Choose Commitment Over Motivation


After brainstorming your new years resolutions It’s day one of your new exercise and diet regime and your motivation is at a peak. You have woke up on time at 5am and have gone down stairs to prepare yourself a healthy breakfast. You leave the house an hour earlier than normal because your new plan says its time to work out at the gym for 45 minutes before your start work.

After arriving at the gym you have a fantastic session and leave the gym content and motivated with your new regime. Success! Your on the road to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Now you have to repeat this Monday, Wednesday, Friday; week after week for months on end even when your bogged under at work or your staying in a hotel and they don’t have a gym onsite or you stayed out late the prior night drinking and woke up a little worse for wear or you have a slight sniffle that affected your sleep, its snowing outside and the car needs defrosting, you didn’t sleep well at night and feel like you won’t make it through the day. Or even worse after weeks of hard work the scales say you’ve gained weight despite sticking religiously to your diet and exercise regime.

Now taking in all these potential scenarios in to consideration how do you think your motivation will change? will it be constant in ever scenario? or will it dip when your tired and things are going badly and will it rise again when your full of energy or your seeing results?

If this is the case then its clear that relying on motivation has its limitations as the more adversary you face the harder it is to drum up the motivation to keep going and your most consistent when motivation and morale is high.

Now lets approach it from another angle. This time your not reliant on motivation to decide if you stick to your regime but you’ve sworn a commitment to yourself. That commitment is that you will increase your strength at the gym over the next 3 months and to achieve this you have to complete a gym session three times a week. You also commit that nothing else will be prioritised on those days. To further increase that commitment you agree to support someone else who has a similar goal and train with them on the same weekly sessions.

Now that your committed not only mentally to the objective but also to supporting somebody else it doesn’t matter how you feel in the moment because your commitment leaves no room for negotiation.

There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.

Pat Riley

I understand that the above is over simplified but lets look at some examples where you demonstrate commitment regardless of motivation: would you not do any of the below if you felt unmotivated?

  • Driving through rush hour traffic everyday to pick up your kids
  • Volunteering to officiate on a cold Sunday morning at your kids football match.
  • Turning up to work on time 5 days a week and work late when required.
  • Going grocery shopping for the family at peak time after a whole day’s work
  • Picking your friend up from the airport to save them parking charges.
  • Not drinking on a night out as the designated driver.
  • Walking your dog every morning.

If all of these scenarios were reliant on motivation, when the going gets tough not a lot would get done.

So if your struggling to be consistent on a training regime or diet plan, it may be an opportunity to reframe what’s driving you or how you approach your objectives.

Don’t be motivated to “try” and do something but rather commit to the change in your life and actually become what you want most.