How many times have you heard someone say "I just need to find my motivation" before getting started on a fitness program or goal?
We tend to think of motivation as this magical, external thing that will make everything better.
But what if I told you that motivation is actually one of the biggest dangers when it comes to fitness?
In this post, we'll explore why motivation can be dangerous for your long-term progress, and how you can stay on track without it.
What Is Motivation?
Motivation is the reason or reason for engaging in a particular behavior.
As humans, we are constantly motivated to engage in certain behaviors in order to achieve specific goals.
And that's completely okay!
For instance, we may be motivated to get a good grade in a class so that we can get into a good college.
Or, we might get a rush of motivation to engage in training and better habits, in order to be liked by a certain person.
However, specifically in the context of fitness, health, and general wellbeing, it is important to realize that there are different types of motivation.
These are namely intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.
Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors, such as awards, recognition, money, and others.
This type of motivation often requires some type of external reinforcement.
In other words, we often need someone else to give us a pat on the back or offer some type of incentive before we’re motivated to do something.
Generally speaking, we can say that this is quite an unsustainable source of motivation, simply because it is dependent on too many things outside of you.
Intrinsic motivation is a desire to do something for its own sake because it is interesting or satisfying in and of itself.
It is contrasted with extrinsic motivation, which comes from external factors such as rewards or punishments.
Intrinsic motivation has been found to be more powerful than extrinsic motivation and is also more likely to lead to long-term success.
Again - this type of motivation comes from within oneself and does not depend on external factors.
That is to say, intrinsic motivation is way more sustainable than extrinsic motivation.
Discipline Is Key
Now, regardless of the way in which you get motivated, one thing is for sure - motivation will not always be there for you.
Some days, you may not have external reasons to engage in certain activities, and sometimes you may not have the internal drive.
This is why discipline is what you should rely on in the long term.
To put it simply, discipline is better than motivation because it leads to lasting change.
We’re not necessarily saying motivation is bad - It feels amazing! But it may give you a short-term burst of energy, that will eventually fade.
Discipline, on the other hand, is a habit that you develop over time.
Once it becomes ingrained in your psyche, it will be with you for life.
When that happens, you can apply it in basically any other aspect of life - not just fitness and nutrition!
So, what’s the conclusion we should draw? Is discipline or motivation better for achieving success? The answer is … both!
Discipline leads to stable progress that can be maintained over long periods of time.
Motivation provides bursts of energy and inspiration, which are essential for getting started but can fade away if not consistently replenished.
When used together, though, discipline and motivation create a powerful force that can help you achieve any goal you set your mind to.
What have you found to be most effective for keeping yourself on track towards your goals? Let us know in the comments below!