Is motivation enough to get you your dream body?
Or is it not enough?
If, right now, you had to choose between eating a pizza or having a perfect body, which one would you choose? Of course you would choose the perfect body, but what if I asked you that question when you’re really hungry?
What if I showed you two pictures of yourself in the future: the first picture showing what you would look like if you work out and eat well every day for several months, and the second one showing what you’d look like if you continue down the path you’ve been on the last few months. Would that motivate you to work out and eat better?
This post has in an adaptation/ excerpt from my book The Beautiful Body Guide.
Motivation Vs. Discipline
Motivation and inspiration can be easy – they can hit us suddenly with no effort required. Some days we can wake up motivated or be inspired by something and think: “That’s right, I’m going to do this NOW and make a positive change in my life”.
I know that this happens to me when I watch an inspirational movie or when I see someone with an amazing body working hard at the gym. That is called motivation. In a sudden moment I can feel totally inspired and completely motivated to make a positive change in my life, so that I can better my life.
Did you know that something or someone can easily motivate us to make a positive change in our lives? But as quickly as motivation (or a moment of pure inspiration) can come to us, it can often leave just as quickly.
I can watch a very inspirational movie and feel totally pumped up to make a positive change in my life – but then the next day, or a few days later, I can easily forget that inspiration. It’s easy to feel motivated when you’re not hungry, tired or emotional.
But motivation is fickle. Discipline, however, is reliable.
Yes, we might have to train our minds and our bodies for discipline but discipline can always be there no matter what. Once we have trained ourselves for it, discipline can become automatic. It is therefore better to create discipline in our lives than to always rely on sudden motivation or inspiration that can be fleeting.
So a good question to ask ourselves instead of “how do I stay motivated?”, is “how can I practice more discipline?”
You’ve heard the saying that practice makes perfect. While discipline takes practice, practice and more practice!
Don’t beat yourself up for “failing” once or twice along the journey of achieving your goals, have patience with yourself – but DO keep practicing your discipline until it becomes like second nature to you.
At the core of every successful person is one common thing: discipline.
FITNESS GOALS DON’T COME FREE
But wouldn’t it be nice if they did?
In life we are not owed anything for free. No one is owed good health, a certain level of fitness or even a great body. Yes, some people get lucky in certain areas of their lives and some people have hardships that they have to overcome – but as a general rule in life, we all have to work hard to earn everything that we want. If having good health is important to you (a priority) then you must make the choices (and have the discipline to keep making those choices) to live a healthier life. Choices that may impact your health short-term and long-term could include eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.
A person may have struck it lucky with a great body and good health even though they eat junk food all day, never workout and don’t get a decent amount of sleep. But over time as they consistently make poor choices regarding the care of their body and health, their health may deteriorate and they may eventually gain weight as a result of these poor choices.
It doesn’t really matter what you start out with in life, as long as you appreciate what you have. Showing appreciation means being grateful for whatever you have (even if it’s not much), making the most of whatever you have and being disciplined to improve whatever you have been given (if that is a goal of yours). If it’s not a goal of yours to improve something in your life then you must just be content with appreciating what you have, knowing that it won’t ever improve.
When we accept that the world doesn’t owe us anything and that all choices have consequences – and when we understand that all dreams, visions and goals take hard work and consistent effort to achieve – that’s when life truly begins for us.
Taking the time to improve any area of our lives takes motivation, discipline, hard work and consistency.
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED
How can we make motivation and discipline work together?
When trying to achieve goals, we need to have a big enough or compelling enough vision to pull us through to the end.
We can try to stay motivated in one of two ways whenever we are trying to achieve something in life, we can either push ourselves to make it happen (which rarely works), or we can have a vision that is so exciting, meaningful and connected to us that it actually pulls us ahead until achieve our goals.
In other words, we won’t have to constantly push ourselves to keep going if we have big enough visions to pull us ahead.
If we create meaningful motivation in our lives that can pull us ahead, and we use that motivation to get ourselves to practice discipline – that’s a winning combination!
HOW TO GET IT DONE
How can we create discipline in our lives?
The best way to create discipline in our lives that delivers results is to ALWAYS keep our end goal in mind. When I was trying to lose weight, I realized that I had to focus on not only what I wanted, but also why I wanted it.
I realized that I didn’t want to lose weight just for the sake of losing weight, deep down inside I knew that I wanted a certain result from my weight-loss.
I wanted to feel good when I tried on clothes in a store, I wanted to feel comfortable and confident enough in my body to wear a bikini at the beach and I wanted to be able to fit into my clothes!
I realized (after a long time) that I was only damaging my future by keeping my present situation the same as my past. I didn’t feel comfortable with my body because I was 30 pounds overweight, and so I didn’t want to go to the beach because I didn’t want anyone to see me in a bikini. I also stayed at home instead of going out with friends sometimes because I didn’t feel good about myself and I couldn’t find an outfit to wear (because I didn’t fit into my clothes). But once I focused on the end result that I ultimately wanted (to feel confident and comfortable in my body), I knew that I could create discipline in my life. I was disciplined by going to the gym every weekday morning for exercise and by eating a healthy, balanced diet. Every time I wanted to sleep an extra 30 minutes instead of going to the gym or when I wanted to eat more food than my body needed, I kept the reasons why I was disciplined in mind (to feel confident and comfortable in my body, so that I could live my life to the fullest). I knew that I wasn’t going to lose 30 pounds and tone up by skipping a workout day or by eating a second serving of dinner, or by having dessert. And I knew that if I didn’t lose the weight that I needed to lose, I would find it hard to have amazing confidence, to wear a bikini in public and to live my life to the fullest.
Motivation and inspiration can be easy – they can hit us suddenly with no effort required. Discipline, however, is reliable because it is in your control.
MY TOP TIPS
Tip – Write your answers down on a piece of paper and keep them in a safe place for future reference.
1. What is the end result that you want? Why do you want to lose weight or achieve your dream body?
By knowing the result that you want, it’s easier to create more discipline in your life.
2. How can you create meaningful motivation for yourself? What is your meaningful motivation?
Having meaningful motivation can help to pull you ahead in the journey of achieving your goals. Creating meaningful motivation can be as simple as identifying the end result that you want (the reason that you want to achieve your goals).
So if you are feeling motivated today, then don’t let that feeling fade away by the morning. Create your vision and plan how you can take action and maintain discipline in your life. If you do not take action now, then you will never achieve your goals. If you take action today and keep at it every day, then a month or two months from now you may have your dream body. But imagine how disappointed you will be if, two months from now, you are in the exact same position (or worse) that you are in now.
A man once said, ’vision gives pain a purpose’. When you have a vision for what you want to achieve, and keep your focus on that vision, then sacrificing that dessert or waking up earlier for gym doesn’t seem so bad…. In fact, you know it’s all worth it.
If you had to choose right now between a slice of cake or a great body, which one would you choose?
Right, so make that decision every moment of every day until you have reached your goal!
LIEZL JAYNE XO
For liezljayne.com – Some photos may be selected by unsplash.com / Other images by Liezl Jayne Strydom