Motivation vs. Discipline

I shared this video on Facebook recently and wanted to dig a little bit deeper on this topic of Motivation versus Discipline after having had some more conversations with clients about it. With this year’s race season all out of whack and a crazy start to the year, I want to help you find your focus. Consider these definitions.

Motivation: the general desire or willingness of someone to do something

Discipline: to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way

Maybe you’ve had a chance to get a race or two in this season already or you’re looking at a very delayed and condensed racing season late in the summer and fall. Getting your head in the right space now will help you perform at your best when the time comes. If you’ve decided racing isn’t in the picture for this year, I’d encourage you to set a personal goal for riding or training and put in place the discipline to achieve it.

Motivation is an emotional response and it can waver easily. Being motivated is a good jump start to being successful at following a training program or chasing a goal but when the going gets tough, motivation can tank real quickly. Think about it this way: you can put on your “Jock Jams To Get You Pumped” tunes when you get to the gym to get you motivated. When the speaker goes out or your iPod battery dies, the music is done and the party’s over. This is where discipline takes over.

Discipline takes planning and a personal commitment to achieving a goal. It connects the process to the end result. You can look back at the work you’ve done and look forward to the work to come, knowing it may not be pleasant, but you won’t be disappointed if you did it.

What does discipline look like? Print out your training plan and check it off every time you workout. Schedule your workout on your calendar and prioritize it. Discipline means showing up and doing the work, even when you’re not “feeling it” (unless you’re sick or injured) because you’ve committed to yourself to be better.

I want you to be motivated to get out the door and train. It will help you keep focused but it can easily die out with even small challenges like weather or equipment issues. Because of this, I want you to think about making training a habit and being disciplined in your approach.

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