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The five most common reasons why people quit their fitness programs (and subsequently lose self-discipline) are:
- The Wrong kind of Motivation
There are two kinds of motivation: internal and external.
Internal motivation (also known as intrinsic motivation) as something that occurs “when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simple enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials”
External motivation, also known as extrinsic motivation, is defined by sports psychologists Peter Terry and Costas Karageorghis as motivation that can come “from the outside, such as the motivation to win medals, receive financial rewards, and attract attention from the media. This is known as external, or extrinsic, motivation because it involves participation in sport for some kind of reward that is external to the process of participation”
You build your self-discipline when you keep doing something simply because it helps you realize your full potential and not because it will make you look good in the eyes of other people or provide you with rewards.
If you can’t seem to find intrinsic motivation, try a different, more enjoyable sport that will encourage you to explore, learn, or actualize your potential. If you hate it, you won’t do it in the long term, anyway.
2. Lack of Enjoyment
Having a lot of discipline is great, but it doesn’t mean you have to always choose things you don’t like (don’t confuse it with doing things that are uncomfortable for the purpose of growth).
If you don’t enjoy your fitness plan, change it. Try to pick at least one of each type of exercise—anaerobic and aerobic. If you go to the gym, nobody says you have to use this or that machine—there are various ways of achieving the same goals (although a simple approach with free weights is usually the most optimal).
3. Lack of Support
It’s great to have enough self-discipline to achieve your goals without the help of others. However, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way of doing things. In fact, support from other people can often make or break your resolutions. a phenomenon wherein a person works harder as a member of a group than when working alone. If you can work harder and develop better discipline when working with a group, why not benefit from it and get support?
4. Wrong Expectations
Regular physical activity improves your self-discipline by teaching you two things: how to adhere to a specific plan and how to be patient when waiting for the results. If you start your workout plan with the wrong expectations, though, it’s likely you’ll quit before you improve your mental toughness.
To avoid discouragement, research what kind of results you can expect realistically and set them as your goals. When building self-discipline, small wins are more important than aiming for the stars and not even landing on the Moon.
5. A Lack of Time
A lack of time is usually the least legitimate reason to quit a fitness program because it masks a different kind of a problem. If you can’t find time to take care of your body, then the problem isn’t your lack of time, but your lack of priorities. Few people would disagree that health is the most important thing in life, yet the lives of many people don’t reflect it.
In this case, you need discipline to identify your values, and most importantly, design your life in such a way that it will reflect them. If health is one of your primary values in life (and it should be, because everything else matters little if you don’t feel well), sacrifice one of your lesser values (say, climbing the corporate ladder) for it.
If you avoid these five most common reasons, you’ll have a much easier time sticking to your workout routine, and consequently, building lasting self-discipline. Don’t forget, though, that all of these problems are there to help you become tougher—it’s your job to figure them out, not use them as excuses why you should give up.
This Article is taken from Daily Self-Discipline
Written by Arshad. A