You probably watched an inspiring movie like Rocky last week and decided to utilize your underused gym membership. After a week of diligently working out, you find yourself saying:
“There’s too much work pressure right now.”
“I will definitely go for that run next week.”
“I’m really tired today, I’ll make up for it at the gym tomorrow.”
If that sounds familiar, you’ve succumbed to your old habits that are keeping you from reaching your fitness goals. The problem with motivation is that it isn’t too reliable. While it may be enough to get you started, it is self-discipline that keeps you going.
You need the self-discipline to follow your workout routine and eat healthy day after day. So, how do you commit to a life of fitness without slacking off? Here are some tips:
Define Clear Goals
‘I want to lose weight’ isn’t a real goal. ‘I want to lose 5 kilos in 3 months’ is. Having a vague idea about what you want to achieve is bound to result in failure. When you set up realistic goals, you don’t feel intimidated by them and know what you’re working for.
Specific targets like dropping one dress size, lifting heavier weights, and beating your last run distance by 5 minutes will keep you engaged. These will drive your inner fire. Moreover, achieving a short-term goal will boost your confidence and strengthen your will to accomplish your long-term goal.
Don’t Just Exercise. Train!
Many people walk into a gym and don’t know what to do. They stick to their daily sets of exercise and don’t push themselves. This results in stagnation and eventually to boredom. Without a plan, you will waver and working out will feel like a chore. Following a training plan for a marathon or strength training helps you reach higher levels of fitness. It also gives you a pre-defined path to follow, leaving out the guesswork.
Plan for Temptations
Temptations will come on every step of the way. You must prepare for temptations beforehand and not give in. You may have a stressful day at the office and the last thing you’d want to do is run for 5 kilometres or spend an hour at the gym. At times like these, remember the mantra, “When you want to work out, work out. When you don’t want to work out, work out. Repeat.”
Self-discipline is not natural, it is acquired. When you treat your workouts as part of your daily routine, you force yourself to repeat an action that must be done every day.
Similarly, if you have any junk food at home, give it away. Whenever you find yourself craving a chocolate tart, eat a healthy snack instead. If the craving persists, go for a quick 10-minute workout like climbing up the stairs or taking a walk. This will help you manage your urge.
Learn to Let Go
It is only natural that you might slip from time-to-time. However, the important thing is to forgive yourself and move forward. Think of it as a small break and work harder to reach your goal. Everyone goes through cycles of success and failure. The key is to think about what caused you to fall off the wagon and not repeat it.
With these steps, you will gradually build iron-clad self-discipline and never miss your workouts again.