Consistency Is Key
A student asked me yesterday, ‘If I train Jiu-Jitsu 3 times a week will I improve?’ My response was something along the lines of, ‘As a newcomer 3 times a week is a great start for steady improvement, twice is good for gradual improvement, and once, well once is better than none.’ I am a massive proponent of consistency. Consistency in all things in life. And consistency at anything arrives from discipline.
Now into the second week of official training for the new year and I can already see some people struggling to stay consistent, struggling to stay with those goals they set for themselves. If you really want to grow in some venture, to direct your energy somewhere and improve, you NEED to stay consistent. And not just an empty consistency, you need to consciously engage in that something, just turning up is not enough. Without constant contact with that something, constant feel of that something, constant thought of that something, the likelihood at growing or succeeding at that something is near impossible.
We live in an amazingly beautiful part of the world. Just across the road from our Academy are the world class beaches and surf breaks of Snapper Rocks and Kirra, on the other side of the Academy are great cafes, juice bars, and shopping centres. It can be very easy to get distracted in this kind of environment. Sometimes as a sportsperson and martial artist I often think that it may be better to live someplace ugly, someplace where there is nothing to do but train, someplace where there are no distractions. But on the flip side, a beautiful environment can be motivating if you let it be.
From my own experience I have had many days where the lure of this beautiful environment has caused havoc in my mind. Many a time I have set a goal to compete in a certain tournament and had to fight the constant distraction of this beautiful environment. From experience I know that I have to be at a certain level of fitness and conditioning to compete in a tournament, I know that to achieve that certain level of fitness and conditioning I have to do a roundabout number of training sessions per week, and certain types of training sessions per week. I have to be consistent. Many days with an upcoming tournament in mind I have driven to the Academy around the Kirra headland only to see the most amazing beach day; people soaking up the sun, surfing, riding bikes and skateboards on the track, but this day was to be my stair run day. This is where my mind can play tricks. I start thinking maybe I can skip today’s training, I can catch it up tomorrow, I should be out there enjoying the environment like everyone else. But consistency is key, so more often than not I will drag myself to the stairs. And it’s all a matter of perspective. Once out in the environment I start to enjoy the sunshine, I know that every time I reach the top of the stairs I am rewarded with the stunning view of the ocean and beach, I start to appreciate the opportunity I have. I know that the beach will still be there when it comes to my day off and I can enjoy it then, I know that to succeed, or more rightly attempt to succeed in my pursuit, I need to stay consistent.
So I guess where I am going with this is that it is a new year, almost all of us have set goals for this year, whether big or small these goals are important to us, so now is as good a time as ever to dig deep, strengthen your discipline, and seek to become more consistent at what you do. The temptations will always be there, and for the most part it is good to divulge in them every now and then, good to give your self a break and some reward, but don’t let them stand in your way when it comes to achieving those things that are important to you, don’t let them stand in your way to your striving to become consistent.
Thanks for reading and all the best with your goals for 2016.
Co-Owner At Flow Martial Arts