A picture of Meb on your mirror can inspire you to run a marathon. A photo of Mt. Rainier can inspire you to want to be at your peak and ready to ascend summits by springtime. There are many ideas and images that can motivate you to achieve your fitness and wellness goals. But, sometimes motivation isn’t enough to get you to the gym. That’s when self-discipline needs to get off the bench and start playing the game.

Motivation is an idea. Motivation stimulates thoughts about how you think you will feel when you achieve a goal. Motivation is the reason why you are following a fitness or wellness plan. How you move toward that goal (with motivation as inspiration) determines whether or not you will reach that BQ time or scale a mountain. The actions that get you there are meticulous steps that require self-discipline.

Finding motivation to achieve a particular goal is not difficult. There are accessible external motivators everywhere from inspirational podcasts and motivational speakers to blog posts and pictures. You can pick whatever stimulus resonates with you to infuse your days with positive motivating messages and images.

You May Also Like: 3 Simple Ways to Make Fitness a Priority This Year

However, having the self-discipline to follow through can be tough. Taking the actions necessary to make motivational ideas reality can demand that you dig deep into yourself. It’s pretty easy to hit the streets running to go grab goals when you’re feeling upbeat and rested. But, what happens when conditions aren’t prime, your training partner flakes out on you, or your motivation fails to show up?

There are several things you can do to train yourself to develop a pattern of self-discipline.

4 Ideas to Get Motivated and Get Movin’

motivation goals

1) Marathons and mountains aren’t conquered in one leap.

It takes many small steps to get to the point where you can more easily stay motivated and reach a goal. Some footwork is fancy, some flailing. But, most steps are methodical. Exercising self-discipline means forging ahead with planned steps even on slippery slopes.

2) Write down the steps needed to realize the big picture.

A written plan is a self-disciplined individual’s go-to reference point to keep you on track when motivation is weak.

3) Create a written record that reminds you of your progress.

This can take the form of a checklist, a journal or a log. Recording your training or checking-off steps is physically and mentally satisfying. It keeps you accountable to yourself while allowing you to positively celebrate little accomplishments that bring you closer to your goal.

4) Use technology.

This tip can bring you full circle. There are many free athletic training plans out there for races, strength training and more to help you create a plan with daily steps. Social media logs like Daily Mile can feed your motivation by meeting others with shared goals. Technology provides simple tracking tools to enhance your ability to develop self-discipline.

It’s true that self-discipline comes from within. However, interacting with the world wisely can help you set goals, stay motivated and develop the type of self-discipline that gets things done!