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Discipline Over Motivation

posted on November 10, 2022

Today, I want to take a moment to discuss the difference between discipline and motivation when it comes to our training routine and lifestyle. Which one will be the most beneficial for your long term goals. This seems to be an area that is sometimes misunderstood. By definition, the term motivation means “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” On the other hand, the definition of discipline is “train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.”


If you’ve been training for any decent amount of time, then you have certainly experienced your share of motivation. On the other hand, you have also most likely experienced a lack of motivation. When you were new to training, motivation was something that was much easier to come by. You had this vision in your head of what you wanted to accomplish, and woke up every day just waiting to be able to walk into the gym. Over time, you realized that this is a very challenging journey filled with many ups, downs, and crossroads along the way. At that point, the motivation may have disappeared. Maybe you missed a couple of workouts, or maybe you fell out of your nutrition routine. When the motivation disappears (because it will), discipline MUST be established in order to continue towards your goals. 


Motivation is great for short term progress. Listening to motivational podcasts, seeing great progress within your body and your mind, pre workout and energy drinks, and simply the excitement of a new stimulus will all have short term benefit that will wear off at some point over time. What will continue to propel yourself along the road when all of the motivation fades away will be discipline. The same discipline that wakes us up each morning, brushes our teeth and makes our bed, and takes us to our job so we can support ourselves and live the life that we want. That same mindset MUST be applied to our training if we truly want to accomplish everything that we tell ourselves that we do.


Often times, it’s simply about showing up. Not every day will be a spectacular training session. Not every week will be a new personal record with our lifts. And not every month will we see the change in our body that we want. However, if we keep showing up and putting one foot in front of the other, especially on those days that we just want to give up, then I promise you great things will happen. Discipline yourself to do the hard things. Make them become second nature, just like that bed, those teeth, and that career. Ride the wave of motivation when it’s present, but when times get tough and you aren’t sure what to do, the discipline to succeed will always guide you down the road to your goals.


Curtis Miller


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