Come January, 40% of Americans will make New Years resolutions, and nearly half of them will aim to lose weight or get in shape.
But 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, as the people who made New Year’s resolutions to get in shape lose steam.
Motivation and short-term objectives
Motivation is driven by emotion and that can be positive, as long as it is used for a short-term objective. A New Year’s resolution can serve as a motivator, but since motivation is based on emotion, it usually doesn’t last long.
Emotion is a chemical release yielding a physiological response. If someone attempting to get in shape, and is reliant on this reaction to push them towards working out, they are almost sure to burn out, just like with a resolution.
When people buy gym memberships, they have the best of intentions in mind, but the commitments are made in a charged emotional state. Motivation helps with short-term objectives, but is virtually useless for objectives that require a greater length of time to accomplish.
Discipline yields results
If motivation won’t help you reach your goals, what will?
The answer is discipline. Discipline is the ability to do what is necessary for success even when it is hardest to do so. Another way to think of it is having the ability, not necessarily the desire, to do what you need to when you least want to.
The inability to walk away from a late night of partying before game day, failure to get up when the alarm rings, or eating a doughnut when you have committed to no processed sugar are all failures of discipline, not failures of motivation.
The keys to discipline are practice and consistency. You can thank motivation for the first three weeks or so of your successful gym attendance, but after that you need to credit discipline.
There is another clear line defining the difference between motivation and discipline. Motivation in and of itself typically fails to build other qualities necessary for advancement, but discipline does. Discipline develops confidence and patience.
Discipline builds consistency and consistency yields habits. It is those habits that, in the end, will ultimately define success.
So What Should You Do Instead?
Don’t wait until New Year’s to start your fitness journey. Use your motivation and start now, and by the time ew Year’s comes around, you will have enough discipline to continue your goals far fast February when most people are giving up. Follow these steps and start working on a whole new you.
1. Focus on 1 goal at a time
2. Make it your own
3. Make it measurable, specific, and time-bound.