Relying On Motivation Is A Mistake

I don't know what it is (oh wait, it's the COLD), but I've received several emails recently about lacking motivation. No one is motivated. It's just too cold. Too dark. Maybe I should just sleep...

I get it. Conditions, circumstances, whatever, aren't ideal. As a matter of fact, I friggin' despise the treadmill as much as the next guy, but somehow I haven't missed any workouts this month. Am I just THAT motivated?

Uh, no. I can be as lazy as anyone. Jen'll tell ya!

Make the bed? Insanity. Just gonna mess it up later...

Fold my underwear? Huh? No one's gonna care if they're wrinkled!

That stack of papers on the dining room table? DON'T touch, I'm saving those!!

See, there's certain areas of life where I guess I just lack motivation.

Motivation is fleeting

Realize motivation comes and goes. There will always be times when you don't feel like doing something, just like there are times when you can't wait to get out the door. I don't rely on motivation to eat well and exercise every day. I rely on my identity as a healthy person who finds joy in my chosen activity. I have tons of days when it feels like a struggle! Do you identify as a runner? As a fit person? Healthy? If you truly identify as such, then the behavior will come naturally. Don't rely on motivation - it is fleeting!

Who Ya Hangin' Out With?”

Hang out with the right people (runners, or people you want to be like). I understand your schedule may not seem conducive to meeting for group runs every day, but you've GOT to have some form of social support.

Even if it's texting me after each run, or using the Strava App (<--- are we friends yet?) to log your runs so your friends can cheer you on, some form of social support is essential. How does your significant other feel about you training? Do the people around you also run or strongly encourage you to run?

The 5 Why's

Identify WHY it is important for you to train. We're looking for feelings here. Asking the question “why” about 5 times or so usually gets to the real, deep, emotional reason you choose to run. Why is it important for you to be in shape for that upcoming race? Why the hell do you want to run that thing anyway?

I also like to go negative and ask what will happen if you DON'T reach your goal. How will you feel if you show up and are out of shape? How do you feel about staying exactly where you are – same shape, no improvement? What's going to happen if you keep skipping workouts?

Finally, have you ever regretted a run? …JUST SAYIN'.

Now, crank it!