As with anything of value, achieving better health and fitness requires ongoing work. You’ve got to keep turning up to training, and you need consistently strong efforts in training. You’ve got to stay on top of your nutrition, and you need to take care of your recovery needs such as sleep, stretching and rest. All. The. Time.
Such a consistent effort surely requires motivation. How would you even get started without some form of motivation? You need discipline too, though. Self-discipline, to be precise. But what’s the difference between the two?
Motivation is defined as “your desire or willingness to do something.” It’s the fuel that gets you started, and we know that the hardest part of any task is getting started. When your motivation is high you have momentum. However, that momentum is based on emotion and emotions tap out quickly.
You see, your reasons for training and eating well may never change. Whereas your desire or willingness to take the necessary actions for those reasons is fickle.
Let’s look at the example of ‘Jane.’ Jane has just confirmed her wedding date six months away. She wants to get there in the best physical shape possible so unpacks her moldy training gear and books her sessions for the following week. She’s super motivated and the excitement about the wedding encourages her momentum.
Her first two weeks are rocking. She’s met her attendance goals and is already feeling better–she’s got even more momentum! But week two ends with unpleasant news, her wedding planner has ditched her. Naturally, Jane is worried and miserable. She opts for some wine-o-therapy over the weekend and come time for her Monday morning training session is lacking both energy and motivation to go. So she skips the session.
And the next because she’s guilty about missing the first, and then feels less fit so misses another, and then it’s the weekend and oh look, wine!
Desire, willingness and excitement–the emotions that drive motivation–last only for three to six weeks. You lose the emotional drive as the task becomes habit and that’s when your momentum drops.
Self-discipline refers to “your capacity to control your feelings and actions in pursuit of your goals.” Whereas motivation refers to why you start a task, self-discipline refers to what you do to achieve the end goal. It is self-control.
Discipline enables you to keep going even when your motivation is wavering. Discipline, however, is more difficult to achieve than motivation. You feel good when you’re motivated, but with discipline you learn to ride out the bad days, the failures and the crappy emotions. It’s like getting through a nasty workout–it’s uncomfortable, but you know it’s going to be good for you so you stick it out.
Discipline is arguably more important, but you need motivation too. Here are some tips to make the most out of the good motivation while establishing discipline.
- Set SMART goals
- Ride out the three to six week motivation wave, once you’re through that you’re naturally developing discipline
- Make the most out of your momentum by making your goals public
- Acknowledge and accept that you will have bad days, they’re a part of the process
- Strive for balance by rewarding yourself for the small wins
Adhere to a behaviour for eight weeks and it becomes a habit, and then tasks that required a lot of effort become a breeze!
Goal setting is a powerful tool. It provides focus and highlights the actions you need to be successful. Goals keep you on track, even when it feels like you aren’t making any progress. When you hit obstacles, focusing on your goals keeps you moving forward. And constantly moving forward, even if only by little bits at a time, is the aim of the game.
Setting and achieving goals, however, is a process that is used to keep you moving forward. Goals are not destinations.
Consider a university course: The goal is to earn a qualification, but the qualification is not the end of the line. You might further your education, or the qualification may be what you need to enter the workplace. You certainly don’t stop learning when you begin working either. The goal–the qualification–got you to a stage in the journey.
A pay incentive at work is a goal. You need to meet X objectives in order to earn a bonus. You meet the objectives and earn the bonus, but you don’t stop working. Unless of course the bonus was fat enough to retire on! The goal–the bonus–was used to keep you motivated and focused.
It’s the same with fitness. Goals are used to keep you on track, to keep you moving towards increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains throughout life. The goals aren’t the destination. So you’ve lost all the body fat you wanted to, how much more can you improve your health markers by now? You got your first pull-up, how many can you do without resting now? You’re able to walk on your hands, how quickly can you cover 60m on your hands?
