Commitment Over Motivation

Clients often ask what motivates me to keep up the hard work for the long-term.

The way I see it, there are always going to be times when I don’t feel motivated to train. There can also be a danger in an over-emphasis on motivation leading to highs and lows in performance.

In my training I prioritise commitment over motivation. I make a commitment to my training and if that includes running 10 kilometres on Tuesdays, every Tuesday that commitment gets me out of bed so I can tick that 10kms off my ‘to do’ list. If I am feeling a little lacklustre (or unmotivated) I might run a little slower than the previous last week, but what counts is that I ran.

Of course it helps that I LOVE what I do but here’s some tips on how I manage my commitment:

1. Carefully plan your commitment to training and diet.

Not meeting your goals can lead to disappointment and set you back even further still. I regularly invest time thinking about my goals to ensure they are realistic. As well as thinking about what I need to do, I also consider how much time I can realistically commit. Every Sunday night I spend 10 minutes tweaking my commitment and most importantly celebrating my successes. Recognising when something is working makes the commitment much easier.

2. Write down your commitment and then record what you actually do…

Seeing it in cold, hard copy does make it harder to break the commitment and helps to re-focus you when you are falling short.

3. If you feel yourself wavering, don’t give yourself time to make excuses – just do it.

It was the tag line of one of the biggest athletic brands in the world, after all. Sometimes the more you think about, the easier it is to rationalise your way out your commitment.

Don’t get me wrong – motivation absolutely has its place and I am certainly not advocating pushing yourself beyond your limit especially if genuinely sick or injured. But I have also seen many clients break out of the diet mentality and burst into leading a permanently healthy and active lifestyle by harnessing the power of making and keeping one of the most important commitment all… the commitment they make to themselves.