of dragging your ass out of bed for 6am workout, when you could just stay there. It's not going to happen. So really think about that.Hayley:
So the second thing is, schedule things in. Habits are formed by responding to an external trigger, and then they're reinforced by repetition. So I'll give a good example. I used to forget to take my Omega 3 all the time. So what I do now is I have it in individual little pots for each day and it is sat by the kettle because I probably make a cup of tea two, three times a day. So I will remember. Every time I go to the kettle, those Omega 3 are there, and I've even been really fucking anal and I've got little pots and the days of the week written on them. Because I was looking at the pots, you know, the stack, I had a little stack of seven and I'd be like ' that empty pot, is that from today? Or is it from yesterday? Have I taken two days?' So I've actually just written the fucking days of the week on there. It's like the idiot proof way of taking your supplements. But that trigger is there, and also that trigger is not too dependent on the environment that I'm in. Because believe me, wherever I am, I will always make a fucking cup of tea in the morning. Schedule things in, think about designing your habits, the triggers and the habit and the repetition, think about designing those around the routine that you already have.Hayley:
So number three is focus on the process and not the result. So if your result you're looking for is, 'I want to lose 10% body fat', if you're constantly focused on that 10% body fat, and believe me, body fat, it goes down so slowly. And also, there's not really an accurate way of measuring it and all of that shit. So you're going to be disappointed real quick, when you don't see yourself dropping 2% of body fat every fucking week, it's not going to happen. And you can't really control that result either, there's so many variables to it. So focus on what you can control that will move you closer towards that, which is, for instance, making good food choices every day. So focus on the process, enjoy the process, don't have yourself doing shit that you hate every day, like just eating lettuce for lunch or whatever.Hayley:
So number four, don't confuse being consistent with being perfect. Give yourself room to fuck up. Life happens. And don't use one excuse. If you're trying to be consistent with a habit and you can't do it one day, don't just press the fuck it button and think 'what's the point in doing it for the rest of the week, I'll just start again on Monday', that is not the way to build consistency. You have permission to wipe the slate clean as often as you want, you can do it at the end of every day, you can do it at the end of every meal, you can do it whenever and just give yourself permission to say 'right, that's over, I don't need to think about it. Let me just get back to doing this habit'.Hayley:
The fifth thing is feelings. And thoughts are temporary. So, if you're tired, if you're bored, if you just can't be assed, those feelings will change. And if you allow them to stop you doing those habits, those feelings will change to regret, self loathing, feeling like a failure. So, don't do that. Remember that those thoughts will pass, feeling tired, feeling bored, feeling like you can't be bothered, they will change. You just need to acknowledge that you feel those feelings right now and just say, 'you know what, I'm just gonna fucking do it anyway'. Move on, move past it, get shit done.Hayley:
So those are some tips for being consistent. But I know that you're probably saying 'yeah, this is all fine, I've done all that before, but I still find it really fucking hard to be consistent'. And believe me, I know this because I am one of those people believe it or not. So I've got a further few things that I do when I'm really, in the whole 'Oh my God, I've got to go and do these steps today, and I've got to do a workout, and then I've got to come and cook, I cannot be assed to do any of it today'. So there's a few what I call my 'emergency tips' that I employ.Hayley:
Number one, don't fucking negotiate with yourself. If you put something in your diary for a fixed time, but then you start to negotiate, as someone who works from home, this may or may not be real life examples: 'Oh, I'll do that thing when I've made a cup of tea', or 'I'll just put a load of washing on and then I'll definitely start' or 'wow, I've got a whole presentation to do. Do you know what, I feel like cleaning out the kitchen cupboards today' or, 'I've decided to go and have a full on fucking pamper session in my bedroom with a facial and all sorts because I can't be fucking assed to do what I'm meant to be doing'. Don't negotiate with yourself. The best example I'll give of this is when I get in the sea in the mornings. You see a lot of people kind of inching in, literally up to their knees, giving themselves a little bit of time to get acclimatised. If I did that I would not get in. I literally, take my clothes off, (not all of them. I wear a swimming costume. It's Bournemouth seafront.) And I just literally stride into the water up to my neck. And then I stop and think about what the fuck have I done? Why am I here? But by then I've already done it and it'd be stupid to get out once I was in up to my neck right? Don't negotiate with yourself, because you will always talk yourself out of something.Hayley:
My next kind of emergency tip. Delayed gratification. Oh yeah, that is right. Something we can all probably make more use of. Give yourself a reward after doing the thing. When I am 75% done with this presentation, I'm going to stop and read a chapter of my new book. Or, for me, because I live by the beach, and it's summer, I'm going to get all this done in the morning so I can go to the beach in the afternoon. And when you think about it, gratification is one of the main components of consistency. Because I bet right now you are actually being consistent with some stuff in your life, but it's probably really fucking unhelpful stuff. Are you consistently watching Netflix every night? Are you consistently having a glass of wine while you watch that box set every night? You're being consistent, you are smashing drinking that wine, you're doing a really consistent job of it. Why can you be consistent at unhelpful behaviours? Because you get instant gratification. That is why. Whereas, the consistent behaviours that, in the long run will get us to where we want to be, that gratification, that result, that satisfaction is very much delayed.Hayley:
So I want you to think about gratification a lot afterwards, maybe go lie down in a darkened room and think about gratification and your relationship with it. And that will help you be consistent. And, on that note, make it more pleasurable. And by that I mean, the thing that you've got to do, that you've got to be consistent with, if you tie that thing to a more pleasurable experience, or combine it with something else to make it more enjoyable, that is going to make the consistency much easier. So for example, if you haven't got enough steps in today, you could find out where the best spot near you to watch the sunset is, walk down to that and watch the sunset, which will be making doing those steps a much more pleasurable experience. If you need to write some content, you could make your favourite drink, settle down in front of the best view in your house, if you've got a window where the view is really amazing, maybe treat yourself, burn a nice candle and all that shit. Make it a really nice experience. Or if you're not really looking forward to going to the gym, you don't want to go, go with a friend, maybe have a bit of a gossip in between sets. Not on the machines, though, because that makes you a dick. Don't be one of those people.Hayley:
And if you still are really struggling with being consistent, if you really don't want to do the thing, just sit down, get a piece of paper, write down all the things that will happen if you don't do the thing. If you're happy to suffer those consequences, then don't fucking do it. Because maybe it's not that important to you. But my bet is, that you'll write down that list of things that will or won't happen as a result of you not doing it, and you'll change your mind. So yeah, those are my kind of emergency tips for consistency.Hayley:
And I guess the last tip, this is absolutely the last tip, this ended up being much longer than I expected. I have got a plan B and my plan B, and my clients hear this plan B every so often. It's not my normal coaching style, but it is a plan B. If you're tired, if you're stressed if you're busy, if you're bored, if you're sad, JFDI mate, just fucking do it. Anyway, that is Plan B right? I know that it's a bit flippant, but really, if you've worked through all of those other tips and the emergency tips that I employ, and you still can't be consistent, then you just need a bit of discipline. You either need a bit of discipline and just turn around and say JFDI mate, I'm just gonna fucking do it. Or you realise that the thing you're trying to be consistent with doesn't fucking matter to you. So either way, you're going to do one or the other aren't you? You're either going to do it, or not. But you're going to be happy with the decision, surely, after you've gone through all of that justification. Anyway, it's been fun this episode. I've really enjoyed it. I hope you have. I will be back next week with a guest but until then, please take care of yourself