I know the title of this article is a bit unusual, but I believe that determination is hugely important when it comes to fitness. Without it there is no training. It's as simple as that. Determination is the energy that makes you stick to your workouts, wakes you up early to train and, above all, allows you to follow your diet properly. The big question here is how to create and nurture this motivation.
First, let's break down what determination is. The official definition of determination is firmness of purpose. In other words, to have clear boundaries of what you're trying to achieve and a time plan for when you're going to achieve it.
I always say to my clients that determination is something that can be very easily destroyed. One example is someone who wants to run a marathon. Without guidance, this person will start to go on long runs, thinking 'the more the better'. But here's the issue: the first step towards to losing your determination is to think on such a large scale. I don't even have to mention that this prospective runner will never finish a marathon, and I can guarantee that they'll hate fitness for life, thanks to all the injuries they'll acquire from doing too much running.
Another determination killer is lack of planning. Imagine someone trying to lose weight. Without consistency, this person will start training every day, then it will drop to three days in the second week, two times the following week and so on. I can assure you that in one month, nothing will be achieved and this person will no longer be training. It's important to write down all the steps needed to achieve your target, week by week - without judging or making decisions before you start. Just go in there and do your best - you don't have to kill yourself every workout, but try a new regime. Stick to your plan. (It's much easier if you have a trainer with experience that can work this out with you.)
Ok, so now you know what not to do. But how do you start the whole process? I think going inside yourself is always the best option. Think about things that make you happy - in terms of training, not other things! Make a list of all the activities that you like - this is a great starting point. Don't be surprised if this list changes over time. I have running phases, surfing phases and so on. But the most important thing is to do something.
The last aspect of finding your determination is the challenge factor. When you create your targets, put your name down to do something that will take you out of your comfort zone. Personally, I like to put my name down to enter competitions, because they're very specific, and they have a timeframe to train in, which creates a good amount of pressure.
In summary, here's what you have to do: look into your heart, find what makes you smile and then create a plan of action to find a regime that will challenge you. As a result, not only will you become more fit and healthy, but challenging yourself will allow you to grow as a person, too. So what are you waiting for? The process starts now.