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Motivation vs Commitment

Commitment! Commitment is one of those traits that we as trainers look and hope for in clients as they walk in the door.

Commitment can be intrinsic where you, as a client, has a goal that is so intense that there is no option other than to achieve that goal. This is typically how clients start out. They come in highly motivated, they start to see results and then the self-sabotage kicks in.

Our brain is a truly wonderful thing, capable of the most extraordinary possibilities. However, it can also kid us in to our paradigms!

We begin to get comfortable, to listen to the old stories in our mind. Stories of “I’m not deserving”, stories of “I’m addicted to sugar“, stories of “this is how I’ve always been, this is just me”. All these stories are lies, but we tell ourselves these lies constantly whether it is consciously or subconsciously.

These thoughts become our belief system and then our belief system become part of our identity.

For example, when I first came here from Ireland, people almost expected me to be drunk. Seriously! Me, being the type of person that must please everyone, would oblige most of the time. “Oh, he’s Irish, he must love to drink”. Living up to the hype became part of my belief system about myself and inevitably my identity.

I couldn’t say “No” and it got me in a lot of trouble.

Now, I can go out and be around people drinking, say no and be OK. I can say no because I’ve changed my thought patterns, my beliefs about myself and now it’s not part of my identity. My identity now is helping people through fitness.

Commitment vs Motivation

As coaches and trainers we can help motivate you, but we only see you 3-5 hours a week. That means you have 163 to 165 hours a week that you have remain committed to your goals without external motivation. We can offer advice, we can set up challenges, we can check in on you in the form of accountability and as you get results you can gain momentum and confidence in your ability to reach your goal, but motivation will fade.

What I have found works well is ensuring I don’t get comfortable. When I get comfortable I start to slide that slippery slope and it’s hard to stop once you’re on there.

This is where standards come in. What are the standards you hold yourself to?

Do you just want to show up and train? Do you want help with nutrition? Do you want homework? Do you want mindset coaching? Do you want all four? And when you receive this help and knowledge will you maximize it?

These are questions you should ask yourself. Even when you don't want to do the thing, will you pony up and do it anyway?

How does this relate to you?

When you set a goal for yourself, do you truly believe you can accomplish it? Is it that important to you? Are you willing to sacrifice to achieve it or are you just showing up to sessions thinking you can out-train a bad diet?

Are you showing up late? Are you cancelling sessions every week and not making them up? Are you pushing yourself to do more weight, more reps even when nobody is watching? Are you doing your homework (mobility, eating well, tracking food, stretching etc?). Are you asking questions and asking for accountability?

If you are not doing these things, are you truly committed to reaching your goal? The reason I ask goes back to the stories you’re telling yourself.

The thoughts that we consistently think create our belief system and those beliefs become part of our identity. To create lasting change, you must change the story in your head, change the habits that are holding you back. When you do this, your identity will change and we tend to act consistently with our identity as I illustrated earlier.


The moral of the story is to ask yourself these difficult questions. If your answers don’t line up with your goal, burn them and write the answers that will help you succeed.

Just like the phoenix, you must burn the old version of yourself to ashes in order for the new you to rise!


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