How to Motivate Yourself to NEVER Miss a Workout?
The truth is lack of motivation is rarely what prevents you skipping your workouts. Most SERIOUS gym-goers have almost NO motivation to go the gym.
How Is This Possible?
Motivation is great and can get you far. It can get you started on a particular task. It’s especially high when you’re planning your New Year’s resolution. And especially low at the end of the year.
However, motivation is highly dependent on various factors. We humans are notoriously bad at predicting how we’ll feel in the future.
We can’t imagine how a small change in the environment or our emotional state can influence our actions in the future.
For example, you may have felt super hyped up when you signed up for the gym. But failed to realize that emotional “high” won’t last forever.
When you’re no longer in that state, it’s very hard to relate to your past self. You don’t even remember the reason you signed up for the gym. In other words, your “motivation” disappeared.
The Cost Of Depending on Motivation
- Over-reliance and miss-management of on motivation may have you:
- Lose momentum
- Give up on your goals
- Engage in self-blame
- Sabotage future efforts
- Regress further back than the initial starting point
Disclaimer: understanding motivation is half the battle. You may still need extra support to push through the obstacles discussed in the next sections.
How Does Motivation Work?
Motivation can be generally divided into:
This is behavior driven by external rewards. For example “I want to get jacked to get more girls” or “I want people to stop making fun of me for being out of shape”
This is behavior driven by internal rewards. For example “I like working out, makes me feel good”, “I like to challenge myself by attacking heavier weights”.
What Is the Difference Between These Types of Motivation?
- Extrinsic motivation can be ignited and fueled by both positive or negative emotions. It’s usually why and how most decide to start working out.
The problem is once you remove the external component or you get used to it, extrinsic motivation disappears.
Example: If you train to impress someone AND that person doesn’t even give a damn about your looks – you’re no longer motivated.
Or if you’re dealing with some social pressure and develop a thick skin – social pressure doesn’t work anymore.
Same with monetary incentives – they work in the beginning, but not long term. You need higher amounts to keep being motivated, the same amount doesn’t work anymore.
- Intrinsic motivation is more sustainable, as it’s less dependent on temporary/fading external factors.
Provided you stick to a certain activity, motivation evolves from extrinsic to intrinsic. But it’s still dependent on your internal state.
Example: if you’re feeling stressed out or depressed it’s easy to lose motivation. When you’re a negative state, it’s hard to imagine how good you’ll feel in the gym.
Because you feel “bad” at the moment, you think that’s how you’ll feel in the future, and fail to act (hence skip gym).
What Is Better than Motivation?
Discipline is the next step in the “evolution of motivation”. It’s less dependent on your current emotional state. It’s fueled by willpower.
Your motivation to hit the gym may be low, but you force yourself to ignore your emotional state and do it regardless. In other words, you go despite how you feel.
The problem with discipline is that requires mental effort. This can be draining. There will be days when you're overwhelmed and low on willpower. This is when discipline fails.
It’s like owning a powerful truck. It’s capable of navigating tricky terrain. But once you get low on gas it’s no longer an effective tool.
How to Be a Winner?
Winners don’t rely on motivation or discipline. To be able to crush it in any field, you need to be consistent. Consistency can only be fueled by a very RELIABLE source of mental fortitude.
Motivation can get you started. Disciple will get you over the initial hard bumps on the road and help you stick to your plan.
But only when you’ve been doing something for a long time, you can finally turn it into a habit.
Habits are not affected by your external or internal states. They don’t drain your willpower. They are self-propelled.
Once you cultivate the habit of going to the gym, it becomes unconscious and effortless activity.
It’s like brushing your teeth. It just happens in the background and does not require conscious effort or mental energy. You just execute.
What Is Better than Cultivating Powerful Habits?
Going back to the teeth brushing example, you can evolve from the guy “who brushes his teeth every morning” to the “guy who has the perfect smile”.
When we talk about training, it can become your new identity. You’re the guy who never skips the gym, leads an active and healthy lifestyle. The guy who’s jacked.
It’s given, it’s the default.
Transitioning Beyond Motivation (The 5 Stages Model)
Here are the stages most people go through when starting with Extrinsic motivation.
Stage 1 – Extrinsic motivation: realize you want something for a specific tangible reason.
> be exposed to the potential gains (motivational/inspirational & educational videos)
Stage 2 – Intrinsic motivation: derive satisfaction from what you're doing
> enjoy the process (share your passion with others, join a group or a club)
Stage 3 – Dedication: make a conscious effort to commit, and execute when you don’t feel like it
> cultivate strong willpower (social support, getting coached, mental exercises)
Stage 4 – Habit: keep practicing the same routine over and over again
> strengthen neural connections by repeating the activity (“just do it”)
Stage 5 – Identity: when habit fuses with your core identity and beliefs
> byproduct of going through all the steps above (spend time will like-minded people)
During the first 3 steps is very important you have a strong support group, and/or work with an experienced coach.
Though some people can persevere on their own, it’s much easier if you have someone give you that extra push when motivation fails you.
Fitness Mastery Coach
PS. Do you struggle with consistency? We may be able to help get your fitness to the next level.
Whenever you're ready you can click here to contact us. Send us a bit about yourself and what goals you'd like to achieve and we'll take it from there.