Goals are tools to keep you moving forward. To be just 1% better than yesterday, you need goals. But there is no destination, you’ll never get “there.” So set smart goals, accomplish them and set new ones, but don’t get caught up in the goals or in whatever you think the endline for fitness is. Fitness is a journey that takes a lifetime to travel. Enjoy the journey, it’s what matters most!
What drove you to join CrossFit Jozi East?
I was bored with gym, and was looking for something different, something that could keep me interested and motivated to train.
How long have you been a member for?
Approx. 6 months
Who inspires you?
Everyone at training! We are all there trying to achieve our goals, overcome obstacles, support one another and having fun while we do it. The coaches are also awesome, they help keep me motivated.
What are you doing when you aren’t at the gym?
Other than work, I cook, love cooking and experimenting with food. Walking my dogs, getting outside into nature as much as possible and taking photos.
Tell us one interesting thing that people might not know about you?
This is hard, as I am a pretty open book…but perhaps the one thing is I am a very serious geek – I am a gamer, huge fan of Marvel, DC Comics, star was (on my bucket list is to go to Comic Con in the US) – I own a Batman onesie, need I say more.
If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
Batman! If you can’t be yourself, then just be Batman.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing you own / owned?
I have a pair of grey tracksuit joggers, that if I could live in them, I would. My partner wants to throw them out, cause when I am home that’s what I am wearing!
What are you most likely to become famous for?
Doing something incredibly stupid or funny or even both. I could be a YouTube sensation!
If you were dictator of a small island nation, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?
I would make a rubbish dictator, because I would want everyone to be happy, chilled and relaxed.
What do you usually have in your fridge?
Cheese and there is always a stock of assorted veg
What has been your most memorable class or session at CFJ East?
The first time I finished a WOD in the time allocated, that was awesome! When I started (and it still happens now, but I am definitely getting better) I just could not do any WOD’s in time. I found this incredibly frustrating so when I did it the first time I was over the moon.
What Is The Coolest Thing That You Have Achieved At CFJ East?
Walking up the wall and getting my face to the wall in a handstand. Being upside down and standing on my hands, never thought that would ever happen.
What Changes In Your Health Have You Noticed Since Starting?
So many…I am stronger, I am leaner, I feel energized all day, my confidence is up and I just feel good everyday now.
List Some Of Your Big Goals.
My main goal is to slim down and lose weight, I still have 25kg to go!
CrossFit goals, long term, to do Muscle ups. Short term is being able to do 10 push-ups without dying or taking a break.
We believe that the safety, efficacy and efficiency of training programs are the most important facets of that program. We also know that measurable, observable and repeatable data is needed to evaluate safety, efficacy and efficiency. Safety simply refers to the rate of injury; efficacy is the ability to produce an intended result (increased fitness); and efficiency refers to achieving that result quickly. What sort of data supports those facets, though?
Numbers. Your training numbers.
The best training numbers to record are your benchmarks. The numbers we use on our athletic skill levels chart, and the fitness tests we program during test weeks. While it’s good to know how you performed on any given day, the majority of the workouts you do are constantly varied – you’re unlikely to do them every again. So those numbers won’t tell you much. However, the benchmarks programmed for you are repeatable and therefore allow us to measure change over time.
So your benchmarks allow us to evaluate how safe, efficacious and efficient our training programs are. However, recording your benchmarks are more beneficial for you. Here’s why:
It shows you where you’ve come from
Everyone started their health and fitness journeys somewhere, but most people forget about where they’ve come from. If you have a record of what you were able to accomplish when your journey began, and you have your most recent abilities recorded to compare that to, you have the greatest source of reward and motivation. This is especially helpful when you didn’t perform as well as you would have liked in a competition or during test weeks. All you need is a look back to where you’ve come from to remind you of how much you’ve actually accomplished in such a short space of time.
