If your goal is to develop a long-term fitness habit that makes you feel good both physically and mentally, focus on self-discipline more than motivation. But have you ever thought about the difference between discipline and motivation?
In Which Is Better: Discipline or Motivation?, David Burk, a retired Top Gun fighter pilot, thinks that “motivation is meaningless” and has this to say about discipline:
“Discipline is what drives you to do the work you don’t enjoy, but is required. Discipline conquers fear. Discipline keeps you going when your curiosity, motivation, and excitement evaporate.”
Motivation can be fleeting and more glamorous than discipline. It’s what gets the hashtags on Instagram and winds up on the posters in your doctor’s office. But motivation still has its place.
Motivation is a great feeling, and it makes you feel like you can conquer all your goals (and then some). But motivation isn’t enough. It might be what you need to get started, but discipline is going to be what will keep you going.
Discipline, just like a squat or a push press, is a skill. You can teach yourself how to become more disciplined. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take small steps.
Start with something small and manageable. Instead of saying you’re going to work out every single day for the next month, set a more realistic goal. The smaller steps and goals that you act on now set you up to take on the bigger goals of the future.
2. Use trial and error.
There is no magic formula in developing discipline. Don’t copy someone else’s routine just because you read about it somewhere. Think about what you need, figure out where you need to put in some work. Then go from there.
3. Plan for obstacles.
At some point, your motivation will run out, and your perfect streak of habit formation will come to an end. This decline in motivation is unavoidable. Things will happen. You won’t be able to prevent challenges, but you can make a plan for when something unexpected or undesirable happens.
Pinnacle Performance and Fitness in Corpus Christi is here to support you in achieving your personal performance and fitness goals. To learn more about our program offerings and how to get started, contact us.