On Discipline

Hi there teammates — a quick one this week, but one that has been percolating in my head after discussing motivation with a couple athletes in the gym.  We’re in the hot, sweaty center of summertime.  Kids’ schedules are all over the place, vacations and long weekends are popping up all the time, and it can be hard for all of us to stay motivated to get into the gym on a regular basis.

Here’s the thing – motivation is great.  When you’re motivated to achieve a goal, that can really drive you to push through a workout that an “unmotivated individual” wouldn’t even show up to.  If you’re signed up for a race or a competition, you have that goal on the horizon and if you’re really excited about it and want to do well, you can ride that motivation to achieve awesome results!
Sometimes motivation can be brought on externally as well – the push that you get in a workout by competing against someone else that is matching you rep-for-rep, or a coach that you respect telling you to “pick up the barbell and move” – thanks Jimmy for that during The Joe workout this week!

But what do we rely on when the motivation isn’t there?  I can think of a few scenarios where this might be the case.  You check out the workout online, and any motivation you were trying to muster fizzles away.  Or maybe it doesn’t even matter what the workout is, you just don’t feel like working out today – it’s been a tough week and you’d rather just relax at home.  When that motivation escapes you for a while – if you don’t have a goal to drive you or other priorities start taking hold, that is called a rut.  And it’s hard to get out of!

That’s where Discipline comes in.  Discipline means that you follow through with your plan even when you don’t want to, and it’s one important marker of mental toughness and a hell of a good value to internalize if you want results.  The good news is that discipline can be trained, and whenever you do, just like a muscle, you strengthen it.  It starts with waking up in the morning.  Wake up at the same time every day (alright, let’s start with every weekday), and be consistent in your morning routine including reviewing your plan of the day and solidifying what time you’re going to train.  Remember, if you don’t think your evening schedule will allow a workout to happen, we have some awesome 5am and 6am classes that are filled with disciplined people – and you might even find some extra motivation by surrounding yourself with them once in a while!
Practice discipline throughout your day by getting the things done on your workplan that you know you need to do, creating freedom later in the day to do what you want to do.  And when it’s time to workout, practice discipline by showing up ready to work hard.  You might not always have the physical energy to set new PRs every time you walk in the gym, but consistently getting the work in and building your strength and endurance will create the opportunities to break through barriers when you’re feeling at the top of your game.

Motivation won’t always be there for you.  Develop discipline in your fitness regimen and in your life, and that toughness and consistency will drive you to achieve great things.

Thanks for reading, and I will see you at the box.