It helps with goal setting
For the most part, everyone would like to look better naked and get fitter. But how do you know if you’re getting there without knowing where you actually want to be? By setting smart goals. In order to set goals, though, you need a baseline. What is your body composition now, where would you like it to be, and what is a realistic timeline are questions we ask to get you to looking better naked. How many squats can you do in a minute, how quickly can you run 800m, what is your “Helen” time, are the sorts of numbers we use to set fitness-based goals. Those benchmark numbers are a part of the goal setting process, and goal setting is central to success.
It guides your efforts in regular training
Benchmark numbers tell you what you are capable of and what areas of your fitness are still improving. That sort of information is essential to making good decisions when scaling and modifying workouts. Good decisions here determine your intensity, and intensity is the independent variable most important for results.
It’s you versus you
The group environment is one of support and competition. But it’s easy to confuse that competition as you competing with others. Having someone to chase in a workout is only good competition because it’s forcing YOU to work harder. Frequently going back to your benchmark numbers for comparisons are a subconscious reminder that you’re ultimately competing against your previous self.
Get yourself a logbook, use Excel, learn about the number of fitness tracking apps available, and get it all set up for the next test week in 12 weeks time. Record your efforts when he hit those tests, and repeat the process every time a benchmark comes up.
The annual Winter Challenge kicks off next week. It’s one of our favourite challenges because it generally seems more challenging to maintain healthy habits through winter and because of the cook-off. Aside from summer bodies being built in winter, here are five reasons you should register.
- Develop healthy eating habits
The challenge has three nutrition levels with different YES/NO foods. You learn which foods are better for both health and performance, the changes you make are sustainable even after the challenge, and it works for both muscle building and fat loss.
- Exercise consistently through the challenging cold of winter
On the challenge you earn points for staying active. While the points are merely a method of tracking your participating and incentivising you, it encourages you to think about your activity levels. It’s easy to pull the blankets over and sleep in or head home to the couch in the evenings, but knowing you have a team of mates getting up to stay fit and healthy motivates you to keep going too!
- Edge closer to your goals
Whether you’re looking to gain muscle, lose weight, or tone up, the challenge will nudge you closer to those goals. More importantly, the challenge is like a reset button. We reset your metabolism and get a clearer idea of what works or not for, providing a benchmark for more guided changes after the challenge.
Knowing that you’ll be getting measured and testing your fitness at the start so that we can reassess at the end drives you to adhere to the challenge guidelines. When it gets a bit challenging, you have a community of other people doing the challenge too, many of whom who’ve completed a challenge before. And there’s nothing like having to log your progress daily to keep you going!
- Get the diet support you need
You receive a list of YES/NO foods. You’re also going to receive a 1-week meal template at the start and halfway through. Each 1-week template has templates for breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks a day. On top of that, the meal plans show the correct food (macro) quantities for your body and activity levels. Early on in the challenge we also hold a team cook-off which is done to show you just how easy it is to eat healthy while eating tasty food.
You also gain access to live chats and forums where daily questions and more in depth topics are covered, along with weekly lifestyle challenges that give you the tools you need to develop a healthy lifestyle above just food and exercise.
Still on the fence? These are some of the results we’ve seen in previous challenge participants:
- An average weight loss of 3kg
- An average of 4.5cms lost around the waist
- A 2.5% drop in body fat while gaining muscle
- A 10% improvement in performance
And that’s just over six weeks! Stick to the challenge guidelines 80% of the time after the challenge, and you can expect to see similar results every six weeks – a new you!
As a bonus, a stipend of the funds earned from the challenge go through to the LunchBox Fund, a non-profit organisation who provide daily meals for orphaned and at-risk school children in township and rural areas of South Africa.
To get signed up, head over to http://www.kitchnbox.com/Registration/SignUpForChallenge or login to your existing KitchnBox account. Check your emails for a message that came out last week with the itinerary, and keep an eye on your email and our media platforms for more updates.
- Develop healthy eating habits
Posts tagged with ‘goals’