By Mo Saleem

Motivation is bullshit.

What you need is a proven system that propels you towards action regardless of whether you feel “motivated” or not.

I’ll discuss a 3-step process that allowed me to show up at the gym consistently and totally transform my physique in the process:

Using this 3-step process you too will be able to show at the gym reliably and achieve the body of your dreams.

Ready?

Let’s do this.

Step 1 – Get Clear On What You’re Trying To Achieve (Set SMART goals)

By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

Robert Greene

“Hitting the gym everyday” is nothing but a means to an end.

What do you hope to achieve by hitting the gym everyday?

Here’s an example of how I answered this question in the form of a SMART goal:

  1. Specific – What do you want to accomplish?
    1. I wanted to gain muscle, lose fat, and build the body of a Greek statue.
  2. Measurable – How will you measure your progress?
    1. I measured my goal of gaining muscle by keeping track of how much weight I lifted in every workout.
    2. I measured my goal of losing fat by keeping track of my waist measurement.
    3. I measured my goal of looking like a Greek statue by keeping track of my shoulder to waist ratio.
  3. Achievable – How can you accomplish the goal?
    1. I did the research and created a plan in alignment with my goal.
  4. Relevant – Is your goal important to you?
    1. I was willing to pay the price.
  5. Time-bound – When will you accomplish your goal?
    1. I set a deadline for 8-weeks, but my transformation pictures above are about 4-months apart.

Going through the SMART goal-setting process will set you up with a clear picture of what you’re trying to achieve.

Having a SMART goal in place will determine the direction of your actions – you’ll be sure of whether the ladder you’re attempting to climb is actually leaning against the right wall.

Step 2 – Write Down Your Intention

Researchers found that when people filled out this sentence:

  • “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].”

They were 2–3x more likely to exercise compared to the control group who did not make plans for their future behaviour[1] .

This is a concept known in psychology as “implementation intentions”.

Writing down when you’re going to exercise, for how long, and where you’re going to do it is a simple and proven way to easily triple your odds of showing up at the gym.

Here’s my implementation intention:

  • During the next week, I will complete 3 workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30PM at the Beverly Centre Gym.

Yes, it really is possible to sculpt a lean and muscular physique with 3-workouts per week.

Step 3 – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Betting money on the achievement of your goal will be like adding rocket fuel to your discipline.

The best way to do this is by making a commitment on stickK.

StickK is an awesome platform where you can make a commitment (i.e. go to the gym everyday) and leverage your cash to go to an anti-charity, charity, friend or foe if you don’t stick to it.

You can also add a friend or family member to help hold you accountable.

Betting money on yourself is powerful.

After many failed attempts, leveraging cash on stickK was what finally allowed me to stop smoking weed:

Will I ever smoke weed again?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that my gym sessions have been way more consistent since kicking the habit of smoking joints.

Conclusion

Motivation is unreliable.

To show up at the gym consistently, you need to have a system that makes you workout regardless of whether you feel like it or not.

Here’s a quick recap of the 3-step process outlined above:

  • Get clear on your end goal.
  • Use implementation intentions.
  • Bet on yourself with cash.

Show up at the gym long enough and you’ll become addicted to the progress. At that point, it’ll become harder for you not to show up than it’ll be for you to skip out.

Hope that helps 🙂

-Mo

Footnotes

[1] Combining motivational and volitional interventions to promote exercise participation: Protection motivation theory and implementation intentions

 

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