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Motivation vs Discipline 

Motivation vs Discipline 

“I’m not motivated”. I’ve lost motivation”. “What is my motivation”? 

In the health and fitness industry these phrases are used on a daily basis; normally when someone fails to commit to a health and exercise regime or starts one and then fails to continue. I’m sure we all know someone or have been that someone who signs up to a gym, goes regularly for a month and then completely stops going or attends too infrequently for it to even matter. There are many individuals out there right now paying for gym memberships that they haven’t utilised in months, even years. The most common reason is that they lost motivation, or couldn’t find it to begin with.  

The scenario goes as follows. Trudy signs up to the gym because she is having some health issues and her GP has recommended that she lose some excess body fat. Trudy is motivated by the fact that her health is declining and she wishes to see it improve and at the same time feel better about how she looks. She starts going to the gym three days a week in the mornings before work and slightly changes her diet to avoid most take away foods.

She spends the 1st month doing the best she can and loses a few kilograms of excess body weight. Her work starts to get busier and she starts to come in once a week and picking up takeaway food on her way home from work as she has little time to cook. Trudy regains the few kilograms she initially lost and skips a few weeks at the gym. She gets into the gym a couple of times over the next month and then eventually stops returning at all as she failed to see results and resigns to the fact that it was too difficult to fit in with her work life. Trudy lost motivation.  

The issue is that motivation is not enough to maintain your health and fitness goals. Motivation can change, it can diminish, your priorities can alter, your excuses can grow and your desire to continue will cease. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. No words are truer than those when it comes to your personal health and fitness success. Add a little discipline.  

The scenario could go as follows. Trudy spends the 1st month doing the best she can and loses a few kilograms of excess body weight. Her work starts to get busier, but she has developed good habits and realises her days are more productive and enjoyable after she has done her morning workout. She sets her alarm slightly earlier so she can get to the gym with time to spare and even increases her workout days from 3 to 4 mornings a week.

She knows she is going to have limited time in the afternoon to cook after work so decides to prepare most of her meals on the weekend before the busy work week. Trudy perseveres with her programming and meal plan for the next few months and sees an even greater decrease in body fat, being able to wear a dress she had not been able to in years. Trudy continues to be disciplined in her regimen and within the year she has achieved her goal body weight, her health has greatly improved and she feel great knowing she accomplished something. At times Trudy may have lost motivation but she maintained discipline and achieved beneficial results because of it.   

This scenario is common. While motivation may be important for an individual to start and restart progression to a goal, it is discipline that will see them achieve it. My top five tips for developing self-discipline are as follows.  

  • Develop great habits that benefit your health and quality of life. 
  • Be accountable to yourself and the betterment of you.  
  • Take the small victories as them come, but don’t finish there.
  • Make an investment in your health and fitness while it’s a choice and not a necessity.  
  • And finally persevere and maintain discipline, it’s worth it. You’re worth it.