Being someone who is relatively in to fitness, I get asked this question quite a lot. ‘How do you stay motivated to work out?’ ‘I always stick to workouts for one week and then I give up, how do you do it?’. I know that having motivation doesn’t only apply to fitness, but I think fitness is one aspect of life that people are constantly seeking to find motivation to pursue and give up quickly because you don’t see results immediately. But this whole idea of ‘staying motivated’ is true of anything that doesn’t come with an immediate result. E.g, becoming an entrepreneur with a really successful business, getting top grades in all your exams, running a marathon
The simple answer is that you cant rely on motivation to keep you going.
Motivation comes and goes, it fluctuates and therefore so will your consistency if you rely on motivation alone to help you reach a long term goal. Motivation gets you started, but the things that keep you going are discipline and dedication. Think about it these:
- No one wants to go to work everyday, but you have to because you quite literally get paid for showing up (the dream!).
- No one wants to revise everyday when studying for exams, and you complain about it all the time, but you have to do it to get good grades
- No one wants to practice the guitar everyday, but you know that if you keep practicing you’ll get better
So that’s the thing you need to get past, no one wants to do something everyday. Having said that, once you start seeing improvements, it makes showing up a whole lot easier (which is a whole other blog post – the Goldilocks Method – which I mention here).
One thing I have to point out is that I have NOT always thought like this. I used to ask my friend Ben who runs Ironmans and Ultra Marathons the same thing – how do you stay motivated to train all the time!? And he would way it is discipline and dedication rather than motivation, but I just didn’t *get* it.
It’s a strange thing that you can been told something a thousand times by someone, but it’s only when you hear it worded in a certain way that it finally sticks. The time this concept finally stuck for me was when I was reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits and it said you don’t realise how valuable it is to just show up on your bad (or busy) days.
It’s like when people say, ‘there is no such thing as a bad workout’ or ‘your bad workout’s are the most important ones’, which I never completely understood, but now I get. Because if you’ve showed up on your so called ‘worst’ or ‘bad’ days, it makes it easier to show up on your better days. It’s easy to do something when you feel like it, but those that do something even when they don’t necessarily want to, are the ones that will be successful.
I always remind myself of the above quote after I go on a shit run, because yes, the run may have been shit and I probably really didn’t want to go BUT I still did it.
Wow, I feel like I’ve really preached my way through this! So I’ll stop now, but, f you haven’t read James Clear’s book I would 1000% recommend it.
Has any of this changed the way you think about motivation?
Thanks for reading, Chloe x