What separates those who achieve their goals and those who don’t? How do some people accomplish whatever they set their minds to while others “fall off” their routines?
In today’s world, we spend so much time talking about ways to increase motivation, how to “get back on the horse,” and beating ourselves up because we didn’t “follow the diet perfectly.” However, ask any successful fitness professional the secret to reaching goals, and they will tell you one truth known by any high performance individual: Motivation isn’t enough; you need to build discipline.
So what’s the difference?
Motivation is an intrinsic desire or willingness to take action towards something. This action is dependent on whether said willingness currently exists. In contrast, discipline involves training for self-control and taking action, even during moments we “don’t feel like it.”
So does this mean you should never strive to be motivated to create a habit or accomplish something? Of course not. Rather, it means that motivation is fleeting and unreliable. If you truly want to reach a goal or create a healthy habit or lifestyle, focus your efforts on 2 areas:
- Building Discipline Within Yourself
- Having Accountability With Yourself
To build discipline, you need to do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it — bottom line. This starts with building confidence within yourself and taking on small tasks that you know you can do. For example, committing to a 20 minute walk in the morning is an excellent way to build a fitness routine foundation. From here, you can commit to a 30 minute strength-training workout or build towards jogging or running.
The next part is assessing WHY you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, and holding yourself accountable. Make it a big deal when you don’t follow through and let it stir up a little guilt and pain — because every time you make an excuse, you disrespect yourself a little bit. Overtime, this will add up — and it will start to bother you. Take the time to reflect when you don’t take action when you say you will and learn to challenge yourself to rise up to your expectations.
In sum, the next time you aren’t feeling motivated to move towards your goals, ask yourself who you want to be in this world and how you want to show up. Remind yourself that true discipline is built when you take action, despite having thoughts that encourage you to break your commitments.
Take the time and energy to build confidence with your words and change the relationship you have with yourself — because this the most important relationship you will ever have in your life. You got this!