And the art of sticking with it

Continuing on from the last blog; the saying "motivation gets you started, discipline keeps you going" and we all know just how hard the latter part of that is. It's the reason a lot of us quit, give up or essentially accept the current circumstances as "it is what it is". Because discipline is hard, so what about the motivation part; where does it go?

The truth is it wasn't true motivation to begin with. Most of us get started on "health kicks" and "diets" for reasons which simply aren't good enough. To make a change, the reason must have some real gravitas. That of course differs from person to person, just like anything else. If your goal is relatively short term e.g. beach body for an upcoming vacation - the chances are that making real lifestyle changes for something so short term is simply not going to be enough to keep you on the right path. A few set backs, a few occasions and late night cravings are enough to make you say "oh well it's only a week and who cares". In fact, most appearance based beginnings are doomed from the start. 

Looking good is a by-product of feeling well and living well. Yes, you can be motivated by looking good and then make the changes to live well and if you stick with it, the well part will become more important. There is no better feeling than waking up feeling good morning after morning. If feeling well is your initial motivation, you are more inclined to keep making choices which keep making you feel better - and the looks will just follow. 

Starting anything full of motivation for a new change eventually becomes a battle of priorities. If you 'fell off the wagon" one day because you had a social obligation or a busy work day - it 
simply means you prioritised those things above your own goal. If you opted for ordering in rather than cooking the meal you had planned one night because you were tired - you simply prioritised immediate comfort over feeling better and more energised tomorrow. If you bend to the will of a friend wanting to go out for food and saying "come on, just this once won't hurt", you've just sacrificed your goal just to keep the peace. When you break it all down, a pattern emerges - a pattern which shows you just how much you value yourself, your health and your goals. If they aren't important enough to you, you will never choose yourself. 

Isn't that a sad fact?

We eat things which we know will make us feel shit later. We skip workouts knowing it will make the next one harder. We stay up late knowing we will feel tired tomorrow. The self-sabotage has reached new highs all because we need to feel comfortable and entertained every step of the way. We sit wondering why it's so hard to reach our goals and why we feel less than great (or terrible) most of the time, despite choosing everything above our own well-being time after time. 

There is a lot of power in being comfortable alone with no distractions. If you master that, the other things become much easier. The constant need for "something" to distract you is a big part of the reason people are unhappy - which in turn leads to the physical unhappiness too. Needing constant validation and opinions (or caring too much about them) means you are governed by those rather than your own decisions. Comfortable alone = you become the priority, and so you should be - every step of the way. 

Living well is in fact very simple. It requires a lot less than your oh so comfortable modern existence. It's giving up some of those comforts (distractions) which is the hard part. Simplifying life makes the motivation easier to stick with.. and navigating the world of today on simpler terms is the art. 


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