Motivation vs discipline

So, what is more important? And what comes first when starting to exercise again?

Replies

  • pierinifitness
    pierinifitness Posts: 2,231 Member
    I have four words I chanted in my fitness, health and wellness journey - DESIRE, DISCIPLINE, PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE.

    Everyone starts with desire which is similar to your motivation. Along the journey, there are dropouts because people aren’t able to muster what’s required at the next level.

    So, to answer your question, discipline is more important (long term) than motivation but you need motivation to get the ball rolling.
  • k8eekins
    k8eekins Posts: 2,264 Member
    evzmla wrote: »
    So, what is more important? And what comes first when starting to exercise again?

    From maintenance and at rest mode to an arduous workout phase, discipline, commitment and consistency over motivation are effective enough for me to get results. With how I'm wired, motivation, compliments and reassurance carry no weight. I like to go at it hard and mercilessly with zero excuses.
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,027 Member
    You start out with motivation. While you still have that, start to build the good habits which will carry you through the rest of your life at a healthy weight. Use discipline to stick to building those habits once motivation wears out. I think with a little luck and good planning, those good habits will become a lifestyle that doesn't require much discipline or motivation.
  • GemimaFitzTed
    GemimaFitzTed Posts: 260 Member
    For me, they are two separate paradigms, but interrelated. Both are the important components of intention. Motivation is the why/desire of my intention. Discipline is how I will achieve my intention.

    Intention: I want to lose weight
    Motivation: To be healthier, fitter, look *kitten* awesome
    Discipline: I need to be consistent in my logging, accountable through a PT, be more physically active etc

    Without the motivation, the discipline is meaningless. Without the discipline, motivation will not be realised. Without both, you won't fulfil your intention.

  • missh1967
    missh1967 Posts: 660 Member
    Motivation can be somewhat important, but it is fickle and fleeting. Use motivation, but develop discipline and habits. When motivation wanes, sheer discipline can take over. Desire is also important. As with smoking or drinking too much, people won't quit until/unless they want to.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    missh1967 wrote: »
    Motivation can be somewhat important, but it is fickle and fleeting. Use motivation, but develop discipline and habits. When motivation wanes, sheer discipline can take over. Desire is also important. As with smoking or drinking too much, people won't quit until/unless they want to.

    100% this ^^
  • Alia_R
    Alia_R Posts: 410 Member
    I agree with _faedreamer. I find discipline trumps motivation; it allows for one to develop good habits. When you follow these habits day by day, you'll have the motivation to keep going. :smile:
  • beckyrpl
    beckyrpl Posts: 73 Member
    Motivation gets you started - determination helps you follow through and finish the process. You need both.
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,183 Member
    You need both. You already have enough motivation to find yourself posting to an MFP forum, so that's a start. Harness motivation to foster positive habits and structure in your lifestyle that makes the "right" choice one of lesser resistance on those days when you're "just not feeling it", "could really use a <insert calorie-rich comfort food vice>", etc.

    Figuring how to best remove obstacles to make things easier on future-less-motivated-you is going to look different for everyone. Your routine also isn't going to be flawless from day one either. The key is that when you do "fail" (which you will, we all do by some definition) is to not dwell on it emotionally but examine how to eliminate this mode of "failure" in the future and world to build the habits/discipline to prevent it.