Last week we started our 4 part series on self-discipline. Self-discipline is defined as the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.
There are four components of self-discipline;
This week let’s take a look at motivation.
Motivation is the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something.
It’s safe to say that the majority of us struggle with this one. Whether it’s the motivation to get up in the morning for work or the motivation to cook dinner every night for your family. How about the motivation to exercise regularly? Sound familiar?
Some people are natural born go-getters. Others, well, it doesn’t come quite so naturally to us. What if I told you that you can teach yourself to be a more motivated person? It’s absolutely possible.
A few tips and tricks I like to use to stay motivated are:
Keeping a positive attitude
Making lists (like this one?!)
Visualize doing the task
Focus on only the task at hand
Setting and working within time limits if needed (look at my to-do list and pick out everything I can accomplish in the next 2 hours or however long I have to dedicate to the list at that moment)
Making sure I stay consistent
For example, I lack the motivation to exercise everyday. I’ve joined gyms, I’ve done at home workout dvds, I’ve owned a treadmill, a recumbent bike, and so on. A few months back I went to a women’s self defense class and I loved it. It was unlike any other “exercise” class I’d gone to. It was engaging. It was a full body workout, and it was full of real life skills I lacked. When class was over I signed up to become a Krav Maga member and attend 3 classes a week.
The first week everything was great. The second week I found myself making excuses why I didn’t want to go. The third week was even harder getting me there, but I went. I dragged myself to every class. When I say dragged, I mean dragged.
I didn’t want to be there and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. The funny thing is that before our warm ups at the beginning of every class were even over, I would forget I didn’t want to be there and I’d feel an energy surge. At the end of EVERY SINGLE class I found myself thinking, “I’m so glad I forced myself to go tonight. That was a lot of fun and I learned so much. I wish I could come every night!”. Yep, true story.
Around the 4th week, something clicked. There was no more struggling to get to class. No more dragging and I was genuinely excited to see what we were going to learn. There’s a lot to be said for self defense and martial arts classes. It’s not just an exercise class, it’s a way of life. If I didn’t stay motivated and attend my classes like I did, I would be missing out on so much good in my life. My body is much stronger now and my cardio stamina has improved so much.
Want to know a really cool surprise from attending classes regularly? I made several new friendships, which most adults would agree: new adult friendships aren’t easy to come by. If I had skipped classes or stopped going I wouldn’t have those friends in my life today.
Make the effort to stay motivated. Your rewards are endless. You never know what you might miss out on if you don’t.
See you next week for part 3 – Persistence.