The Fit Mom: Why Self-Discipline Will Get You Further Than Motivation Ever Will

People often say to me, “I wish I had your motivation,” but the truth is I’m not more motivated than anyone else. What I do have a lot of is self discipline. I get up at 4am most days to train clients, I’m not home until after 9pm, I work 7 days a week, and I chase a toddler around when I’m not working...I’m “TIRED AS A MOTHER!”

There are plenty of days I don’t feel like working out and motivation would get me nowhere on those days, because I don’t feel motivated. See, that’s the difference between motivation and self-discipline. Motivation is fleeting, because it’s based on feelings, one minute you might feel motivated and the next minute it’s gone.

Discipline is about consistency. Doing something day in and and day out, whether you feel like doing it or not. Discipline is habitual. It needs to be repeated Every. Single. Day. Motivation is what you may feel to get you started, but discipline will get you taking the first step towards action.

So, how do you become more disciplined? Below are a list of exercises I do consistently to keep me moving forward. I fully recognize that everyone is SO different and what works for me may not work for you, but I hope you'll find some of these tips useful.

I throw my sneakers on and take the first step.

I often find that the hardest part is simply getting to the gym. I also don’t put pressure on myself. There are some days my workouts might feel subpar and that’s ok. Not everyday has to be the best workout ever. ANY workout is better than no workout! So simply walk out the door, that’s half the battle!

I fuel my body.

There is no way I could maintain my schedule on an empty tank or by fueling my body with crap. I religiously drink 96 oz. of water a day and eat clean, unprocessed food. I use an app called “My Water” to keep me on track. It’s so simple, but has been life changing for me. Check it out, it’s free!

I eat the same breakfast and lunch almost everyday.

This might sound incredibly boring, but it takes away the emotion of “what do I feel like eating.” Creating a routine is crucial, because you don’t have to decide what you're going to do anymore, you just do it! For dinner, I use the meal delivery service Eat Clean Bro. (*you can get 10% off your first order with the code, BEAUTY10) My husband travels a lot and I work late, so not having to worry about cooking dinner has been a lifesaver for us.

I prepare the night before.

I prepare my clothes and whatever else I might need for the next day the night before, so when I wake up I can go on autopilot and be fully prepared for the day ahead. I once had a client who would sleep in her workout clothes so she could literally roll out of bed, brush her teeth and head to the gym! Hey whatever it takes right?!?!

I set short term GOALS.

I love time-sensitive goals, because it gives you something to work towards. We love to travel, so I always set our vacations as my goal to work towards. For you, maybe it’s a 5k or a friend's wedding, find something to keep you focused and moving forward.

I surround myself with people who push me to become better.

I can go to my husband and core group of friends when I need an extra kick in the ass, because they’ve heard all my excuses and won’t let me quit. Finding someone to hold you accountable is extremely helpful.

I meditate Every. Damn. Day. because mindset is EVERYTHING!

I completely believe that your body can achieve anything your mind believes and so often our minds quit before our bodies do. How many times have you said, “I can’t do anymore” and yet you still find it in you to get those last 2 reps? David Goggins, an ultra marathon runner, once said, “When you think you are done, you’re only at 40% of what you body is capable of doing. That’s just the limit we put on ourselves.” I couldn't agree more with this quote! If you’re interested in creating a meditation practice, I love the app, Headspace. The first 10 days are free, so why not try it?

I listen & learn as much as possible from those who have come before me. Most days you can find me in the gym blaring YouTube videos by Alex Kalts, Spencer Jardine, and CT Fletcher through my headphones. There have been days I thought I had nothing to give, but when you have CT Fletcher screaming in your ears, "ONE MORE SET, CHAMP!" You do one more set! LOL! Maybe for you, it’s finding a fitness partner or personal trainer to give you that extra push when you think you’re done.

I schedule my workouts.

I schedule a time in the day for my own workouts, just like I schedule my client’s sessions. I think this is a big one. Have you ever woken up and said, “I'm going to work out today,” but then before you know it its 8pm, your kid still needs a bath, dinner isn’t made, and now the last thing you want to do is work out? Treating your workouts like any other meeting in your calendar, keeps the day from getting away from you.

I do something I love!

I love lifting, so that’s the exercise I choose to do. If you hate to dance, you’re probably not going to show up to a Zumba class. There are so many options: spin, pilates, yoga, crossfit, personal training, running, walking, dancing, hiking, rock climbing...the list goes on and on. Find what you enjoy and do more of it!

No excuses!

This one isn’t the easiest of the bunch, but it’s one of the most important. Excuses are dream killers and they suck! Every single one of them. There are so many excuses we tell ourselves, “I don’t have time. I’m not good enough. It’s too hard. I’ll start on Monday.” Try replacing these excuses with, “It’s not a priority to me right now” and see how different that feels.

Are you motivated by money?

Then, invest in your goal! Sign up for a non- refundable class, make a bet with a friend, hire a trainer. Studies have shown the more you invest in something, the less likely you are to quit.


Kalene Walsh is a Certified Personal Trainer with 13 years of experience training men and women of all ages and abilities through every stage of life. She is also a local Hoboken mommy to her 3 year old son Cash.

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