Working out is about PR's, looking good naked, and getting stronger everyday, right?...or is that just what is portrayed in the media? Exercise in itself is rejuvenating, but when pushing your body in order to become bigger, faster, stronger, and leaner, it's not all fun and games everyday. Some work outs are enjoyable, and some just flat out suck. Though working out is incredibly beneficial, it can be just as discouraging and something you look forward to skipping if your mind is not right. A fitness journey is just as much mental as physical. When your mentality is lacking, so will your progression in the gym. In order to maximize your results in the gym you must maximize your ability to stay consistent with your mentality.
Motivation Is Not The Answer, Purpose Is
Time and time again people get motivated, get unmotivated and quit, then get motivated again later down the road (either soon or years after) and have to restart where they were )sometimes even lower/worse than when they started). The problem with getting started just due to a "spark of motivation" is that motivation never lasts. Every individual who has pursued to accomplish long term goals (whether it be building a business, your body, skills, fan base, etc) has lost motivation many times, and are aware that it is a part of the process. What goes up must come down, but what keeps you from quitting when you are down? Purpose. Having a purpose behind your journey gives you a reason to keep going. Whether it be to be healthy enough to see your kids grow up, to be well inside and out (mentally and physically), or to be able to be able to function by yourself without assistance, finding a concrete purpose behind your journey gives you that much gust of wind to keep your boat flowing along the ocean of a journey you are pursuing.
Have A Plan And Believe In The Process
Many times people tend to quit due to lack of preparation. I know many times when I "go by feel" I tend to not work out as hard, or I even try to make excuses as to why I need to perform different exercises than the ones I dislike (but benefit my goals). One thing I have noticed is when someone I help someone train (either a client or friend) or when I myself train, we all train more consistently when something is written down telling us exactly what to do. Regardless how we feel, we must perform and complete the tasks at hand. They may be hard one day and easy the next, but we have an outline of success in front of us...we must just accept it. This bring me to the second part of having a plan, which is to accept the process and quit doubting. Perform every work out, every set, and every repetition as if it makes sense and is getting you to where you want to be. The more you believe in the plan, the better it will work. Why? Because, when you truly believe in your actions, you emphasize them, not shy away from them. When you emphasize your actions, you put in more effort. The better the effort, the better the results ON THE EXACT SAME PLAN. Believe in the process and the process will give you the results you asked for.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Fact is, exercising is not comfortable. At least, pushing your limits while exercising isn't. Regardless how much you run, sprints will make you feel winded. Regardless how much you lift, you will always struggle work out to work out in order to progress more. Regardless how big you get, you will have to work out harder and eat more in order to maintain it or get bigger. It's just a part of the process. This is why fitness separates the weak and strong minded. It's not just a physical journey, but also a mental. As you adapt physically, you will also adapt mentally. You will be able to endure the uncomfortable feeling exercise promotes, even to a point where it's just an everyday thing. You got strong enough to walk everyday, it was a struggle. Now here you are walking everyday, just as much of an after-thought as breathing. Exercise in itself is the same.
In order to stay consistent with your fitness you must get rid of your thought that motivation is what's going to take you far. Replace motivation with purpose and you will have the ever-lasting mental battery to your charge of persistence. When you have made amends with the fact that motivation is outdated and purpose is what's in, then you must have a plan. Without a plan you may be moving, but if it's in the wrong direction you are just wasting energy moving. Lastly, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, and neither is fitness. Fitness is just as mental as it is physical. Have a purpose, a plan, and the ability to endure the feeling of being uncomfortable, and you will keep your boat floating along the ocean.