Motivation is great. It’s that feeling you get when a fire gets lit under your bum and you’re all jazzed up and ready to pursue the goal of obtaining the biceps of Thor or the abs of Wonder Woman. Motivation comes and goes with the weather though. It comes on as soon as you scroll through your Instagram feed and see that CrossFit games athlete with a ripped bod’, and fades away in the next post when you see that Cider Belly donut with god-knows-what kind of heavenly cookie crumble on top. Motivation, for most, starts and ends with a cutesy insta-post on Monday morning. Let’s not fool ourselves; motivation isn’t what gets the job done. It’s commitment that yields results.
Motivation gets you to the gym in March in hopes of having summer abs. It might even keep you there through August and September, but what happens when the weather starts to change, the sun starts setting on your fitness dreams earlier in the evening, and the lure of Halloween candy and Christmas cookies starts to creep in? Do you take a hiatus from caring about your body and your health? Do you all of a sudden make yourself believe that you have less time in the day in December than you had when that 6 pack was knocking down your door in June? If you answered yes, bravo! The first step to change is acknowledging the problem. You get to decide if you’re going to remain a yo-yo gym-goer, showing up to the gym 6 months out of the year and shoveling garbage into your beautiful specimen of a body you’ve worked so hard to mold for the remaining 6 months, OR, you can decide to wake up and smell the FitAid, and realize that you can’t be one foot in and one foot out if you want to feel good, see progress, and not have to “start fresh” every couple of months.
One of the biggest disservices we do to ourselves is sabotaging our goals, our progress, and ultimately our happiness, by believing that we’ll get to where we want to go by “starting over” every couple of months after weeks of binging and not showing up for ourselves. This goes for the gym, and life. If you want something to stick, you have got to make it a part of your life. In the same way that brushing your teeth, eating dinner, and scrolling Facebook 10-976 times a day has become part of your life, so too must your fitness regimen. It must become a non-negotiable. Non-negotiable should not be confused for easy or effortless though. It will most definitely take time and effort for something new to feel like a habit, or to become part of your permanent lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
If you need help with thinking of ways to commit, start by taking a good long look in the mirror and asking yourself what’s important. What do you want to feel like in 5 years from now? What do you want to be able to do, both physically and mentally? What do you want to look like? What kind of friend/parent/spouse/employee do you want to be, and how will your physical ability to move affect that? Summer abs are great, we would never discount that scientific fact, but being physically fit is more about your future than it is about how you look in a bikini. It’s about being able to carry your groceries into the house by yourself, in one trip, when you’re 65 years old. It’s about being able to get out of bed when you’re 55. It’s about being able to run around, jump up and down, and crawl around with your grandchildren when you’re 80. Think of who you want to be in 5, 10, 15, 25 years from now when you think of spewing that next excuse as to why you can’t make it to the gym today. Show up. If for no one else, do it for you and your better future self.