Discipline > Motivation

All the way back to 1993 when I just started running track as a freshman in high school, I have kept a training journal. Back then the journals were all hand-written of course (I still have a few – they’re amusing). My recordkeeping eventually evolved from those paper journals into Excel spreadsheets and then finally into a smartphone app that I downloaded in November 2014.   

As of today – nearly four years since I began logging workouts in this app – I have entered 1,413 workouts. That averages out to about a workout every single day. Of course I didn’t train every day for four years – I value rest days and I’ve even been injured a few times – but I have done quite a few two-a-day workouts and most importantly, I’m very consistent. 

Consistency takes discipline and discipline is more effective than motivation. I wasn’t motivated to work out every day for the last four years; I probably wasn’t even motivated the majority of those days. But when something is important to you – like health and wellness is to me – you will do it even when you don’t have sources of motivation to tap. That’s discipline. 

Motivation is fleeting, unreliable, and sometimes just isn’t there. So instead be disciplined. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline Equals Freedom.”