Discipline is such a trendy topic right now on social media, especially in the fitness space. Honestly, most of the content is spot on. Motivation is great.
Motivation gets you going to start your fitness journey in January... but what happens when motivation fades? Usually, people quit.
When things get hard or you don't get the outcomes you were looking for you probably think, "This isn't for me" or "maybe next year." Bologna.
Whatever your goal may be and while motivation is still strong, set yourself up for success. Make the steps to success like habits and write them into your schedule. Those habits need to become like brushing your teeth. It's not something that you have to set a timer or reminder for... you just do it.
If your goal involves the gym, make that part of your day. While you are still feeling motivated put it at a time of day with the least amount of obstacles and get in the habit of going regularly.
When motivation fades... this is the best/ worst advice ever... show up. Hear me out: I haven't "wanted" to go to the gym in a long time but I keep showing up. The more times that you fight through apathy, just show up, and get the job done the easier it becomes to continue doing so.
If the first day you don't feel like going to the gym you skip, that is your new habit... skipping.
If the first day you don't feel like going to the gym you show up, that will become your habit. Keep showing up when you don't feel like it, it eventually just becomes second nature and you'll never stop.
Let me give you 5 practical tips to strengthen your "stick to it" muscles.
1: Stack Habits
Add fitness habits on top of tasks that you already do. Walk your dog daily? Buy a weighted vest and wear that while you walk. Drive by a gym on the way to work? Pop in for 30 minutes on the way to work or on the way home.
I once had a guy on my podcast who made the goal to just show up to the gym for 30 minutes 3 times per week on the way home from work. No plan. Just show up. He would wander around, hit the elliptical, and maybe do a few machines.
Not very effective but he built the habit and tweaked it as he went.
2. Prep Your Workout Bag the Night Before
This is especially important if you workout in the morning, on your lunch break, or on the way home from work. Set out your clothes, put a scoop of protein in your shaker, and pack a banana to replenish muscle glycogen.
Don't make yourself rush in the morning and go ahead and make the decision the night prior that you will not skip.
3: Have a Workout Plan
Let me contradict myself. I realize I said to just show up to the gym above. Going and getting any type of activity will get the ball rolling in the right direction.
However, if you want to amplify results... follow a good workout plan. Having a clear purpose and not worrying about what to do takes the stress out of it. Then, you can just show up, crush the workout, and get out without wasting time.
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4. Get Accountability
This can be an old-school accountability partner, a workout buddy, your spouse, a trainer, or a group workout. Don't leave it up to just you. When others hold you to a higher standard, you are more likely to succeed.
This is the beauty of social media. You can document your journey and that is another way to get accountability. You don't want to put your goals out there and then quit.
Will there be haters online? Yes. But you will also get a ton of encouragement. Just find the right people!
5. Reject Mediocrity
Ever heard the quote, "I would rather choke on greatness, than nibble at mediocrity?"
It is becoming the societal norm to overeat, abuse alcohol, and be out of shape. Working out is hard. Eating healthy is hard. But I am telling you, a lifetime of chronic illness and weakness is harder.
Become the jacked dad at soccer practice. Be the fit mom at the school events. Feel good and look good. Why settle for good when you can create great?!
Make yourself show up for your goals. No one else can.
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