One of the most common questions I get asked is ‘How did I become so motivated’ or ‘What keeps me motivated’
Motivation isn’t what you become. You don’t become ‘motivated’, you become disciplined.
‘Motivation is what gets you started, discipline is what keeps you going.’
Motivation comes and goes throughout our lives. It is just a temporary feeling. One similar to that of excitement. It may get you started on your fitness journey, but youre going to need more than that if you want to keep going. You see the end goal and you’re envisioning yourself being there, but once something doesn’t run smoothly or you realize how hard you have to train to get there, you give up and your back to square one.
Discipline is not something you can create overnight. It needs to be trained, just like any other muscle group. Day in and day out.
I don’t wake up every day eager to get to the gym and I don’t prefer to eat a salad over a pizza.
A lot of people would assume that being a coach or athlete in the health and fitness industry means we are immune to all the temptations and choices the rest of the population has. I feel like to external people, they believe we live on another planet. Its if being an athlete or fitness professional means we don’t enjoy certain things.
I will be the first to say that is wrong and I am not ashamed to admit that KFC chicken DOES taste better than poached chicken. I hate to break it to you but salads don’t taste any better the longer you diet. Your tastebuds don’t just suddenly become immune to fast food. They definitely will change and adapt, but the fantasy around Netflix in bed with a pizza on a cold and rainy day … unfortunately doesn’t become any less dreamy.
In fact, after dieting for extended periods of time, you will probably enjoy it even more. Being fit and drinking alcohol does not, (I can confirm), does not…, immune you from hangovers. My hangovers are exactly the same as yours but I refuse to lay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself.
I don’t live in a parallel universe where all these things don’t exist because they do and I am well aware of them.The difference between someone who achieves their fitness goal as to someone who doesn’t, comes down to the importance they put behind their goal and the consequences if they don’t achieve it.
If calories didn’t matter, no one would choose the salad okay. So don’t feel like your alone in preferring the because if weight gain wasn’t a thing, we would all be on it. You don’t need to be a freak of nature to achieve your fitness goals.
I have come to the conclusion with two things after all my years of training and dieting.
- I STILL don’t prefer a salad over a pizza
- My wants are overruled by my NEEDS as an athlete and that means, I choose the salad over the pizza more then I would like.
Simply put, my goals are more important than my excuses and cravings.
My point is, ‘motivation’ comes and goes, it is a temporary feeling we feel, it is not a trait you can obtain. No one really prefers to get out of bed early in the morning when it’s cold, no one prefers to eat a salad over their favorite food and no one has a solid training session, every single day of the year. However they keep turning up and make decisions based off what will get them closer to their goal rather than further away. That’s called discipline. The great thing about this is, you can have it too. Just by practicing every day.
So how do you ‘STAY MOTIVATED’ or what we know now as a better term ‘Become Disciplined’?
1. Set a Goal and a consequence
Your Goal has to has a consequence otherwise there is no urgency to achieve it. For myself, I have to be on stage in front of hundreds of people in a bikini and if I don’t feel good in my condition, that’s a pretty daunting consequence to have.
During my offseason, if I let my body go my life falls apart. It might sound dramatic but it’s true. I don’t like the way I feel or look which leads to lack of confidence. I become lazy which means im less productive and when I loose my fitness I feel less energetic and more sluggish. My body is part of my business too so if it is not on point, my career can suffer also.
When you realize that a lot of things in your life, reflects the state of your current physical body, that is a big enough consequence within itself.
Set a date, a holiday, a photo-shoot. Booking a photoshoot and paying for it is a great one. You are locked into a date, your going to be in front of a camera and receiving photos that you will have forever.
So what’s your goal, and whats the consequence if you dont make it happen?
2. Set a routine
What does your current routine look like right now? Are you structured? Is it all over the place? Does your job make it difficult to stick to a plan. Whatever your days are like right now, make note. Creating a routine doesn’t mean you have to structure out minute by minute of every day.
For myself, my days change all the time. I do not have a structured job from 9-5pm. I like to look at my routine as not something I plan for, for each hour. I look at routine as the tasks that are non negotiable each day. To me, it doesn’t matter when these thing get done, as long as they are done.
When you start to look at routine in that way, it takes the pressure oof doing something at a particular time off you. I Found that personally, if I tried to structure my day and something came up that prevented me from getting to the gym to do my cardio session in the morning, I would miss it all together. Simply because in my head I had ‘missed’ it. Now, It doesn’t matter what time anything gets done as long as it does.
Our priorities during the day are going to change. If you planned to go go the gym first thing in the morning before work, but were too tired. Don’t beat yourself up about it, sleep is just as important. However, this does not mean you skip it all together, nothing is stopping you from going after work. At the end of the day, as long as you tick off all the necessary tasks, it doesn’t matter what order they were done in as long as they were done.
So what are your non negotiable tasks that you want to implement each day to help benefit you?
3. Be organized
The above two points are great starting points. Waking up every morning with a clear plan and intention to do things is brilliant, however nothing can deter your plans more than an organisation. It doesn’t matter if you decide to go to the gym in the morning or the night, not having your clothes and supplements ready to go the night before can create bigger excuses for yourself.
Forgetting to pack or prep your meals can lead to bad food choices during the day. The most important thing is to know your intentions for your next day and pack, ready to go the night before. That way, your eliminating the excuses of being unable to train or eat properly.
4. Be consistent
‘Motivation’ will come with your results. The issue is, too many people give up before they get there. Your biggest source of motivation will come from your own visible progress, but you have to get there first. Keep turning up, every single day. We all adapt to training and diet differently so what might take someone else 2 weeks to notice a difference, may take you 6. You will get there but you have to give your body the best honest chance as possible to reward you.
If you fall off track one day during this time, stop throwing in the towel. One day will not undo all your hard work, but giving up completely will.