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Motivation has a tiny shelf life.

group of men, women, and children which train in gym

What you are in for:

Words: 620

Time: Less than 5 minutes

Lesson: The ability to differentiate between motivation & discipline

*There are no pictures, have the discipline to get all the way through without needing a distraction.

You won’t always be motivated; you must learn to be disciplined. There are 2 basic ways to get yourself to complete a task; motivation or discipline.  The first, despite almost always being the wrong option is motivation. This, the most social media popular way is comprised of screenshotting inspirational quotes & giving yourself a pep talk.  Conversely, the unpopular route is to cultivate discipline; done by stacking little habits on top of each other to create momentum.

Broadly speaking, motivation works on the premise that a particular state of mind is required to complete a task. This state being, “buzzed” to do said task. Discipline equally provides the afore mentioned “buzz”, but as post task completion while also eliminating procrastination. A win win.

There are always times in life when you don’t particularly want to do something but you have to anyway. When you roll out of bed & you don’t want to go to work, but you do. When your kid isn’t amazing but you sit on the boundary and watch them play cricket for hours regardless. When you don’t want to wash your kids sheets for the 3rd time this week because they are toilet training but you do it because it needs to be done. That’s not motivation, that’s discipline. You probably aren’t buzzed to do any of them.

The solution is to cut the link between feelings & actions.

Motivation is a build up & release of potential energy for an exact moment. Sure it has it’s purpose too, prison breaks & Olympic races come to mind (although both of them have a huge component of discipline). However, trying to recreate that state of mind for day-to-day function is a horrible plan of attack. By contrast, discipline once started is a self-sufficient energy system.

Your nutrition and training are no different. Take nutrition for example, sure there are times when you want the day off to eat whatever you want. You wish calories & hormones didn’t matter. However, the majority of the time we need to be responsible & employ discipline. Every meal may not be your favourite but you aren’t eating for happiness (that is a mental mind frame) you are eating for a purpose, a result; to fuel your system so you can meet your grandkids, or to fall pregnant or to have a 6 pack. Whatever it is, you don’t need to buy another book on motivation, you need to understand how discipline will help & employ it.

In terms of training, there should always be things in your programme you aren’t particularly fond of. As humans we gravitate to the things we find easy, but as a general rule the things we dislike we need to do more of (with the exception of meth). Have the disciple to do them, do them well & move better in all planes of motion.

Matt, how do I implement this into my daily life? The only sustainable attitude is to surf the edge of your comfort zone. “New year/month/week, new me” doesn’t work. You only ever overwhelm the brain & revert to what is comfortable. Take baby steps; stack a single win (I had 3 meals today that took me towards my goal not away from it, yesterday was only 2) on top of another little win. This will create a new baseline for your brain & with the law of compounding interest in no time, [insert achieved goal here] such as weight, strength or life happiness will be achieved. 

Who am I? I’m just a bloke who loves taking relatively complex body issues and trying to explain them simply. If you are genuine about making legitimate changes to your health, maybe I can help. Email me at