Don't Be Great Sometimes, Be Consistently Good
In between my drives from my house to the gym and back, to the stores running errands, and all in between, I listen to podcasts; a lot of CrossFit podcasts and some not related to fitness at all. Recently, I heard a podcast from Brute Strength with a guest on talking about nutrition. The guest was giving 10 things you can do to better your eating habits. In the first portion of the podcast, she mentioned that being consistent is key. You don't have to log every macro or count every calorie in an app, but by simply being consistent in writing down what you ate, or making a note of your meals in your phone, you'll start noticing your eating habits and can start to make changes over time. She mentioned that she started being consistent in making her bed every morning, and that something small will lead to something big. This led me to think more deeply about this topic.
As a child, I was taught to make my bed every single morning, brush my teeth every single morning, and to clean the dishes after dinner (thanks Mom and Dad). I see now that those small habits have lead to even bigger habits - let me explain. As I make my bed every single morning, if I see clothes on the floor next to a nice and neat, freshly made bed, that makes me want to pick up those clothes and tidy up the rest of my room. As I clean the dishes and I see the counter needs wiped down, that makes me want to clean the counters and wipe down messes made from dinner.
Now, lets relate that to our fitness. As we're starting our workout, and we're in a set of 20 wall balls, there are certain standards to be met for a wall ball - hit the proper depth of the squat and the ball must hit the line at the top. If you meet the standards for all 20 wall balls and you have a set of 10 deadlifts to do following the wall balls, but shorten yourself for the standards of the deadlift, then why do the workout in the first place? That's like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, but not wiping down the counters. You're getting your full capacities worth of the workout meeting the standards, even if it takes you 5 minutes longer meeting the standards.
If you consistently are hitting the standards for the wall balls and are consistently hitting the standards for the deadlifts (no matter how long it takes you), you'll develop that habit of doing whatever it takes to hit those standards, making you a more effective athlete. Sure, shorten yourself of your standards of the deadlifts that one day, and you beat everyone on the whiteboard, but is that benefitting you in the long run? You don't wipe down the counters one day, so that means it's only more of a mess to clean up next time.
Relate that to your eating habits - if you eat a really healthy meal 5 times a week, but the other 16 meals are garbage, what's the point? Though, if you eat 16 decently healthy meals, and 5 meals that are garbage, wouldn't that benefit you more? Being consistently good outweighs being great sometimes... in all aspects of life. Think a little deeper about this, and if you have any input, let me know!