Such an important, yet tricky subject! How you you develop consistency as you work towards your fitness goals?
First, it will be helpful to identify which of these two "types" resonates with you the most:
I know this might seem to be oversimplifying things, but I find that most individuals will veer more towards one or the other. Read the descriptions below to see what you think. It's worth mentioning that you can certainly be a blend of these two, in which case you can benefit from the suggestions given to each.
Planner Types like to schedule things and keep track of details like WHEN, WHERE and WHAT. They are efficient, logical, and tend to take charge. When they do something, they tend to do it 110%. They DON’T typically like the idea of splitting up workouts, or taking many days off if they are in hot pursuit of their goals. They can also be somewhat of a “Type A” personality. Because of this, they can sometimes override their bodies’ natural cues for rest and recovery and as such, can wind up either burnt out or overtrained.
Spontaneous Types are just that- free spirited, and go-with-the-flow! The opposite of rigid, they don’t fancy rules, templates, or being limited. They are more laid back, and tend towards a more relaxed approach to their goals. Because of this, they need help being consistent, and not to let their mood or feelings get in the way of their aspirations. They need help realizing their goals to create something that gives them freedom and flexibility, all while helping them keep an overall level of consistency in their endeavors.
If you tend to be a Planner Type:
#1 Use that schedule, planner and calendar to your advantage! Get your goals down in writing, and in specific terms, i.e. “Tuesday, March 27th, I am doing BWO+, Wednesday, March 28th I am doing PBS and 1 set of hoedowns after each meal, etc. etc.”
#2 Fight the urge to feel like you have “failed” when you have to change or alter a part of your carefully crafted plan due to reasons you didn’t expect. The only way you can fail is to throw up your hands, say “I can never make this work because of _____!” and just give up on all your goals and never try again. Having an off day doesn’t make you a bad person. Pick it up the next day, right where you left off. The nice thing about T-Tapp is it WORKS, even if life throws you a curveball! This is where it helps to begin to learn flexibility and kindness with yourself.
#3 Make sure that the changes you plan to make are sustainable. As a planner type, you are more likely to make huge, sweeping changes that will last a week or two, but you won’t be able to keep it going in the long run. Some Planners do well with “baby steps”- small changes that lead to big results when applied with--you guessed it!-- consistency. Others thrive on adding several things to focus on for a chosen period of time, i.e. getting to bed at a certain time, eating better quality calories, or doing at least 3 T-Tapp moves per day.
#4 Determine whether your goals come from an Internal vs. External motivation. There will be a lot more about this on my next post, The Secrets To Motivation.
#5 The next one is very important: Listen to your body! Life happens to all of us. If you didn’t get enough food, went to bed super late, had a stressful situation come up at work, recovering from a sickness, be gentle with yourself. Don’t think that because you had a long, stressful day and you decided to prioritize getting enough sleep over your regularly scheduled workout, you will quit T-Tapping. As we know, stress releases cortisol, which among other things, can cause you to gain weight around the waist and abdomen. Also, just one night of too little sleep will cause some degree of insulin resistance** which means your fat loss endeavors will be very difficult the next day.
#6 On a personal note, I used to think that if I had to miss my workout, the world was going to end. Of course, it's not! :) I recall one instance of going to bed VERY late, with a busy schedule laid out for the next day, wherein I would not have time to fit in my planned workout. I then had the bright idea to get up at 6:30 AM to get my (weightlifting) workout in. My “gym” was on our back porch. But, nonetheless I stubbornly worked out…..in the dim light….in 45 degree weather. I felt like I had been hit by a truck the rest of that day. Not my smartest moment of self-care! This was before my Nutritional Therapy course that taught me so much about adrenal health, so I like to think I didn’t know better.
#7 This is one that I feel is applicable to either "type." If you choose to split a workout up, either over the course of a day or over 2 days, don't listen to that voice that says, "You didn't do ALL of that workout, therefore it doesn't count!" NOT true! Doing "Ribs Up" during your day counts. Doing half of Healthy Hormones for Menopause Management counts. Doing a set of hoedowns after your biggest meal counts. Doing half of Senior Fit counts. You get what I'm trying to say. I sometimes joke that T-Tapp time is like dog years. In my opinion, 15 minutes of T-Tapp is equivalent to AT LEAST double that time of traditional exercise!
