Motivation & Discipline

So tell me if you’ve been here before?

Maybe you want to drop 20 pounds. Maybe you want to clean up your eating. Maybe you want to get a stronger and more defined body. Maybe it’s just about getting out of discomfort.

Are you with me so far? If so leave a comment below with what your #1 fitness goal is.

OK so you’ve got your goal, and you’re ready to go.

So how does it feel to start that first day?

That first day is full of motivation, that’s a buzz word and I’m going to use it a number of times today so let me define motivation for our context today. defines motivation as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” The word comes from the origin motive, it’s your why.

Another definition I found hit a little harder for me is “the desire or willingness of someone to do something.” I like this one better because motivation is fleeting. It comes and goes with waves. Some days you’ll have the desire, the fire the passion and some days you’ll have to be willing to suck it up and get the work done. This is where discipline comes in, but more on that later.

So let’s go back to your goal and finding your motivation for it. I know this is a little campy but bear with me here. Close your eyes and think about your goal. Why do you want to (insert your goal here)? What will that get you? How will you feel once you’ve accomplished this? What will you be able to do that you wouldn’t or couldn’t do before? How much better will your life be when you accomplish your goal?

Now we’re getting closer to your why. Now we’re finding your motivation.

OK you can open your eyes now.

Did you struggle to find your emotional why? It may not come in a second and your why may change as you get going. That’s ok, but set aside 5-10 minutes today to think about how much better you would feel if you just accomplished that small goal, fitness or otherwise. Just because I’m your fitness coach doesn’t mean these trainings can’t carry over to the rest of your life.

Back to our scenario, the one where you want to drop 20lbs. You’ve been making changes to your diet and you’ve done physical activity each morning before work. How does this make you feel? Your muscles may be a little tender to the touch, especially if you’re starting from a sedentary situation. That soreness, called DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) is expected. It’s part of the adaptation process and maybe some of my experienced lifters can back me up here. You may come to crave that soreness. To know you’ve challenged your body, that you’ve put in the work to better yourself.

Motivation gets you started but discipline keeps you going.

Let’s face it, some days you wake up with the fire, some days you don’t.

So now it’s day 6, you know, Saturday. Your motivation to sleep in may be higher than your motivation to get up and do your morning yoga practice. Let’s face it, some days you just don’t want to. As I said earlier, and I’m actually paraphrasing a study out of Stanford, motivation comes in waves. Motivation is tied to emotions and we all know how stable those things can be. The positive emotions that get you started can quickly turn on you and feed you negative self talk. In comes discipline.

You have to decide whether to get your ass out of bed or miss your workout. You have the choice. A choice to suck it up and get the work done, or feel guilt and regret later. These feelings of guilt for missed workouts or fast food binges are what kill progress. The effects are more than the one regretful choice. These poor choices often lead to a guilt spiral that ends in self loathing. This negative emotion is often powerful enough to override the positive feelings you had during the week and all of a sudden you’ve skipped day 7-28 too.

But you don’t have to spiral out of control. This is where having some tools to battle the emotional rollercoaster that comes with bettering yourself.

OK tool #1 we’ve already talked about and that’s knowing your why. As I said, this may change as you get going. What starts as I want to fit into those pants I’ve not worn in 3 years becomes I want to be able to drop 20 pounds & get stronger so i can play soccer with my kids in the park. The pants don’t really have an emotional tie, maybe they do, they could be your wedding suit or something but really digging into why you’re trying to drop the weight can help keep you going when you don’t want to.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Tool #2 I’ve also already mentioned, and that is discipline. This is the suck it up and get shit done part. This part is less fun but it is short term. Being disciplined is really about following through with what you’ve set out to do. Think some of the slogans sporting goods companies use “Just do it” “every damn day” “no off days” These slogans drip of self discipline. Should you take no off days? No, especially not as a beginner but the sell the idea of getting shit done. Sucking it up. Doing things that make you uncomfortable. If these changes were easy to make, you probably would have before. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

I’ve got some good news. After made the good choices consistently due to the positive emotions associated with motivation and sucked it up and got shit done on days you didn’t want to. It really starts to become easier. You’re actually comfortable where you used to be uncomfortable. Now making those good decisions isn’t really a conscious thought. It’s just what you do. This is the secret to long term “success” in fitness. Being fit and healthy is about behavior change. It’s about adopting small changes consistently. These small steps add up. Rather than try some radical new diet or start running 6 days a week, let’s talk about what small changes you can make to progress you to your goal. Let’s get you some wins this week that you can celebrate.

That brings me to tool or tip #3. Have a plan. You’ve got a goal, and if its really a goal and not just a fleeting idea, you’ve got some motivation behind that goal. But how do you get there? Having a plan makes it so much easier. You don’t have to think about what to do. You just do what’s on the calendar for the day.. As I said before, we’re trying to slowly adopt new behaviors that stick. And while all or nothing plans may seem sexy, they rarely work long term.

So what is the right program for you? Each of you watching this will have different backgrounds and goals so I can’t just lay a “perfect program” out here. Instead what I’m offering is a chance to get on a call with me and talk about how to get started making small changes that will have a positive impact on your life. No I don’t charge for this call, this is one of the benefits of being in the Desk Bod Reboot. I’ll help you jumpstart your own reboot with a custom 4 week plan that you can put in place and start stacking up those wins.

If you’ve got a goal but you’re struggling with the motivation to get started & the discipline to follow through, you need a plan that will help Keep it Super simple and set you up for success in the sort term and the long term.

Would you like my help setting up your Desk Bod Reboot jumpstart?

Leave me a comment below or shoot me a DM.

I hope this training helped you and I look forward to hearing from you when you’re ready to take action in changing your life for the better.

To view this video training and trainings on nutrition, exercise, & mindset join the Desk-Bod Reboot facebook group at

I’m Your Fitness Coach Carl, signing off.

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