Is Motivation Actually the Key to Fitness Results?
Ever feel like getting up from the couch and going to the gym is the hardest thing in the world?
Maybe you chalked it up to a “lack of motivation” that day …
But what is motivation, really?
Should it be the driving force and reasoning behind all your decisions and subsequent actions, or is there more to this equation?
In this article, we’re going to give you our take on motivation and what it means in relation to your fitness results.
What is Motivation?
Motivation is defined as the reason of an individual, to do something that will help them achieve a certain goal.
And in theory, it all sounds very simple - if you don’t have motivation, you won’t be able to conjure up the energy to do the things you need to.
Motivation is generally divided into two subtypes - external and internal motivation.
Ever tried to get in shape just to “get back at” your ex…?
This is a prime example of external motivation. When you do certain things for something OUTSIDE of yourself.
Conversely, we have internal motivation. That is when your driven by YOUR own reasons to better your OWN state.
External motivation is usually less sustainable because it is less controllable.
This is exactly why it’s more effective to develop inner motivation that you can rely on to keep you more consistent, and drive results no one else is influencing or in control of (but that’s just one factor here, stay with us!)
Finding Your Inner Motivation
For some of you, it may feel like that finding an iota of inner motivation is impossible.
We are here to tell you it’s not. Your inner motivation can be realized through discipline-building!
If you rely on motivation without disciplined habits reinforcing it, you may fall prey to excuses (“I’m too tried,” “I can’t,” “forget it, this is not doable for me,” etc.)
Imagine you could override those annoying voices automatically and surge forward. Well, you can! It all comes down to programming (or teaching) your brain to do that almost like an algorithm.
How? Habit-building. Habits are the “coding language” you can use to train your brain to react consistently despite the excuses that arise when the going gets tough.
Sound simplistic? Maybe, but we’d be remiss not to mention such an important piece of this puzzle. There is a tendency for us humans to attach meaning to things that give us results; thus reinforcing the behaviour and repeating it. This is how you can “program” your brain to do what you want it to do automatically, and subsequently build DISCIPLINE.
When it comes to your fitness and wellbeing, here are the key habits to focus on to make a bigger impact:
#1 Creating a sustainable nutrition plan
Your health is NOTHING without the nutrients it needs on a day-to-day basis.
You are responsible for giving your body those nutrients, through well-selected food sources.
While they may sound tempting, it is highly recommended to AVOID following trends and instead, apply principles to your nutrition plan.
For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t follow the keto diet “just to speed things up;” instead, create a sustainable caloric deficit based on a predominantly whole food diet.
You’ve heard it before but ultimately, the best nutrition plan is the one you can adhere to long-term, full stop.
Now, if you feel good eating little to no carbs? Go for it!
You feel okay with the carnivore diet and can stick to it long-term? Boss, go ahead.
Choose what you can stick to – it shouldn’t feel like torture. Whatever you choose, always ensure to give your body all the essential nutrients it needs to thrive (proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals).
#2 A Laser-like Focus on the Right Things
One of the major reasons a lot of people lose motivation and/or discipline is that they focus on the wrong things during their fitness journey.
For instance, measuring your fitness results just based on how much you weigh can be DESTROY your motivation levels.
The scale is the single most detrimental tool to motivation and just one undesired reading can quickly ruin your day, mood, and feeling of progress.
Expand your horizons. Instead of just tracking your weight, make sure to also track things like:
- Energy levels
- How your body composition is changing
- How your clothes fit
- Quality of sleep
- Athletic performance
In doing all of this, you will see and feel a slew of unrealized gains you’ve been getting, which in turn gives meaning to what you are doing; thus, increasing your motivation in the long term. Motivation is a by-product.
#3 Focus on Discipline
A lot of people view the fitness journey as something with a start and end date.
Like if once you achieved your fitness goal, you’re all set and don’t have to do anything ever again to maintain the results.
While we love the idea of reaching a goal and basking in it forever more, the reality is, that couldn’t be further from the truth …
Training and nutrition are ongoing HABITS everyone must develop to keep their bodies in top-form and increase their overall quality of life.
Avoid deferring to just “motivation” to get you through; instead, as we said, develop the needed habits in order to stay disciplined towards them. You are essentially creating a new lifestyle.
Hell, you may even grow to love this new lifestyle.
This is the best and most sustainable route to driving maximized long-term progress.
Motivation is an amazing mindset to train, but on the flipside it’s also something that – stand-alone – isn’t sufficient to give you long-term progress if it isn’t reinforced with discipline.
There’s nothing like that rush you get when you have a spike of motivation, but the truth is that it is not sustainable.
So, when it comes to working on your health, wellbeing and physical development, motivation alone is not actually the key…it’s just a by-product of deliberate focus and discipline.
Discipline is the key.