Motivation is a word that gets thrown around A LOT in the fitness industry. Quite frankly I hate it. I am NOT motivated everyday to workout. In fact I would say 20% of the time I am motivated. 80% of the time I have a laundry list of things I could fill my one hour with other than dragging my butt to the gym to lift things.
SCREW “STAYING MOTIVATED.”
Today I am going to talk to you about DISCIPLINE + JOY and the power of a long term perspective. These are the “key to staying ‘motivated'”…NOT motivation.
Make the freaking choice Tina! You have the choice to:
Are you feeling like I’m placing it on your shoulders?…That’s because I am. That is literally what discipline is my friend. It’s making choices that lead to your goal, to your desired outcome, even when it is not super duper appealing…even when you’re not motivated.
It’s why they call it the grind. Beyonce wasn’t built in a day, and neither are your training gains. You have to make the choice day after day. Sometimes minute after minute. You know your girl has driven to the gym just to sit in the car for 20 minutes contemplating driving home, just sitting in the sauna, or straight up taking a nap in the car instead of getting my lift in. You’re not alone, and we’re removing all excuses TUH-DAY.
Discipline becomes easier when you become better at making the same choice in the direction you want to go. Momentum and time are ALWAYS working for us or against. Never stagnant. I repeat. Momentum and time are always working for us or against us.
You have a lot to do with which direction it’s taking you in. Build that momentum day after day. Make it work FOR you.
Now, discipline tends to have a connotation with taking action on things we don’t want to, like it is negative.
This is not true. We need discipline even to do the things we enjoy when those things are a challenge. Challenges and enjoyment are NOT mutually exclusive. Working out is a challenge. But it should also bring JOY.
That brings me to our next point.
It is important that you enjoy the type of exercise you’re doing. If you don’t enjoy lifting weights…it pains me to say this, but don’t lift weights. That is step one. You need to find joy in the activity you do with your body. This will make being disciplined a bit easier.
Focus on how you feel during and after the workout. You should be proud of what your body is capable of. The more disciplined you become, the more opportunities you’ll have to feel these moments of joy. You will break through new barriers and find new strengths. The more this happens, the more “motivation” you’ll have to stay disciplined.
Last but not least, and one of my all time favorite things to talk about…
People ask how I stay motived. They are asking because they have been working for a period of time and they are dependent on seeing instant results instead of focusing on the process and finding JOY in that process. This is a huge problem and will quickly lead to a lack of discipline.
You’ve got to be in this for the long haul (cue doing something you ENJOY). A long term perspective is vital for your success and discipline. You absolutely will not succeed and “stay motivated” if you want to look like some bikini competitor in two months, or a week. You won’t find joy either. Because you’re chasing an aesthetic instead of performance goals and how you FEEL.
When we switch our focus to long term, we’re able to calm the frick down and take it day by day. I’m going to be doing this as long as I possibly can, so everyday is just building those movement patterns and getting a good sweat so that my body can move well into my 80’s and beyond. Each day is to be just a little better than the day or week before. THIS is where the magic happens. This is where we “stay motivated.” Because we know that if it’s a rough week, or even a rough month, IT’S JUST A WEEK OR A MONTH IN THE LONG HAUL OF LIFE! That’s nothing. So grind through the week, or take a deload week and just stay on the horse.
That long term mindset keeps you grounded. It makes it easier to remain disciplined because you know the rough patch is not the end.
So, there is my secrete to staying motivated. Step one, screw motivation. You’ll fail if you depend on the FEELING of motivation. Step two, find something you LOVE doing, get that long term perspective going, and practice making the choice EVERYDAY.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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