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Friday, July 1, 2011

The one about Motivation

So I’m curious, where do you find your motivation to accomplish your goals? What do you do to keep you motivated? And what do you do if you’ve lost your motivation?
I thought that I would just share a little bit about what I do to keep myself motivated.
Where do I find my motivation?
Most of the time it comes from other people; I usually have an idea to do something (run a full marathon) and before I make any certain decisions I go out and read what other people do or have done.
I read blogs. To me, this is one of the places I find most of my inspiration. How can you not be inspired to do sometime incredible when you daily read about people doing incredible things that they never thought they were capable of? These are real people, with real lives and real experiences and so it’s encouraging to think I can do the exact same thing.
 I read magazines like Runner’s World, Women’s Running, Shape and Fitness. Sometimes it can be as simple as seeing a picture or an advertisement that will ignite a fire in me. Other times I spend days reading and researching something to really let the idea fester to the point that I have convinced myself I can’t live without saying I have accomplished a particular thing. (My life will for sure end at the age of 27 if I haven’t accomplished a marathon by then!)
I am a very goal oriented individual (blame my Type-A, I haven’t done that lately) and so for me, setting goals is no big deal. In fact I oftentimes go overboard on the goal setting in my life. And once I’ve set that goal, I generally follow through with it (although more often than not in different ways than I may have imagined).
What do I do to keep my motivation?
This is one of the hardest ones for me, and probably the majority of people, because in between the adrenaline rush of signing up for that race and actually running the race real life happens. You have to work, you have to make choices, you have to sleep and live life like every other person.
Having a training plan is key to keeping your motivation up. If I didn’t have a plan (who am I kidding, I’ve had a “plan” since I was 4!) I could very easily talk myself out of doing my workouts. I would be frustrated because I would have no clear path and I would constantly be making things up as I went along and not be able to see results. The training plan gives you miniature daily goals to achieve along the path to the BIG GOAL.
I then tell people my plan. One of the biggest motivators for me is knowing people are expecting certain things from me. Personally, follow through is a big MUST for me in life. If I say I’m going to do it, I will do it! The embarrassment  and loss of credibility for not following through is enough to keep me motivated, however that doesn’t always ensure I stay on track with that goal, and that’s where training buddies come in.
After I tell my family my intentions, I will find my training buddies and tell them. If they are on board and want to accomplish the same things as me, even better. But if not, at least you can train together and have someone to help push you on the harder days.
Another thing I do to help keep me motivated is to surround myself with things that remind me of my goals. For example, at my desk I have a 13.1 Sticker and a copy of my training plan completely visible at all times. I have a motivational saying and pictures of people that encourage me and make me happy. All of this is a great way to not only ensure a great day at work (because great days at work lead to great workouts later) but also a great way to constantly be surrounded by positive and uplifting things. Who wouldn’t want that?

Lastly, I keep a training journal. I use it every day and it has become one of my most prized possessions. This keeps me motivated daily, provides me daily reminders of what my purpose is and is also a great tool to use to help me if I’ve lost motivation because all I have to do is flip the pages back and see what I’ve already accomplished! Every day (Mostly)I write down what I eat, I don’t count calories but I want to see what helps fuel me. It also helps me make better food choices. I write down how I feel for the day. Sometimes I write a few things about work. And I always write about my workouts and how they went and how they made me feel. I will put quotes. I put pictures. And just things that make me happy that day. In fact, by going through and reviewing my journal, this was my turning point in finally giving up Dr. Pepper once and for all. I was able to see a clear picture of how it was affecting my daily life.

A journal is not for everyone. Writing things down is not for everyone. But for me, this keeps me focused and on target. The daily visit to that journal reminds me why I do what I do and it helps me stay strong both mentally and physically.
How do you stay motivated?

Last night’s speed work did not happen. I haven’t been feeling well and decided it best to listen to my body. I have a full and busy weekend and some time available next week to spend focused on workouts, so I was ok with it.
Tomorrow the plan is to run 4 miles early and then meet my cousin Sophie, my Dad and Stepmom and do 4 more miles. Apparently we have a secret meeting place….

Check out this awesome giveaway! Everyone needs a great place to display their medals! And congrats to Tricia for making Nuun Hood to Coast team!

1 comment:

Sean and Rain Gowens said...

I love the journal idea! I am not so good at making time to actually write things down on paper...but I am sure it helps! Especially writing down what you eat. (though sometimes I want to forget some of the things I eat!) I also agree reading others blogs is very motivating. (hence the reason I read yours!)It's nice to know what other people do when they train, or when they have a bad day, or just to know that there are other people out there "suffering"! I hope you feel 100% better soon!