Motivation has always been something that has interested me. I can be motivated to wake up at 5am on a Saturday morning for a long run, but ask me to organize my closet and I’ll have to get back to you on that one. The thought of organizing anything equals no motivation. Recently on Twitter I have been searching for people who are tweeting about running and motivation. Most of the tweets I find fall along the lines of saying: “Need to go running, but lack motivation,” or “Not feeling motivated. Send me motivation”
This brings me to today’s question:
What gets people motivated and how can they stay motivated?
Motivation can be defined as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Right now it’s 10:24pm and I have 1 hour and 30 minutes to finish this blog post in order to not fail on my pledge, and I’ll be darned if I miss a post. I’m motivated to make this happen. Why?
Motivation is linked to certain brain functions. Your brain learns to associate certain actions with certain rewards. For example, a hard workout equals a glass of wine. The wine is my reward and I enjoy it. The reward provides me with natural reinforcement for future motivation. Therefore, I become motivated to do the workout because I know the reward is soon to follow.
In order to stay motivated, you have to keep your eye on the prize. Rewarding yourself along the way, (such as with a glass of wine), will keep your motivation high and your focus sharp. It is also important that you enjoy what you are doing. Running outside is something I enjoy A LOT. However, if someone told me I had to run on the dreadmill everyday, I’d lose some of my motivation. I do not enjoy it. Surrounding yourself with inspiration and your motto will also help to keep you focused. I have a running inspiration board that I see every morning and it reminds me of what my end goal is. In Boston, I had my motto written on my arm and it kept me going (up until mile 13.5). You have to constantly remind yourself of what you are working so hard for. Surround yourself with like minded people. Discuss your goals with other people. They will hold you accountable. And finally, when you find yourself getting in a slump, immediately nip it in the bud. Because as soon as you miss a week of working out, it becomes a slippery slope.
I’m always on the search for new motivation and I find a lot on YouTube and Pinterest. Here are some of my favorite motivational videos and pictures:
So stay focused. Reward yourself often. And surround yourself with inspiration. It will get you out the door for those early morning runs and keep you working for whatever your end goal may be.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
And on a side note, I want to send my deepest sympathies to my best friends Emily and Tyler. They unexpectedly lost their beloved dog Beans this morning and it has been a very tough day. Beans was an amazing animal and I will miss her dearly. Pets really can become like our own children.