Mindset: Use Habits, Not Motivation

The #1 Key to Athletic Success

Do you have a boom and bust relationship with your training? Does your body go through phases of looking and feeling great, only to recede back into a low performance state? That’s likely because your training relies on motivation, rather than a habit.

The Problem

Our goal-driven culture celebrates motivation, drive and ambition. Successful people are the ones that ‘don’t give up’ – that ‘keep on grinding’. We are told that people who fail to achieve their goals, are lazy and unmotivated.

However, motivation is poorly suited to helping us achieve our health and athletic goals. Why? Because it is a fickle state. Motivation is a dopamine-induced state of mind, and as such, it fluctuates based on a variety of hard-to-control factors. Sunlight, sleep, diet, and time of day can all cause dopamine levels to ebb and flow.

Imagine for a moment that your other life-habits depended on the weather. Imagine if you only brushed your teeth when it was sunny and you felt motivated? Or you only drank coffee if you had slept a full 8 hours? If that seems ridiculous, then why do we allow training – an essential life habit – to rely on such a fickle state?

training at the Hawaii Athlete Summit
Training: A daily habit at Samsara's annual Athlete Summit

The Solution

Habits. The solution is simple – automate the behaviors that you want to practice daily. Automated or habitual behaviors are different from conscious choices in that they don’t require much effort to initiate. Nobody wakes up and says ‘I have to get psyched to brush my teeth.’ We just get on with it, we don’t over think it – we just do it. Habitual behavior is easy on the brain – it’s pre-programmed; it’s easier to do it, than to NOT do it.

That’s how we want to think about training. It shouldn’t require being motivated or being in a heightened emotional and mental state; it shouldn’t rely on the weather or any other factor – it should be a habit. When it becomes a habit – it becomes easy, and when it becomes easy, it becomes regular.

Making training a habit is a science. Habit formation is well understood, and there is a formula. It relies on simple laws, and a step-by-step process. Making training a habit is life changing. It’s like getting the keys to a fortress that you have been trying to climb the walls of, only to find out, there are keys to the door. 

Athlete Team

This fall join a community of athletes who are on the same journey, have the same struggles but instead of grinding aimlessly, they are harnessing the power of science, and the momentum of a community to propel them towards radical athletic success.

You can learn more here or sign up now to get started.