Come January, 40 percent of Americans will make New Years resolutions, and nearly half of them will aim to lose weight or get in shape.
New Year's Resolutions<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjM2Njk1OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDI4NTY2Nn0.VgmKCnrKcicGuad8WPhQsi300nAZ1JELOvCH25joluo/img.png?width=980" id="bfdb8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8b9f8989c81af7422db2529681f35b1f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Nearly half of all respondents in a poll about 2018 New Year's resolutions wanted to lose weight or get in shape. Statistica / The Conversation / CC-BY-ND
Motivation and Short-Term Objectives<p>Years back, when I was at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of the sports psychologists told me that motivation is a lie.</p><p>It took me years of experience and research to figure out why, but I believe she was right.</p><p>Personally, I have no issues getting up on a cold and dark morning to train when a competition is drawing near. But when there is no immediate objective or goal in site, getting up that early is much harder.</p><p>Motivation is driven by emotion and that can be positive, as long as it <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4388(96)80077-8" target="_blank">is used for a short-term objective</a>. For some, a New Year's resolution can serve as a motivator. But since <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-fundamental-four/201205/emotions-and-motivations" target="_blank">motivation is based on emotion</a>, it can't last long.</p>
Discipline Yields Results<p>If motivation won't help you reach your goals, what will?</p><p>The answer is discipline. Discipline, as I define it, is the ability to do what is necessary for success when it is hardest to do so. Another way to think of it is having the ability, not necessarily the desire, to do what you need to when you least want to.</p><p>Failure to get up when the alarm rings, the inability to walk away from a late night of partying before game day or eating a doughnut when you have committed to no processed sugar are all failures of discipline - not motivation.</p><p>The keys to discipline are practice and consistency. Discipline means repetitive – and sometimes boring – action. There are no shortcuts. You can thank motivation for the first three weeks or so of your successful gym attendance, but after that you need to credit discipline.</p><p>There is another clear line defining the difference between motivation and discipline. Motivation in and of itself typically fails to build other qualities necessary for advancement, but discipline does. Discipline <a href="https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=hy9mDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT11&dq=Discipline+builds+confidence&ots=ga0Vo8UNjY&sig=wsZ-N4x6NhasmmAnbGb610pbt3Y#v=onepage&q=Discipline%20builds%20confidence&f=false" target="_blank">develops confidence</a> and patience.</p><p>Discipline builds consistency and consistency yields habits. It is those habits that, in the end, will ultimately define success.</p>
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