feeling dedication and loyalty to a cause, activity, or job; wholeheartedly dedicated.
provide with a motive for doing something.
past tense for mo-ti-vate
Is it common to use these terms interchangeably? All too common if you ask me. However, once you see the actual definition of these terms you can tell they are quite different. Especially when it comes to the application of these terms to our programs or heck, even our lives.
How do you know if you are committed, or if you are motivated? I think the best way to know the difference is to listen to my good friend Eric Helms as he discusses enjoying the process vs enjoying the reward. You can click this link and watch Eric explain it here.
When you enjoy the process more than the reward, then you know you are committed. Commitment will keep you on track. Commitment will also bring you happiness.
Yours truly has been struggling a lot lately. Call it a mid-life crisis, call it lack of athletic identity, call it what you want, but happiness for me right now is far and few between. However, being committed to the process, specifically of my program, is one of the areas of my life right now that brings me tons of enjoyment. We all know that I’m not going to have a physique like Jeff Alberts or Alberto Nunez. Likewise, I am never going to reach the kind of performances in powerlifting like we see from Bryce Lewis or Brian Minor. I’m as competitive a guy as they come, so you might ask, if I can’t hold a candle to the best athletes competitively, then why should I even pursue it? Furthermore, dealing with my rib injury has limited my training to the point I can’t perform my competitive squat or deadlift. So while it might seem that I would not be as motivated as in the past, I can honestly say the highlight of my week is getting in my weight room at home. Flipping on a Movie or football game and spending 3 to 5 hours training is what keeps me going each day. So, like I said before, my joy comes from the process and not the result.
Getting enjoyment from the process is different for everyone, so it makes it all the more difficult to coach this. However, there are many examples of different processes that keep folks committed to their programs, that don’t require you to ever have to compete to reap the rewards. The CrossFit community for example is one of those sources of enjoyment that is very popular today. CrossFit provides a sense of community that many people wear as a badge. This sense of community often pushes people to work harder than they might otherwise; had they not had that sense of belonging and enjoyment. Spartan Racing, Tough Mudders and much to my delight, powerlifting also seem to be new sources of community belonging.
At some point, looking to the goal or reward is not going to be enough to keep you truly committed. As a result, what once kept you motivated may no longer make you happy. Without commitment, we lack the joy that comes from anything that is truly important to us. So, if weight training and your health and fitness goals are truly important to you, find the source of enjoyment that will make you committed through both the good and bad times.