I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “The Obstacle is the way” before.
It’s this phrase that’s so simple yet packs such an important message when it comes to chasing our fitness goals, or any for that matter.
Because of that, I want to break this down into something we hear about often:
DISCIPLINE vs. MOTIVATION
Let’s talk about Motivation real quick.
What is it?
Well it’s actually a feeling we get when we feel compelled to take action and do something. It’s a wonderful feeling, however it’s short lived and rarely lasts long. Discipline however, is this strong word that means taking action even when we don’t feel like it. Most people will say they aren’t motivated, but when it comes to discipline, they say it’s too hard or not the right time or they aren’t good enough, etc.
This requirement for Discipline however is essential for getting your goals.
DISCIPLINE IS THE WAY
Discipline is like a muscle, and like any muscle we need to train it. As Motivation comes and goes, having a strong Discipline muscle can get us up and moving regardless of how we feel.
Now why is this important?
Because it’s very rare we are always going to feel like we want to do something. And what matters the most when chasing a Fitness goal is we actually follow through on the plan.
As a coach for the past 10 years, i’ve seen that those that are consistent, always get the best results. It’s very rare they want to hit another day of 1800 calories, or strength train after a long day at work. But they do it, and because of that, they become one of those that win and have the best transformations!
By accepting the obstacle – which in this case is what they find tough – is the way, and doing it anyway. They build up a special resilience and strength about them, and with that a confidence they can achieve anything.
So how do you start building your Discipline muscle?
DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO
By following through on what you say you are going to do, you start to build confidence, trust in yourself and momentum towards your goals. However, it’s important to start of gradual.
Just like in a gym, you start with light weights and high reps, you need volume to start building this muscle.
So pick 1 thing you are going to do each day this week, and tick it off once done. After 5 days you will feel accomplished and you will start to feel like you can get more done. At this point, just like in the gym, we’re going to add weight / intensity. So now choose a bigger task to finish, it may even take a few days.
Chip away at it until it’s done. Once you’ve done this, you will feel even more accomplished and even start to see progress.
Now we’re onto a roll! Keep this up until you reach a point where you can get no further, or run out of time,etc. Then it’s time to really heat things up!
At this point when you reach a goal that is just too difficult to manage, it’s now time to make a decision.
Are you going to expand or contract?
By expanding you take on the task and grow yourself to adapt to it. Or you can contract and start losing confidence you can do it. Obviously the first is the right way in most cases, but it is often the hardest one.
This is where the saying comes in “The Obstacle is the way”. It’s very rare that contracting would be ideal in the scenario, especially if you want your life to change for the better.
So if you find yourself in this state with changing your habits, please remember:
1. Do the things you said you were going to do
2. Grow when it gets tough, rise up to the challenge
3. The obstacle is the way
If you want more of this style of content, please feel free to let me know!