Discipline vs Motivation: How to get off your ass and prioritize your health!

Discipline vs Motivation: How to get off your ass and prioritize your health!

We all have been there – The alarm clock goes off, daylight begins to make its way through our windows, and suddenly we are faced with a choice.  Do we jump out of bed and head to the gym (like we promised ourselves the night before), or hit the snooze button and postpone it for another time?  The snooze button was once a champion of many battles in my household.  In fact, there were many times where I could have been doing something active, but something more important always came along… at least that’s what I convinced myself of. Lack of proper exercise and activity is often blamed on a lack of motivation, but it is my firm belief that lack of discipline is to blame.

To have motivation, means that there is an incentive involved with taking a course of action.  The lack of incentive reduces the willingness or desire to complete the action.  On the other hand, to have discipline, is to have regulated, regimented and controlled behavior.  Incentive plays no role in discipline.  With so many people tying their fitness goals to motivation, it is no wonder why so many fail.

In my experience, in order to be successful in prioritizing your health, you must remove the reward or incentive from your focus.  Your attention must always be on the experience as you create new habits for yourself.  Good health is a lifelong commitment, not a short-term goal that you can achieve and forget about.  If you have made the decision that you want to live a healthier life, then you must map out necessary changes in your habits and put together a schedule that reflects that decision.  This means selecting a time each day to be active, whether that is going to the gym, taking a fitness class, going for walks, etc.  You also must make changes to habits that affect your health such as your dietary and drinking habits.

As someone who works full time, having structure in my schedule is important to me.  I start every morning with an activity prior to starting work.  Although the activities often change, by allocating the time, I allow myself the flexibility of trying different things.  Last year I spent almost every morning doing a fitness class, along with going to the gym 3 days a week.  I also like to ride my bike, play tennis, and go for walks.  Because this is a part of my life, I don’t feel the need for motivation in order to accomplish them.  In fact, if for some reason I miss a day, I feel off!  Making changes to your lifestyle is crucial to living a healthier life, and you can only accomplish and maintain this with proper discipline.

I hope you find this post useful, and find a way to use discipline in prioritizing your health.  If you are a Palm Springs local, I welcome you to join my fitness classes beginning in February.

Good luck and be well!

Fitness Resolutions – Do they work?

Fitness Resolutions – Do they work?

What is it about this time of year that puts us in the mood for setting new fitness resolutions? Is it the ending of a 12 month cycle that symbolically allows us to comfortably make shifts in our lives? Or, is it the comradery you experience with people while setting new goals and holding one another accountable. Regardless of the reason, the tradition of setting New Year Resolutions dates back over 4,000 years.  The beginning of a New Year sets an annual date for us to stop, reflect and plan for the new year ahead.  The question is… are New Year Resolutions effective, especially when they are tied to improving your health??

First I want to clarify the difference between a resolution and goal.  A resolution is the direction that you desire to take with your life, where a goal represents the steps you need to take to get you there. If your resolution, like many, is to eat healthier, get more exercise or drink less, you are not alone.  Fitness and health resolutions are the top common resolutions individuals make, yet the failure rate is high. Gym’s see an increase in memberships at the beginning of the year, and then a slow down going into the middle of the year. Why is this? My belief is that it is a result of poor goal setting and discipline.

It is important to establish attainable goals that position you to achieve your resolutions. Wanting to be more fit is wonderful, but how will you do it?  Will you join a class?  Will you go for walks or join a tennis class? After deciding on your fitness resolutions, lay the groundwork for being successful. Educate yourself on the steps necessary to take care of your health, which includes taking care of your mind, and practicing self discipline, self love and self care.  If you hold yourself accountable to reaching your goals, there is no reason why you cant be successful.

As I have evolved in life I have found it useful and beneficial to periodically check in with myself and evaluate my goals, where I stand with them, and adjust or set new ones. While I believe this is a healthy practice, I am also aware (from experience) that it is one that takes regular discipline – and that does not come naturally for many of us. It is for this reason that New Year Resolutions have been around for centuries.. The universe is forcing us to stop, check in with ourselves, and make necessary adjustments at the same time every year.  Take advantage of the opportunity to check in with yourself and identify changes you would like to make.  With proper discipline, you can set yourself up for success.

What are some of your resolutions for 2022?  I would love to hear from you.