It’s a tricky, little beast of a word. It has layers of depth and meaning.

I think out of all the questions I get asked as a trainer, the number one question is “How do I stay motivated to keep going?” Or I get asked how I, specifically, stay motivated to keep going.

The answer isn’t a simple one. Why? Because the idea of motivation and staying motivated isn’t a simple one.

This morning I found myself jokingly telling my client “All I want to do right now is sit on my couch, eat pizza and get fat.” But honestly, I kind of wasn’t joking.

After my fight (and the negative things that have transpired since) I have seemed to have lost my daily motivation. Does that mean that I am sitting on the couch, eating pizza and getting fat?

F*** no.

I had my fight on Saturday, April 1st and with two black eyes, a swollen lip and a bruised up leg, I was back in the gym Tuesday, April 4th training. And I have been training ever since.

I believe there are layers of motivation. I believe that we all have deep seeded motivators (dreams, goals, call it what you will) that cause us to plan our lives so we can make them happen. And, if driven enough, we follow through every day to make those dreams a reality. Despite daily motivators.

See, motivation is a fickle thing and you can’t really depend on it. It comes and it goes. I know we have all been there.

Monday rolls around and we have a plan for the week,month, year, 10 years, etc. Man, we are super human in our intentions.

By Wednesday, the motivation wanes. And by Friday? It’s time for tacos and a margarita.

Well, how do we combat the Fridays, tacos and tequila in order to reach our goals?

I am sure everyone has heard the adage “Motivation is what gets you started but habit is what keeps you going.” Or “If you wait for the perfect conditions you will never get anything done.”

Easy to understand. Hard to actually follow, right?

But the truth is, habit and deep seeded determination are the only things that keep us going when our motivation wanes.

Do you think I really wanted to be back in the gym, answering questions, taking it easy when I usually train hard, and suffering from general embarrassment of defeat? Not just no. But hell no. But I was there. Why? Because it was extremely important to keep the habits I created. Because, although I don’t want to fight right now, I will want to again. And by keeping myself going, regardless of my level of motivation, when the time comes, I will be ready for fight camp.

Sometimes, no matter how many inspirational videos you watch, no matter how many quotes you read or how many fitness pros you stalk on Instagram, you just do not want to do it.

Those are the days you must do it. 

Those are the times you just have to tie your shoes and just walk out the door. You have to put your head down and go. Whether you have to take the long way to the gym or sit in your car for 10 minutes, or get out of your car just to get back in, just to get back out again (true story.)

And even if you are in a training slump, little by little, motivation will return. You will have a good session, or a good lift, or a good roll or you will talk to someone who inspires you and before you know it, it comes back.

You just have to show up.