forget about motivation, get disciplined and achieve your goals
Don’t get me wrong motivation is great when its with us. It can inspire us to shoot for the moon and take on new challenges. It can make mountains seem like mole hills, it can help get you through the early stages of any endeavor. But rarely, if ever does motivation alone achieve goals. Weight loss and physical transformation in particular is full of peaks and valleys. You make progress and lose 10 pounds. You look in the mirror and feel great, fully motivated and rejuvenated. Then the next day all you see is the remaining 20 pounds you still have to lose and that motivation you once felt seeps out into the ground. The problem with motivation is that it’s not under your control, it can strike at a moments notice but it leaves just as quickly and if you don’t have a plan to carry you through until your next wave of motivation you’re likely to end up losing your progress and momentum.
This is where discipline comes in. Discipline is what gets you over the humps and to the gym on time for your training session. It’s what helps you pass over the box of office donuts to heat up your packed lunch. When you put your focus on being disciplined, it doesn’t matter to you how you feel in the moment and you begin operating on broader principles aimed towards long term goal achievement.
It’s a very rewarding principle and the more success you have with it the more disciplined you will want to become. One of my goals for 2019 is just that. I’ve experienced great success with applying discipline to my physical fitness and nutrition routines. I now want to take what I’ve learned and apply it to other areas of my life, like building healthier sleep patterns and growing my business practices.
I firmly believe that being disciplined will lead you to success in any endeavor you take on! So what does it mean to be disciplined and what things can you do to become more disciplined your life?
1. Just Show Up
I had a friend and business partner once tell me that 80% of life is just showing up. I couldn’t agree more, so what ever it is that you’ve committed to do, you have to show up. It’s something I’ve worked really hard on in this past few years and it’s really paid dividends.
Even if you don’t feel like going, just show up. Get something done, put in a half-assed effort if you must. What usually ends up happening is once you get there and get participating your mood will change and you’ll start to enjoy what your doing and the half ass effort you intended to put forth quickly becomes… full-assed. But even if it doesn’t you can go home feeling like you accomplished something and be ready to try again tomorrow.
2. Have Well Defined Goals
And write them down for gods sake. Carry them on a little piece of paper in your wallet/purse or take a picture of them on your phone. That way you have a visual reminder of the goals you are trying to achieve, this helps tremendously when you are feeling demotivated and need something to push into the right frame of mind to tackle your next task.
Next weeks article will be all about goal setting but for the sake of this article. A well defined goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound you can remember it through the acronym S.M.A.R.T
3. Have a Plan of Action
Your plan is aimed directly at your goals. If your goal is weight loss or better fitness you may have multiple plans a nutrition and exercise plan. Your nutrition plan might be to eat less than 2000 calories per day and your fitness plan might be to do 3 cardio session on Sat, Tues, Thurs and 3 weight training sessions on Mon, Weds, Friday.
Internalize this plan and accept it as your overriding principles and use it to guide your behavior. It no longer matters what you feel like doing in the moment, if you had planned to go to the gym today, just show up(remember rule 1).
It’s not magic, you just have to do it! If we want to be disciplined and achieve our goals we will follow our plan meticulously it’s bigger than our day to day feelings.
4. Plan for Disaster
Just a good simple list of things you’ll do when life hands you lemons. Can’t get to the gym, have a 30 minute body weight fitness program ready or go for a run in the park. Boss has you working through lunch, have protein bars, almonds, trail mix or carrots in your lunch bag ready to be consumed at your desk.
If you can think of a roadblock you can plan for it and it will make all the difference in the world because these things will come up.
5. Reward Yourself
Give yourself the credit you deserve. If you’ve lost some weight, if you went to the gym when you didn’t feel like it or stuck to your diet for a month, allow yourself to feel good and be proud of what you have accomplished even if you haven’t reached your goal yet.
Reward yourself with a massage or a night out with friends or anything else you can think of even if it’s a little counter active to your goals!
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week to talk specifically about goal setting.
About the Author
is a certified member of the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals and C.E.O in the software development sector. With a passion for personal fitness and helping others achieve their best health and performance Aaron coaches nutrition and exercise programs at Elite Personal Training in London, On.