I am NOT Motivated to Train...

No the title isn't a typo - I'm not somebody that is motivated to train, even though it's essential to my job as a fitness professional. But yet I still manage to do 5-6 training sessions every week pretty much 52 weeks of the year. How does that make sense you ask? It's simple - I'm not motivated... I'm disciplined and there's a MASSIVE difference.

I often hear people say that the problem they have when trying to kick start, or maintain a health and fitness regime is that they lack motivation, this is often the reason my clients first look into personal training. I'm very honest when it comes to what I can and can't do as a PT and one thing I categorically cannot do is motivate anyone enough to achieve their goals. At this point most people will be wondering what on earth the point of hiring a PT is if they can't motivate anyone, but hear me out. While I can offer encouragement and support ultimately I only spend a MAXIMUM of 3 hours per week with any one client, meaning that there are 165 additional hours people must rely on themselves to do the right things when I'm not around. This is where relying on motivation becomes an issue...

The problem with motivation is that it is fleeting, here one minute and then gone right when you need it most. It is often attached to temporary extrinsic factors such as a holiday, or a wedding which, once they have passed provide absolutely no incentive to train, or make the right choices about what you eat. So instead of motivating my clients, I instead teach them to be disciplined. In contrast to motivation, discipline does not rely on extrinsic factors and is a skill that can be learned and perfected over time, but you have to be willing to challenge the way you think and prioritize your life. It all comes to down to mindset - we are motivated to do things that we WANT to do, whereas we are disciplined enough to do the things we HAVE to do. For example, while I love my job and wouldn't change it for the world, I like everybody else go to work because I HAVE to in order to get paid, regardless of whether I'm motivated or not. In order to be disciplined when it comes to training and nutrition you must apply the same mindset.

Learning to become disciplined takes time, especially if you are taking your very first steps on your health and fitness journey. So be patient, you can't expect to suddenly have the will to go to the gym every day when you've spent the last how ever many years living a sedentary lifestyle. The key is preparation and consistency, think about how many times per week you can realistically train right now and start with that - and if you are thinking of waiting for the right time to start, forget it because it doesn't exist. The best time to start is today so if you need a hand to take that first step I am always here to help.

Arland Craik
Personal Trainer Thatcham & Newbury


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