Motivation is overrated (in the long run)!
If you want to get a workout done there are basically two ways to get yourself to do it. The first and more popular, but ultimately wrong in the long run, is to motivate yourself to train. The second, and somewhat less popular and more difficult to cultivate, is with discipline.
What is the difference between the two? Well motivation is that feeling you get when you really want to get something done – nothing could stop you from doing your workout, you WANT to do it! It’s almost a bubbly feeling you get when there is a task at hand and you’re borderline excited to do it. Discipline however is a bit different. Discipline doesn’t make you feel “bubbly”, it doesn’t make you feel “excited”, but what it does do is much more important. It makes you resilient to all the crap that can get in your way. If motivation is a spark then discipline is the ember.
Don’t get me wrong motivation is a great starter, but that’s all it should be – a starter. If you require motivation for every workout eventually you will falter. Motivation is a fickle friend, it’s there some of the time, sure, but when it’s not and you have no discipline then you’re doomed to fail. Motivation is emotional whereas discipline is void of emotion. Motivation is fleeting whereas discipline is consistent.
Now the big question, how to build discipline? It’s actually quite simple – you force yourself when you cannot the arsed! Now, I said simple but simple doesn’t mean easy. Its not easy to force yourself to train at 5am before work or 7pm after work, its not easy to force yourself to drive through the rain to get yourself into the Gym. At first you need to force yourself to do it but after a while you’ll notice something different about your way of thinking. Something will change and all of a sudden you’re not forcing yourself, things that used to be annoying aren’t even registering in your way of thinking anymore, the rain? Pssh no big deal just a bit of water, 5am workout? Then you’ve started the day perfectly, 7pm? You’re gonna sleep amazingly! That my friend is discipline and you cultivated it, not friends or family, not even your trainer – it was you. You were motivated before but now you’re disciplined.
The question isn’t how to keep yourself “motivated” to train, it’s how to train yourself to work without it.