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Stop Your All or Nothing Mindset and Find a Fitness Routine You Can Stick With: Motivation vs. Discipline

We’ve all felt that surge of motivation at the start of a new fitness journey. Yet, after a few weeks, many of us lose momentum. But, why? Often, it’s due to an ‘all or nothing’ mindset and a misunderstanding of motivation vs discipline.

Unpicking Why the ‘All or Nothing Mindset’ Doesn’t Work

The all or nothing mindset demands perfection. If you miss a workout or indulge a little, it feels like a complete failure. This approach is unsustainable and sets you up for disappointment.

But why can it fail?

Imagine deciding to go from never working out to committing to a 7-day-a-week workout routine. While it’s admirable to have high ambitions, this drastic change is an unrealistic expectation. The intensity and frequency are likely too much to sustain, leading to physical exhaustion, mental burnout and ultimately abandoning the routine altogether. A more realistic approach would be starting with a few days a week and gradually increasing as your fitness level improves.

Perfectionism in fitness is like believing every workout must be flawless to count. For example, if your goal is to run five miles but you only manage four, you might feel like you’ve failed completely. This mindset overlooks the value of consistent effort and can lead to frustration and demotivation.

Inflexibility in fitness could mean sticking to a strict workout schedule even when life throws curveballs. For instance, if you’re committed to working out every morning at 6 a.m., but unexpected events arise, like a late work meeting or a sick child, you might feel stressed and guilty for missing your workout. Rigid plans can make it challenging to adapt to changes in circumstances, leading to frustration and discouragement. Flexibility allows for adjustments and ensures your fitness routine remains sustainable in the long run.

Motivation vs. Discipline: What’s the difference?

Motivation is the initial spark that gets you started. It’s exciting but fleeting, driven by emotions and external factors.

Discipline is the steady engine that keeps you going. It’s about consistent action and building habits, regardless of how you feel.

How to Build a Routine You Can Stick With

Set Realistic Goals: Start small and progress gradually. Aim for achievable targets like working out three times a week.

Create a Flexible Plan: Life happens. If you miss a workout, don’t stress—just get back on track the next day.

Focus on Habits, Not Outcomes: Build small, consistent habits. Drinking water, meal prepping, and setting a sleep schedule can make a big difference. (If you haven’t yet read our blog on habit stacking check it out here)

Find Enjoyable Activities: Fitness should be fun. Try different workouts until you find something you enjoy.

Seek Accountability and Support: Join a community or find a workout buddy. Sharing your journey boosts motivation and provides support.

Celebrate Small Wins: Recognise and celebrate progress, no matter how small. This reinforces positive behavior and boosts morale.

Shifting from an all or nothing mindset to adopting discipline can be a game changer in your fitness journey. At Function Fitness, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re starting out or looking to advance, we can help you find a routine that fits your life and goals. Stop chasing momentary motivation and start improving the discipline that will lead you to lasting success.

Keen to start your fitness journey but without the pressure? Join us for a free No Sweat Intro session with the click of a button before. It’s a relaxed, no-commitment way to explore what we offer at Function Fitness and see how we can help you reach your goals.

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