Learn how to leverage short-term motivation into long-term discipline to workout, eat better, or any other life-upgrade habit you want to put in place. Watch or read below.
We’ve all been there in the beginning when you set a new goal.
You’re all motivated and excited to make some big changes in your life.
Maybe you’re going to find a new job.
Going to lose 30 pounds.
Going to exercise everyday.
And this is the year that you’re going to read a book every week.
So you purchase a gym membership.
You get some new workout shoes.
And you join Amazon Prime because you know you’re going to be ordering a lot of books and you’ll make good use of that free shipping.
Fast forward a couple of months.
You realize that you spent $30 on Amazon Prime, but you’ve only read two books.
Spent $90 on your gym membership, but you haven’t been to the gym in weeks.
You were motivated in the beginning, but what happened?
And you might be thinking, it’s a personality thing that you’re just not a disciplined person.
But here’s something most people don’t think about – motivation and discipline actually work together and you can use your motivation to build your discipline. They are different, but they are two sides of the same coin.
I’ll give you 3 concrete steps for how to use motivation and discipline together to make big change.
But to make this work, you need to know a little bit about each to know how to use them.
Motivation is the emotion of wanting to do something.
You might wish that you were motivated to go to the gym or to paint that spare bedroom.
Since motivation is an emotion, it is more powerful if it’s connected to something we enjoy and will always fade when it’s connected to something we don’t enjoy as much.
And we usually feel more motivated to do things we are comfortable doing.
If you like to go shopping, you’ll be motivated to go shopping.
Discipline is doing the thing that needs to be done, regardless of whether you feel like doing it or not.
Here’s a little mindset nugget: discipline is the necessary response to discomfort.
If there’s something that you don’t really want to do or you don’t feel comfortable doing, it’s not motivation that’s going to get you to do it – it’s discipline.
Discipline involves some discomfort because if it were comfortable, you’d already be motivated to do it.
But think about this, you’ll never be free without discipline.
If you require motivation to do something, you’re at the mercy of your emotions. There will be too many things left undone if you need to feel motivated to do it.
To have real control over your life, and to make changes that you want to make, discipline is necessary.
But discipline is limited. You can only force yourself to do something you don’t like for so long and then it’s gone.
Some people have a bit more discipline than others, but everyone will run out eventually.
It takes too much mental energy to talk yourself into doing that thing you don’t want to do all the time.
Discipline is most useful for developing habits.
Think of discipline as a short-term energy source, like kindling to start a fire.
Habit formation requires discipline at first, however, once a habit is established discipline is no longer required.
For example, you don’t need discipline to brush your teeth. It’s a habit.
Use your discipline where it can have long-lasting impact and that’s by developing powerful habits.
Perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that disciplined people actually have practiced and developed the skill of self-motivation.
They don’t look for an external trigger to start something.
They start themselves.
Actually, it is a habit.
And once you develop the habit to self-motivate, you can achieve things you never thought you could do before.
This is the person that can drag themselves out of bed on a cold morning, to go work out because they are focused on that long-term objective.
They’re good at reminding themselves why they need to put their shoes on and head out that door.
They’re using discipline here, but they are also focusing on the benefits instead of the misery of getting up that early to go get this thing done before their day gets busy.
Keep the benefits of your behaviors in mind, rather than focusing on the task itself.
So, no matter what your goal is – whether it’s to get in shape or read a book every week – here’s how we’re going to put it all together and use discipline in combination with motivation to get this done.
Step 1: Use self- motivation to start.
Get very clear about this. You need to set the behavior that you need to do and you need to set the day and the time you’re going to do it.
And by the way, this is the fun part.
This is the motivation part.
Step 2: Use discipline when it’s time to do the thing.
When the scheduled time comes and there’s something that you feel uncomfortable doing, you’re going to start talking yourself out of doing it.
This is when you need the discipline focus on the benefit and not the discomfort
Step 3: Keep using that discipline until this is a habit.
Make yourself, do it NO. MATTER. WHAT.
There are some people out there who talk about how long it takes to set a habit. I’ve learned that if you’ve been doing this (setting new habits), it gets faster, it gets easier to do.
People who struggle setting new habits are the ones who rely on motivation. Remember – motivation is an emotion and it fades.
If you mess up, you start again!
You’re allowed as many “Day 1’s” as you need.
And I’d like to point out that not having to start over is actually a benefit of not quitting.
One of the discomforts for new lifters is that they don’t know what to do.
I can help you with that. Check out this playlist…
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Hi! I'm Tammy! I was a busy, stressed, and unhealthy teacher until I decided to take control of my health. I did not become an athlete until I was in my 50's!
I earned personal training and fitness nutrition certifications, then retired from teaching to dedicate my work life to fitness education for other busy women over 40.
My results are obviously not typical because most people don't train to compete as a bodybuilder.
But I believe everyone can make positive changes with healthy habits! Each of us has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that need to be considered to customize a program that will work for us. Science-based principles, flexibility, and consistency make all the difference.