It’s true! For many of us, motivation is ‘key’ to take action and do something. Whether it is work related, fitness related, or something else – when we are motivated, we ‘get stuff done’.
However, motivation alone isn’t enough to succeed and reach our goals.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and have come to this conclusion.
Motivation is a ‘state of mind’ that is needed for us to start something. To pluck up enough will power to take action and ‘move forward’ with something.
However, motivation fluctuates and isn’t sustainable. Motivation works in much the same way as our moods. Some days we can feel happy, whilst other days we can feel sad. Motivation is a phase. It’s a peak that we reach when we are excited about something. But it never lasts.
Have you ever wondered why so many people join a gym at the start of the New Year and then quit before they reach the end of January?
It’s because they saw the New Year as an exciting, fresh start, and pictured themselves looking slimmer, sexier, and more athletic – ready for the summer ahead.
The ‘vision’ that they focused on gave them enough excitement and motivation to ‘start’. But not ‘finish’.
So, what is lacking? What do you need to finish something you have started? Or stick at something for longer than a few days or weeks?
The answer is – Discipline.
Unfortunately, discipline isn’t as easy to master as motivation.
It’s easy to get motivated and excited about something – but much harder to develop a discipline ‘mindset.
So what is discipline?
Discipline is doing something even when we don’t feel like doing it. It’s about doing a specific task no matter what. Making it a rule – a non-negotiable.
When you have a discipline mindset it becomes a habit. Habits are formed through repetition. The more we do something ‘repetitively’ the stronger, and easier that habit becomes. That’s discipline!
How to create a discipline mindset?
The best way to start forming healthy habits and creating a discipline mindset is to break your overall task down into smaller commitments.
These are micro-commitments that lead us towards completion of our task.
Let me use ‘going to the gym’ as an example – Although this concept can be used for anything.
For many people – taking a day off from the gym is easy to do. It might be raining. They have to ‘get changed into their gym gear’. They may have to drive to the gym. It’s not always doing the ‘task’ itself that leads people to failure – It’s often the steps that are required to get them there.
(And they’ll find any excuse NOT to do it, to justify themselves)
In this instance what you need to do is not think about the entire task, but simply the first step – Getting ready.
After getting ready – the next step might be to get there. Just focus on that. Don’t even think about your gym session at this stage. Just focus on getting there.
Once you’re there, focus on the first exercise. Don’t think about the HOUR that you have committed to this session – Just focus on that first exercise.
Once you have finished that, commit to the next exercise.
Do you see the pattern here? It’s about focusing on one small aspect of the overall task, at a time.
When we focus on an entire task it can drain our will power. If we’re not feeling motivated on that day, the prospect of getting to the gym and hammering out a full gym session can seem tiring and overwhelming. Hence why it’s easier to ‘just not go’.
And remember – When we skip once, it’s twice as easy for us to skip the next time. Hence why so many people quite when they don’t have a discipline mindset.
This technique can be used for all areas of your life. Fitness, business, for tackling large projects – anything.
The key to success really is a combination of motivation and discipline – and rarely will you succeed in life without them.
Stay motivated… Stay disciplined!
To your success!