Monday mornings have a lot to answer for. Not only are they the start to another work-week, the subject of a million miserable memes and the return of the humdrum routine, but they’re also the most disappointing day for motivation.
How many of us have promised to start at the gym on Monday, cut carbs on Monday or agreed to detox come Monday?
We’d wager a bet that everyone – every single one of us – has at some point promised to wake up next Monday with a miraculous boost of motivation where all of our prayers will be answered; weight lost, workouts crushed and clean living achieved! And we're also wagering that each of these little promises have been empty.
Why? Because it’s not about that magic word ‘motivation’.
It’s all about discipline, the breaking of bad habits and the cultivation of good ones.
According to WAs very own Paralympian Brant Garvey, you need to start before you’re ready.
“That to me means just start; no matter what the situation, just start and learn how to improve along the way.”
Easy for him, you say. He’s a natural athlete that has bonafide goals, and international meets to race at. Surely he just comes with motivation in-built?
Not so, says Brant. “When I came home injured from Rio and had to rest for a few months, I loved sleeping-in and really got into the habit of not training hard every day.
“But when the time came where I had to get up at 415am, it was horrendous. I pushed against that really hard and struggled every single day.
“But I imagined what my competitors were doing and that made me consider my own training. I didn’t want to let my coach down and that made me accountable. And I wanted to come back to win that next major race and that forced me to move.
“So I did. I was disciplined and I got up and I started again. And it was hard, but I couldn't wait around for that magic ‘motivation’ to come along, because I know it’s mythical.”
When Personal Trainer Chris Wilson works with clients, he recommends breaking down your goals into achievable chunks. Say you want to lose 12kg over 12 months, then aim for 1kg per month and chip away at it, and make yourself accountable every single month.
“Similarly, when you commit to training, tell your friends, have a buddy to train with or sign up for an event that will keep you disciplined.
“By creating weekly structure and daily disciplines you will slowly start to eliminate the emotion connected to why you can’t get motivated.
“The most successful people in life stick to strict disciplines, not because they enjoy them but because they understand how rituals can maximise their productivity, life and behaviours.”
So give Mondayitis a break. Let it off the hook. Let Mondays be like any other day – get up, do that workout, establish a routine and keep at it.
Motivation is the new four-letter word. Discipline is the key.