"I feel motivated!" "I have no motivation!" "You really motivated me today!" "I wish I had more motivation!"
We hear it all the time.... but is motivation really what we need?
I was attending the UK Active Awards, and watched as a trophy was handed to ‘motivator of the year’. He was a vibrant, healthy looking individual, who I am sure can motivate even the laziest couch potato into action, when I began to think about the nature of motivation.
As a Personal Trainer for 20 years, it's a word that I and my clients are very familiar with:
I feel motivated!
I have no motivation.
You really motivated me today!
I wish I had more motivation!
However upon examination I came to the shocking realisation that motivation is bullshit. There is no route to long term fitness goals and a healthy lifestyle if you have to rely on motivation. It's too weak, it's hard to define, it's really just a little voice in your head and it’s very unreliable. If you need this voice to be talking to you to get things done then you won’t get things done. At least not consistently enough to get results.
So what do you need if not motivation?
The answer is simple… Discipline!
Discipline never lets me down. If I don’t feel like getting up for my 6am spin class, tough! Discipline doesn’t care, it will make me do it anyway! Discipline doesn’t care about my feelings, it's all about getting the job done, it will make me carry on even when I want to stop, it will put down the fork when what I really want is another piece of cake, it drags me up by my boot straps and shows me the way!
When she is training for Wimbledon, Serena Williams has tennis practice for 4 hours every day, strength training for 2 hours every day and cardio for 1 hour every day. She isn’t motivated, she is disciplined!
We all have days when we feel we can’t be bothered to go to the gym, even gym rats like me. When you have those days, f**k motivation, let discipline take your lazy arse down there and get the job done.