Discipline VS Motivation: Which is More Important for Fitness?

This is an excellent question and there is only one answer to it – discipline. To be more specific, you need self-discipline to achieve anything worthy in fitness and in life.

So, what’s the difference between the two?

When the New Year is around the corner, being excited and motivated to make massive changes to one’s life is a very common occurrence. This is motivation from extrinsic sources.

Every single year, millions of people make resolutions to lose weight, get fit, save money, etc. That’s motivation. They are inspired and motivated by the date. The New Year feels like a new beginning. Everything seems possible.

Yet, by February, millions of people have given up on their resolutions and the year looks like it’s going to be just like any other year… at least until the next New Year when the cycle repeats itself.

So why do they quit?

The bitter truth is that if one does what they always do, they’ll be where they’ve always been. To see new results and achieve lofty goals, you’ll need to make massive changes to your life.

Unfortunately, almost all change is met with opposition. Trying to clean up your diet and lose weight? You’ll have to get used to the new nutritious foods that you’re supposed to eat. You’ll need to stop watching so much TV and go to the gym and work out.

These new changes will seem unpalatable and unpleasant. The nutritious foods will seem bland and tasteless to you. You’ll have cravings for junk food and sugary, processed foods. You’ll have to battle these temptations constantly… and that’s no fun.

You need self-discipline to stay on track… a lot of self-discipline. If you lack it, you’ll give in to temptation.

The same applies to your training. The exertion and muscular aches will make you feel weary. Many men hate cardio, but it’s important to keep your cardiovascular system strong and to boost your metabolism.

The most difficult part of a workout will be convincing yourself to go work out. Overcoming your usual state of inertia is an onerous task. Guess what you’ll need?

Yes… you’ll need self-discipline.

Once the promise of a new beginning and the festive spirit of the New Year is over, that’s when the grind begins… and motivation can die out real fast.

At times like these, self-discipline will carry you through. Like Steven Covey said, “The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions.”

It’s imperative that you develop self-discipline. This is the key to achieving all the goals you’ve always wanted. It’s a skill that makes you almost unstoppable.

You can watch all the self-help videos and motivational speeches on the planet. You can whip yourself into a frenzy of motivation and ooh-rah the whole night. But when dawn breaks and you need to wake up early to go for a run, and you can’t do it – all that motivation will be for nothing.

If you had self-discipline, you’d grimace and get up. You’d get ready and your shoes would be strapped up. You’ll take the first step and the next and run until you’re dripping with sweat.

You may not like it, but you’ll do it… and when you’re done, you’ll take satisfaction in knowing that you kept your promises to yourself.

Self-discipline will make you respect yourself and you’ll grow as a person. You’ll start becoming the person that others look to for motivation. Your fitness levels will skyrocket from consistent effort and your body will transform before your very eyes.

Not through motivation… but through self-discipline.

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.” – John C. Maxwell

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