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Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes in waves and can have a big impact on what you get done over the course of a day, week, month, and so on.

Some days waking up early and hitting the gym is easy, you can smash out your whole uni assignment in one sitting, you can clean the house in one go without complaint.

Then there’s times where you hit the snooze button more times than you’d like to admit, you can’t sit still and concentrate for more than five minutes, or you ignore the state of the pigsty you’ve been living in for days at a time.

This is the nature of relying on motivation. Leaning on disciple, and forming strong habits is how the successful combat the days when motivation is lacking and do what they need to do whether they feel like it or not.

Here are five strategies to help…

1. Make it hard to say no

If you’ve got an early morning training session, have your gear layed out where you can see it the night before. If it’s cleaning the house, have the vacuum out well before you intend on cleaning, so you have to physically step over it each time you walk past. This will set you up for success by having a constant reminder of the task ahead, making it harder to say no.

2. Make yourself accountable

Find someone you trust and hold in high regard – a mentor, coach, close friend, family member etc. and tell them about you goals and ambitions. Tell them how badly you want to succeed and they will help hold you to the standards you’ve set for yourself.

3. Make one positive change at a time

Think of one small thing you can do to get the ball rolling in the right direction. If you struggle to get up early to train, put your phone/ alarm clock out of reach so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off – now you’re up. If you’re aiming to eat clean, get rid of the junk food in your house, now the temptation is gone. One small change will lead to another, momentum will build, and you’ll be on your way.

4. Know when you train/work/study best

If you know you focus better in the morning, don’t leave your study until after dinner – get it done first thing when your mind is fresh is you find it easier to concentrate. This is 100% individual preference, the best time to train is the time that you will do it without fail. Consistency trumps all. The key is to test different times for different tasks and adjust to what works best for you.

5. Take one small step

Every single day, make some objective forward progress towards your goal. This refers to the small wins principle. If you’re struggling to start or feel overwhelmed with the mountain ahead to climb, find one thing you can do, block everything else out and focus on that one task. You will feel awesome once it’s done and it will build momentum into the next day and next job.

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