Hey, tough soul. I’m Alyssa.
To keep up with our fitness plan, we all know that we need self-discipline.
Most of the time we get excited with starting a programme. We get every goal planning done, marking out all the steps we are required to do in the next couple of weeks. In fact, I notice that most of us had no issues with starting a new goal. The most difficult part is to keep up the habit and be consistent.
I believe this is also the problem we always facing when it comes to any fitness plan.
Is there any reason for that? How can we deal with this?
The answer is Yes.
In this post, I will dive deep into the aspects of psychology. I will look at what is the factors that make everyone motivated to do something, and how to avoid burnout in the middle of the road.
Let’s dive into it!
We Are Motivated by The Outer World
To make yourself keep motivated for a long time, the first step you can do is to put yourself in a goal-friendly environment.
Let’s imagine this. There are two groups of people, one group of people goes to the gym on a regular basis, another group of people is mostly sedentary and hates the gym. If we assign someone that moderately active to join the first group, that person will likely be a regular gym goer. In contrast,if he is joining the second group,that person is most likely to skip gym sessions.
This is the reason why sometimes you are willing to spend most of your time in the office, but are unable to take out just an hour of your day for working out. The reality is not that you don’t have time, just because you are unmotivated.
Because everyone around you is working! No matter how much you hate the work, you often found yourself staying in the office because everyone does so. This is one of the phenomena we humans have, which is the tendency that is influenced by people around us unconsciously. For those that can be self-motivated, you are the lucky ones. But for the rest of us, sometimes we need to rely on the external to make the driving force on our goal.
The solution to this is perhaps, quite simply but somehow difficult. Ask someone to join you.
Of course, sometimes we can’t find a gym buddy so easily just in our immediate living place. Thanks to social media, we can almost reach every community with just one click.
The Habit Loop
After you get yourself in the right environment, you still not yet done. The next step is the main work, which is to establish your habit.
The difference between a habit and a plan is, habbit is something that you can keep doing without feeling the pressure. If you want yourself to stick with any routine, just make it a habit.
You can use the theory of Habit Loop to help you get into it.
There are three parts of the process to form a habit. Which are cue, routine, and reward. You need to fulfil three of these, then your brain will automatically register it as a full cycle of action.
Most of the time our habit is triggered by a cue. Therefore to build a habit, you need to make your cue as obvious as possible. It could be simple as placing an object at the obvious spot whenever you will pass by. It also can be the time or atmosphere of your environment I usually workout in the morning and overt time, the morning sun had become my cue for workout.
The reward often serves as the wrap-up of the habit loop. Shame to admit it, human brain can’t actually differentiate which habit is good or bad. It just hard-wired on things that will brought positive outcomes for you (can be an object or a positive feeling). Therefore, make your reward as satisfying as possible can help you stick to a plan.
Just a reminder here, the rewards should not being counterproductive or against your goal. If your current goal is to lose weight, then the reward should be anything else except a big meal.
Here’s an intriguing fact, the routine itself is not the most important factor that makes the habit stick, but is the cue and reward. See, that’s why you find it difficult to stick to a ‘routine’, because routine itself is just a small part of the habit.
The above are the factors that came from the outer world. In this section, we need to look at the factor that shapes self-discipline internally. Which is your belief system.
You need to start believing yourself is the version that you wish to become. When you describe yourself as ‘I am a gym goer’ ‘I am a fitness enthusiast or even ‘I am a professional trainer to other people, over and over again. Chances are you will slowly form believe you are the person that you describe.
Of course, this needs some time, and the first step is much tougher. However, throughout the time you will start being more comfortable with the feeling. Combined together with the help of external motivation such as environment and habits, you will eventually shaping the version because you start believing.
This need month, or years. Kept asking you ‘why’ when you questioned yourself. That will link the ‘description’ with your behaviour at the background. That is, the process needs to start consciously until it becomes your subconscious thought.
Bad Day is Allowed
We often have this dilemma which is we are able to follow a routine on regular basis. However, if we found ourself are not in the mood for a workout. Or we just perform a single exercise badly, probably we will feel unmotivated for the remaining session because we think we had a ‘bad day’.
Here is the reason behind it, it is not because of the lazyness that forms this behaviour, but it’s the opposite, we are being too perfectionist. When we found that we are unable to be perfect, we tend to become reluctant to continue the work.
Therefore, the solution here is to allow you to do something bad. What we need to do here is simply just ‘showing up’ and constantly improving. Aim for perfection is great, but we need to know that we can’t be perfect all the time. Not being too caught up in being perfect could make us feel less resistance on things that we need to do. And eventually, achieving consistency.
‘Consistency Is More Important Than Perfectionism.’
Satisfaction Always Come After
We always claim ourself by being too busy, but I believe that is not the case. In fact, time constrain had nothing to do with discipline and being consistent. I noticed I was often able to finish my routine on a packed day. However, sometimes I failed to follow the routine even if it’s a whole day of rest.
Sometimes if we could give ourselves enough reason then we can keep going on.
Therefore, the real reason is that we do not feel worthy at that moment. You don’t know the purpose of what you are doing it. Althought we know that we need to do it , however, not everytime the feeling of satisfaction will appear before you start doing it, it only available after the work done.
We feel this reluctancy especially before a workout session. However, the feeling will soon fade in the middle of the workout. That is the five minutes rule that make our mind keep up the good work once started. My tip for you is, always remember that satisfaction will only come after work. When you don’t feel like doing anything, just ask yourself ‘why don’t just give it a try?”.
Most of the time when we started doing something, we wouldn’t stop. And the satisfaction will come after.
We might not be a self-disciplined people, but what we need to do here is to build up a habit. Everyone can be consistent after they found out the correct formula. It has nothing to do with your personality. The key here is to find out the mind trick.
That’s all for my post, I hope these tips above could possibly help you figure out the secret of a long-lasting habit, and how to eventually stick to it.
Let us grow together,