Im a big believer that : Motivation gets you to the door , self discipline drives you where you want to go.
Whatever motivated you to start this journey (health issue, performance edge, partner, etc ) gets you to start, but what keeps you going is the practice of self discipline.
Adversity is a big part of training and life. There's no escaping the difficulty and obstacles that lay ahead of the path you're on. Oftentimes if we embrace these challenges we are stronger, wiser, and more prepared moving forward.
Now, there are 4 steps I teach and personally use. These steps can help build self discipline to maintain progress in your training, at work, and in life.
1. Don’t Snooze :
I mean this both literally and figuratively.
Waking up early to train or to get ahead in your responsibilities is not an easy habit to stick and it takes time to build. Too often we get used to hitting the snooze button for an extra 5 minutes which leads to 20 minutes and eventually skipping all together.
This is the first wave of adversity for the day and your decision here , although small, sets the tone for the rest of the day. No matter how heavy or tired your body feels you have set a goal that you want to accomplish.
Yes, sleep and recovery are extremely important as I have mentioned in other blogs, but in this case we are building a new habit and that in itself is uncomfortable. Our brain does not like difficulty, and it will push psychological and physiological cues and triggers to deter you. Build the habit and manage your routines to optimize sleep and recovery. (i.e earlier bed time)
The same is true for evening routines and training. You may not have an alarm clock to snooze but its tempting to hold off on a preset training time or responsibilities. After a long day of work, its easy to let a few minutes of resting your feet on the couch or watching “one more” youtube video deter you from what you set out to do.
So, get away from the snooze button.
2. Show Up :
Sounds easy but this is one of the most difficult steps. In the beginning you're excited and motivated for change and progress. As days and weeks pile on, work increases, and family responsibilities build, the excitement starts to fade, stress increases, and motivation is no longer visible.
An important rule I have always said to myself and those I work with is this, no matter how difficult it gets, show up.
If youre angry, sad, depressed, scared, etc, show up.
If you feel happy, excited, motivated, show up.
If youre not seeing progress fast enough, show up,
If you are feeling good and doing well, show up
If you feel like giving up, show up.
Its easy it to give up when things are terrible and Its easy to stay motivated when everything is going great. No matter where you are, show up. You cant make progress if dont show up.
Showing up can be different depending on the day and the person.
One day, showing up might be getting to the gym to train. The next day might be putting on your running shoes for your morning run. Another day it may be getting in your car and driving to a very important meeting.
However big or small , show up. What you will find is, the days you decide to show up instead of skipping or running away, become the days that help fuel the fire even more.
3. Move the needle :
You may have a well thought out plan or the perfect training program to follow, but unfortunately on this given day it is just not possible.
I talk about this all time with those that I work with. Whether we are talking about a rehab program, training program, or life’s responsibilities; I rather you do 25% all in, instead of 100% with zero focus, intent, or execution.
This may mean your detailed 1hr strength and conditioning session was simplified to a 15 minute session targeting two exercises for as many rounds as you can get.
Your never ending to-list is cut down to 4 things you for sure can get done that day.
Was it what you had planned, no.
Will it have the same effect, probably not.
But, you did some of the work and you did it well.
This moves the needle forward , and forward is progress.
4. Do your best :
Not every day will be rainbows and sunshine.
There will be failure, mistakes will happen, and some things will be missed.
Don’t spend your time comparing yourself to others or listening to what people think or say...
Instead, spend your valuable time and energy on doing your absolute best at any given time no matter the task or the outcome.
Sometimes you will get the result you worked so hard for, and sometimes you will fall short.
If you can honestly say to yourself, that you did your best then you can rest assured that tomorrow is a new day to get back on your feet and try again.
These are the 4 steps I use to make sure no matter what the circumstances may be, I am moving forward. This continues to help me and many others and maybe it can do the same for you.
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