Whenever you are motivated to pursue a goal, one of the most important components is consistency.
Life brings challenges and setbacks are evitable but if you have a goal in mind, you have to be willing to be as consistent as possible with the habits that will bring you closer to your short and long term goals. To keep you consistent, be sure that you are not aiming for perfection in all areas in your life.
And because your health is always a top priority, never let your health take a backseat just because you are focused too heavily on your career, sports, etc. For if you don't take care of your body, it's hard to make anything happen that requires the use of your muscles and brain.
I am a big fan of hard work and a no-excuses approach but then again, I am no stranger to setbacks. And when it comes to hard work and no-excuses, my hubby is the true example of dreaming big and never ever giving up. Karel came to America with only a backpack and for several years he put his cycling passion on hold because he had to work up to three jobs a day (often with less than 2-3 hours of sleep) to "make it."
I have discovered success in my personal, career and athletic life thanks to hard work and consistency. I do love a routine but I also strive off making progress even if the plan has to change sometimes.
To help you reach your personal, athletic, career or life short and long term goals, be sure you follow a practical routine that allows you to achieve your desired results. Sometimes a professional is needed to help guide you along the way and to help you stay accountable so don't hesitate reaching out when you need help.
As a coach, 7x Ironman finisher and exercise physiologist, here are a few of my top 3 consistency tips when it comes to working out for fitness/performance gains.
1) Follow a well-designed training plan - Even a poorly designed training plan will produce positive results if followed consistently. However, to maximize results and to find balance in life, consider the right mix of training stress AND recovery so that you can experience consistency with your fitness and feel productive in other areas of your life. Athletes love to hurt and feel tired and sore after a workout as a sign that the workout was effective. Although there's nothing wrong with a little good-hurt to remind you of your hard workout, be sure you are able to recover from your previous workouts (or schedule workouts appropriately to allow for better recovery) in order for your efforts to be repeatable throughout a training plan. Consider giving a great effort every day instead of an epic effort every once in a while.
2) Be flexible - Although dedication and committment to a training plan are two key elements to finding success, consider the variables that may affect your routine. Weather, work, family, diet, travel, motivation, recovery, etc. You must be flexible with your routine to make the most out of every day (whether it's training indoors, consideirng the weather and planning ahead or not feeling guilty for intentional days off). Also, rmember that training/working out should not adversly affect other areas in your life (ex. work, family, pets, etc). A training plan should not leave you unmotivated and exhausted but instead, energized and inspired to give your best effort on any given day. When it comes to your training plan, do not feel defetaed when life gets in the way. A rest day means more energy for tomorrow. Try to avoid moving around workouts just to fit it all in because it's on your weekly plan and instead, think about modifying workouts or creating a schedule that works best for you each week.
3) Balance is key - Flexiblilty in a well-designed plan will work. But consistency with training doesn't just apply to getting the workouts done but instead how consistent you are with your effort in each workout. Although there may be room for a missed workout here or there alongside a needed day off, a training plan should be balanced in a way so that you can maintain your routine for forward progression with fitness and so that improvements in performance can be made to keep you motivated that your training is working. There's no good in doing a haphazard workout just because it's on your plan. Make the workouts count so that you are making efficient use out of your time. As an age group athlete, you have a lot on your plate so who cares what everyone else is doing, your plan should fit your needs and lifestyle.
And of course, HAVE FUN! If you don't love what you are doing, it's unlikely that you will follow through with your routine. Although consistency will help pave the way to results, it's important that you stay motivated with your choice to use your body for sports or fitness and the best way to keep up the excitement is to truely love what you are doing on a daily basis.