Motivation and Discipline

Well it is that time of year again…Resolutions are made and the gyms are packed.  I truly don’t mind this time of year..some gym rats get annoyed with all the new clientele.  I on the other hand might find a new workout partner to motivate me.  There is that magic word again motivation; let us delve deeper into the subject.

Motivation is the state of mind that generates positive feelings about achieving a purpose.  Some people are motivated by financial rewards, others physical pleasure.  For your resolution, the most highly motivating element should be physical and mental change and knowing only you have the power to make it your reality.  But to be motivated isn’t enough.  You also need discipline. Discipline is what keeps you consistent in your actions as you strive to achieve your goal.  Here is a simple outlined method to getting the results you want.

Step 1: Define your ultimate goals clearly and write them down. Be specific about what you want, Ex: Size 6 dress size.  What kind of improvements are you looking for?  Is your goal strength? Athletic performance? Weight Loss? Then concentrate on the actual aspects you wish to improve, and write them down.  You’ll be surprised at how much clearer your objectives become when you simply put them into words.

Step 2: Devise a series of short-term goals that will ultimately lead you to realizing your main goals. It is easier to attain a short-term goal that is within your reach than to try and make great leaps in progress all at once.  When you try and do to much at once and fail, you tend to get discouraged.

Step 3: Create your strategy for success, plan. On the same sheet you wrote your long-term goal and listed your short-term goals, break down your daily activities and diet into the best means to get you where you are going.  Follow your plan to success.   Example, would you attempt to build a house without a set of blueprints.  Prepare a daily schedule that takes you in the direction you want to go, and recognize that you are a unique individual who requires a program that is different from anyone else’s.

Step 4: Visualize yourself succeeding. Your inner feelings, your thoughts, your daydreams must be filled with images of your success.  Close your eyes and see yourself becoming exactly what you want to be.  But see yourself actually accomplishing your goals of muscular strength, performance, weight loss, proportioning, your written goal; not just wistfully thinking how nice it would be.

Step 5: Align your mind, body, and spirit with achievement. The alignment is accomplished by actually verbalizing your commitment while visualizing it.  My personal example, I say, “I am commited to becoming number one in the nation for my weight class at Nationals this year.” Repeat your own commitment statement before, during, and after your training/workout session.

Step 6: Give yourself a reward for your accomplishments. After you have reached a subgoal or your ultimate goal, reward yourself in a significant fashion.  Personally dwell upon your achievement and your success.  Congratulate yourself and savor the feelings of pride and confidence in having taken the direct action to improve yourself.  The only way to continue making progress is to regularly positive reinforce your new, goal-directed resolution.  The more you resist old habits, the stronger you will become until you develop an iron will to succeed and you no longer even think about returning to old habits.

Remember to create a goal/resolution, visualize it as real, and work regularly to successfully attain what you have written down in front of you. When you get there, you will know.  It takes motivation and discipline.  Until next time always “stay positive.”

Jesse de la Cruz

About the Author

Jesse de la Cruz is a Registered Nurse with a minor in Nutrition.  He is also a National Level Bodybuilder whose passion is to help others achieve their fitness goals via weight training, cardiovascular exercise and good nutrition.