** Donga E, Van dijk M, Van dijk JG, et al. A single night of partial sleep deprivation induces insulin resistance in multiple metabolic pathways in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95(6):2963-8.
If you tend to be a Spontaneous Type:
#1 Variety, variety, variety! There is a T-Tapp workout for every mood! Get a nice CD case to hold all your DVD’s. Set them next to your DVD player. When you feel the urge to move that body, pick the one that calls to you. Since you are a spontaneous type, you may have trouble doing a workout that you planned to do in advance, because another one is really calling to you! Some days, you might only have the time and energy for a shorter workout. Other days, you might be feeling more inspired to take on a longer workout! When you can clearly see what you have--and appreciate the variety of time lengths, moves and styles--you are MUCH less likely to get bored or disinterested with your T-Tapp routine. A "short" workout is better than nothing at all!
#2 You might be “that person” that decides that you want to try the instructional to your new DVD the MOMENT the mailman drops it off. Meanwhile, in the same week, you might wake up one day and feel totally disinterested- and that is ok! Like Teresa says, "just do what you can, and you will ALWAYS get results." You can take that one to the bank!
#3 This brings me to my next point: Learn to start separating how you feel, from how you perform. This is how athletes think, and they are some of the most highly motivated people on the planet! They also have goals that are way bigger than just the shape of their bodies, which is a subject that I'll be digging into in a future post. My experience as a competitive swimmer for 9 years of my life taught me this lesson. Yes, I did NOT always feel like using my time on a Saturday morning to train for my meet, but my personal goals of being stronger, faster, and to get better times at that swim meet next month was my primary motivation.
#4 As a spontaneous type, you might not always FEEL like doing your chosen movement for the day. How many of us have stuck the DVD in the player, turned it on, and while the DVD sets up, we go on our phone “to check Facebook” and then 30 minutes later, the menu options are still staring us in the face, and we are still on Facebook and/or checking our email? This is real life!! IT HAPPENS! I get it. The secret? To feel that very real lack of desire for your workout, and just DO it anyway. Simple as that. Mind over matter! You will feel SO much better for it, believe me. I have never, ever regretted completing a workout, but I have regretted stopping before I had even started. The best T-Tapp workout for you, is the one that you will DO!
An important side note: remember that there is a real difference in "I just don't feel like I want to workout" and the "I am exhausted and need to take it easy." Pushing your body way beyond what it can handle can set you back even further. The more in tune you become with your body, the better you will be able to tell what it is saying to you. Check out #5 of the Planner list above for tips on how to respect your body's need to recover.
#5 Assign a specific task to have a complementary T-Tapp move, so that you create the habit…..by accident! For example, I once decided that every time I walked into the basement to get something out of our downstairs freezer and storage room, I would do 8 reps of the Plie Jumping Jack Move. By the end of the day, I had done 5 sets without even realizing it!
#6 Do you need someone to be accountable to for your personal goals, with whom you can share your plans an aspirations? Find someone! And if you can't, email me, and I will be your support! A lot of times, the need for accountability can come down to the individuals' personality. One of my clients does hoedowns anytime she is waiting on water to boil, the laundry to dry, or any other time she would normally be waiting on something. Kids in the bathtub? Hoedowns in front of the tub! Hey, it also doubles as entertainment for the kids! It works better for her personality to do moves throughout the day, rather than marking down that she needs to do a specific move/workout at a specific time. On the flip side, I have another client that needs me to write down exactly what she wants me to do each day, in between our sessions together. She knows she will be accountable to me next time we meet! Realize what your needs are, and take steps toward creating an environment that will support you.
#7 Check out this file with tips for making a quick T-Tapp workout, anytime, anywhere! You can use your smartphone, tablet or computer to access these videos on YouTube. T-Tapp Online Moves . If you like learning new moves that take a few minutes to do, head on over to the T-Tapp YouTube Channel for lots of video clips, many of which are under 5 minutes! You could do one after breakfast, lunch and dinner to link it up with something you are already in the habit of doing .
My next post will be all about MOTIVATION! How to get it, how to harness it, and how to make it work for you! Until then, tell me: what ways do YOU create consistency in your T-Tapp routine?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Certified Fitness Trainer, Certified T-Tapp Trainer