We’re nearly at the end of the year and, by now, many would have already given up on their fitness resolutions. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe you’re bored of your routine, too lazy to exercise or gave up because you’re not seeing results.
You’re not alone. Hundreds of forum threads are posted every week where people talk about losing the motivation to stay fit. I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read with the headline “10 Ways to Stay Motivated”, where each one lists the same generic “solutions” like find a workout partner, create a good workout playlist, hire a personal trainer etc.
But these aren’t solutions. You can watch hours of motivational videos daily but, without discipline, you won’t stick to your goals long-term.
Here are 3 tips to cultivate self-discipline:
- Ask yourself “Why?”
Why are you exercising? Are you wanting that summer bod, or do you love the mental fortitude that comes as a by-product of working out that eventually carries over to the rest of your life? Reflecting on the reasons why you do what you do is a great way to gain perspective.
- Be kind to yourself when experiencing setbacks
Things won’t always go the way you plan and it’s important to accept that. If you had a terrible session, ask yourself why that might have been so. Did you eat enough that day? Did you get enough sleep? Did you warm up correctly? Find learning points in your setbacks. This gives you the tools to succeed, should you encounter similar obstacles in the future.
- Start small
Set smaller goals with a specific plan to achieve each one of them. For example, aim to increase your squat max incrementally and regularly with a specific program that occurs over several months. The feeling of achieving many smaller milestones over time will make you want to consistently challenge yourself to set the bar higher each year.