Lifestyle Why Motivation Won’t Get You There


What is the first thing you think you need to get started on your fitness journey? A new pair of shoes, a brand new workout outfit, a blender, maybe a trip to the grocery store to fill up your fridge with healthy food? All of those things are great, but let’s be honest, you need to WANT to do those things before you actually do them, that “want” is called motivation.

Motivation is a necessary part to get you to take action toward starting your fitness journey. It helps you want to do the things you need to do to get going. It helps you get to the gym that first week of your new program. It helps you track your macros when you start your new nutrition program. It excites you, it sets a fire under your feet, and because it does all of these amazing things, people begin to rely on it.

However, what happens when you wake up on day 17 of your program? Your results have slowed down after your initial 5-pound weight loss. You are tired, so you decide to snooze your alarm. You’re hungry, so you decide to swing into your favorite fast food. You’re sore, so you take an unplanned rest day. What just happened? Wasn’t motivation supposed to be there to help you jump out of bed at 5:00 A.M? Wasn’t motivation supposed to help you plan your meals for the day so you didn’t have the temptation of fast food? Wasn’t your motivation supposed to help you get to the gym instead of settling for your excuses?

This is the problem-motivation isn’t going to be there. Motivation comes and goes. The definition of motivation is, “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.”. The desire to do something. How often do human desires change? A lot. What are human desires based off of? FEELING. If you are hoping you will get up every day and FEEL like working out and eating right, you are sorely misguided.

With having nearly 6 years of experience as a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I can tell you the primary characteristic that is needed to be successful long term, and that’s discipline. When people hear that word, it’s almost like they find a light-switch and flick it down because it turns them off! Discipline is not punishment-although that is what many of us associate it with. Discipline is very key to your success. You may have heard this before, but I want you to think about this for a second.

Would you rather hope you reach your goals, or, would you rather KNOW you will reach your goals? Discipline is the difference.

Developing self-discipline will ensure that you get up when your alarm goes off, track your nutrition intake and stick to your meal plan, and it will also ensure you get in the gym, even when you don’t want to.  There will be days where you don’t want to do the things that you’re supposed to do. The motivation won’t be there. However, one thing you can control is your discipline to act.

As Jocko Willink mentioned in his book, “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual”, “Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.”  Discipline is in your control. Motivation has a lot to do with external factors. Discipline comes from within!

Developing self-discipline is not easy, but it’s absolutely do-able. The best way you can develop discipline is by simply deciding that the pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret. Would you rather suffer to lose that 50 pounds of body fat and have your health and body back? Or would you rather stay where you’re at, and suffer from the regret of never starting?

Here are a couple of tips to help you get started developing self-discipline:

  1. Create A Morning Ritual
    Having a structured morning routine will allow you to be more productive, and will force you to practice self-discipline daily, by simply getting out of bed earlier, not pressing the snooze button, and following a structured plan to start your day! The best book I can recommend for this is “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. It’s a life-changing book that will provide you with the tools you need to change your life, one morning at a time.
  2. Get Uncomfortable
    The more often you’re uncomfortable, the more comfortable you are at being uncomfortable. When you’re doing uncomfortable things, you’re forcing yourself to grow. Whether that be waking up at 4:30 A.M., going to the gym every morning at 5:00 A.M., going for a run when you hate running, etc. Repetition creates excellence-so challenge yourself daily.
  3. Know your “WHY”
    You have probably heard this one before, but I always ask all of my clients to know WHY they are starting their health and fitness journey. Your “why”, or reason behind committing to becoming a healthier version of yourself is the one thing that will pull you through during the times you want to quit. As Jim Rohn once said, “If the why is powerful, the how is easy.” When your reason for doing something is stronger than what you have to do to get it, you will cultivate the motivation AND discipline to achieve it.

The biggest thing is developing a mindset that won’t allow you to quit. You need to become conscious of your weaknesses and common excuses that you have made that have been holding you back, and you need to develop the mental fortitude to overcome them and become better. Discipline in your life will become your best friend. Discipline will ensure you get things done, and when you get the things that you need to do done, you are far more successful in life and are far more likely to achieve not only your goals but lasting results.

I challenge you to get uncomfortable. I challenge you to get up earlier, work harder, and stay dedicated to your goals and your plan. Despise the easy path, the average path. Decide that you’re not going to stay where you are. Decide that you will no longer settle for the lifestyle you’ve been living. Just decide, then act. It’s that simple. It’s not easy, but it is simple.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to stay the same? Or will you do what is needed to make a change? It’s up to you.

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