Why Motivation to Work Out Just Isn’t Enough

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Every goal starts from a spark of motivation.

Whether you want to lose weight. Look different. Have stronger muscles, more energy, be happier – they all come from a big dose of drive and inspiration to make a positive change in your life.  That’s your motivating force.

The why behind your actions. The reasons you set goals and work toward them.

But motivation doesn’t get you to the finish line of that goal.

Nearly 70% of all dieters quit their diet by the 3rd day.

And almost half of new gym-joinees stop going to their gym altogether by the third week.

Are these people lazy?

Doomed?

Genetically predisposed to fail?

Not necessarily.

They just started working to their goal relying on motivation alone. 

Motivation Is Great, But It Isn’t Enough

Think about the last time you planned a monster workout. The kind of workout that was going to jumpstart your fat loss. Give you an instant muscle boost. Do some serious damage toward your fat loss goals.

You know what I’m talking about.

The one you plan in your head that looks something like this:

Start with 100 burpees.

Then tackle 100 squats.

Maybe 100 pushups and 100 walking lunges.

Add 100 of these, and 100 of those.

Heck throw a couple hundred crunches at the end.

Then finish it off with some incline sprints or a timed mile or two.

You’re sick and tired of being overweight, slow and disappointed in your appearance. And today’s workout is going to turn it all around!

So you start the monster workout.

And about 3 minutes in, it hits you: what the hell was I thinking? I can’t do all of this!

So you scale it back.

Just 50 reps instead of 100. That should still do the trick.

But halfway through that first exercise – you lose it. All of that motivation you had while creating the monster workout disappears into thin air.

Instead of being ready to dominate – you’re ready to throw in the towel.

And you start to think about how hard losing weight is. Or how long it’s really going to take you to hit those strength goals. And instead of feeling charged, you feel defeated.

You quit the workout. Walk out of the gym disappointed and hopeless. And unmotivated.

You aren’t the only person who’s been to this pity party.   This maddening defeat happens to us all.

Because motivation can get you started, but it disappears – often at the first sign of struggle.  

To see a goal from beginning to success, you have to rely on more than motivation.

You need discipline.

Discipline is the commitment to continue even when the initial excitement and optimism fades.

It’s the recognition that you will struggle, at times you will hate the journey and sometimes even question jumping ship – but despite it all, you stay the course.

It’s doing what you need to when it is no longer fun or convenient – because you know it will get you results.

But discipline doesn’t always come easy.  It’s not something that you just have or think about and you can follow through.  Discipline has to be built.  

And it has to be build daily.

But you can build it strong by following this one easy step: 

Each day, write down the minimum amount of work you need to stay committed to your goal. And complete it not matter what. 

REmember that 1000 rep workout? That was based on motivation – and that driver will tell you to do the maximum.  That you can do everything at once and see results faster.

And in theory, that sounds great.  But that’s also the fastest way to set yourself up for failure.

Instead of doing the maximum amount of work – focus on doing the minimum.

Set the minimum daily goal that will keep you on course.  

When you see that minimum goal, it often looks so small and easy that there’s no way you’d throw in the towel.  Doing 100 reps instead of 1000 is much more manageable.  It keeps your mind invigorated – but when that excitement is gone, your body can still power through it. 

And each day that you complete this minimum amount of work trains you to be disciplined to success.  Create a goal – crush a goal.  And then over time, those daily goals will get bigger and more challenging.  But when the struggle hits, you will already become accustomed to succeeding.  To continuing forward even when it’s hard instead of throwing in the towel. 

Success breeds more success.

Set yourself up for long-term success by making your daily goals obtainable and minimal.  Give yourself no option but to finish that small amount of daily discipline. Then on the days you’re still motivated – do a little extra.  But it’s better to move forward on small steps of discipline than jump ship when the motivation runs out. 

 


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