Motivation gets you started, discipline keeps you going.
Discipline, like any skill, needs to be practiced. If you are still relying on motivation to workout, here are 8 tips to stay motivated for longer.
Have a goal
Working out without a goal is like eating a pizza without toppings: lame and pointless. So think about what it is you want to achieve by working out? Do you want to get stronger? Get leaner? Live longer? Run fast? The possibilities are endless and the one you choose will be unique to you.
Have a clear cut goal, so that when you feel like quitting, when your muscles burn and when you get sweat in your eyes on your fifteenth burpee, you know why you're doing it. and you can push through it. That's the difference between those who have goals and those who don't.
have a plan
Now that you have your goal, how are you going to get there? What's your plan?
A good plan should be at least 3 months long. When the initial motivation energy gets lower, having a clear plan can help your avoid going into a motivational slump.
An easy way to create a good plan is the map out how you will reach your goal. If I want to lose 20 pounds over three months, that's 6.5 pounds per month and 1.6 pounds per week. Now I can start planning how I am going to lose 1.65 pounds each week. This may start as a just adding an extra workout the first week, then introducing tighter nutrition the following, then adding a cardio session the following.
Your plan is something you can refer to, or rely on, to help you remember how you will get to your goal.
I find that a lot of people get discouraged when they don't see they are achieving their goal, which is why the next point helps a lot.
track your progress
Achieving your goal is going to take longer than you want. There's no way around it. I am not going to lose those 20 pounds over night. That's the main reason we get discourage and lose motivation.
When we track our progress, we can literally see how we are doing in relation to this goal and notice that we are in fact, moving in the right direction. If I track my weight weekly, I can see that I am losing weight and thus moving towards my main goal.
Tracking your progress might be the most effective way to stay motivated. I love to track my workouts, and that's probably because I am a workout nerd. Nonetheless, I can see every week that I am getting a little stronger and that keeps me pumped.
Quick work on progress: Strive to achieve very small incremental progress frequently instead of big progress less frequently.
I'll be the first one to say it here: I am not in a mood to do anything when I don't sleep well.