The really big step when working out is the first, to actually start building a routine that will last a long time. So don’t wait until tomorrow, nor next Monday, get your flexible gym membership right now to start your journey.
However once you have started, and the honeymoon phase is over, how do you keep going? How do you keep working towards your goals day in and day out, no matter the obstacles?
This is a question not only asked in relation to training but in most areas of life. Want to start a business? Want to keep a long-term relationship going? Want to become a successful athlete? These all require varying degrees of focus, consistency, and motivation.
To a certain degree, being passionate about what you do will help to stay true to realizing your goals. But if you don’t focus and structure all aspects of your life towards the same goal, you won’t be as successful as someone who does. Focusing all your efforts will take you above and beyond everyone else.
Perhaps you want to gain muscle, and you hit the gym three times a week to reach this goal. But you don’t have a meal plan, you don’t make sure that you get enough rest, and you still binge drink on the weekend. Do you think you will be successful? Or at least as successful as someone who focuses their entire life around the fact that they want to gain muscle? The answer is no.
Drive and focus will make you get where you want, but only for a limited time, which brings us to the next point: consistency.
When doing something consistently for about 3 months, you have built a habit, be it for good or bad. It’s infinitely easier to create a habit (it even happens without us noticing) than breaking one, so it’s imperative to create a good habit while passion and motivation are high. Be mindful of what you are building, and make sure that it’s in line with your goals. Workout at least three times a week, don’t let anything stand in your way during the first three months and you will have created a habit that can last you for a long time.
Once that is done, and you almost do something on autopilot, it’s much easier to stay true to your goals, even when motivation is low.
Motivation is something you either have or not, there are very few cases of someone being “a little bit motivated”. If you are overly reliant on motivation to accomplish your goals you are on thin ice, as it comes and goes.
Let’s say you live in an apartment, and you have a dog. With no garden to be in, you must take your dog for a walk. This is something that just “have to be done”, it does not matter if you want it or not. Try to see your training the same way: what you want at the current time is irrelevant, it’s just something that must be done. This way motivation is not in the picture, and this makes going to the gym easier.
If you truly want to be successful and accomplish your goals during a long period of time, do the following:
- Structure your life around your goal, leave no aspect unturned.
- Be consistent and build good habits
- Remove motivation from the picture