One of the questions I get asked more than anything is how do you stay so motivated? The answer I usually attribute my motivation to is my drive. I’m overwhelmingly driven (to a fault), and always have been, which makes it easy for me to keep going. However, after some recent reading and thoughts on my motivation, I realize there are many other factors too. Here are my tips on how you can stay motivated too!
1. Find an activity you like and don’t force yourself to do something you hate.
We all know I love to run, that’s a given, and that I also greatly enjoy my strength training routine as well. But before I got to this perfect rotation of things I’m in, I circled through a bunch of activities I really despised or weren’t for me. I needed to work on my core strength so I tried Pilates. Guess what? I hated it so much my husband had to drive me to the gym because I wouldn’t drive myself. Yoga? It was okay but it wasn’t my favorite and I couldn’t make a routine out of it. I tried some full body workout and boot camp classes but because those classes we half running, I didn’t feel they were the right fit for me because I already spent so much time running. Find what works for you.
2. If you find something that works for you, don’t be afraid to commit to it, stick with it and pay money for it.
I am very fortunate that I’ve worked hard enough to be able to have some spare bucks for spending on this, but I will be the first to admit that one of the heftiest chunks of change I spend each month is the combo of my Running Coach and my Strength Training Gym but guess what? I love both and they make me feel Whole and complete. They get me out the door in the morning or on the road after work. I have support systems built in both communities that are well worth the value I pay. I know if I told some people what I paid for that, they would then their noses up at me, however investing in my fitness is what I want to spend my money on and keeps me motivated.
3. Find a community who will help keep you motivated when you’re feeling your motivation dip.
I have a huge community of support that I draw from. My community keeps me motivated when I would otherwise want to give up. Some days I am the one cheering for others and some days I need others to cheer for me. Facebook groups have become one of the biggest places I find support and stay motivated. I am in multiple Facebook fitness groups and love the friendships I’ve made through them if other supportive runners and athletes who inspire me and motivate me to work hard.
4. I always have at least one goal in the queue.
I know I’m unique with this one but I always have a goal in the queue. Mostly that means I always have a race on the calendar to train for, but I also have other goals to work for too. I am always curious to see how much more weight I’ll lift the next week at the gym, or if I’ll get higher on the hill in my next hill repeats workout. I set big goals but I also look at smaller, daily or weekly, ones too to keep me going.
5. If my motivation is starting to fade, it might be time for a different goal or routine
On the same note of goal setting, sometimes too much routine or too many attempts at the same goal make me lose my motivation. Sometimes running the same trail feels boring and I’m unmotivated to get a run in. But when I dig deeper, it isn’t the run I don’t want to do, it is seeing the same five miles of trail that I don’t want to do. Mix it up! Sick of the elliptical? Try riding the bike at the gym. Need a break from your kickboxing class? Try a Zumba class. Your motivation to get to it after a little separation from the same thing will do you some good.
On that same note, sometimes attempting the same goal over and over will make you lose your motivation – not spark it. I took a long break from trying to PR my half time. I didn’t even attempt it once in 2018, because I was so burnt out on that goal. I still wanted it – yes, but I needed time away from racing the half marathon to find my motivation to go for it again. I spent last year on other goals and now feel motivated to try again on that one. Staying motivated can mean a little headspace from the thing you’re motivated to work towards, even if that sounds counter productive.
6. Last but not least, sometimes you just gotta suck it up and go.
Sometimes the only way I find my motivation is to force myself out there. Sometimes I don’t find the motivation, it finds me. Don’t let your excuses win. Think to yourself, “I can at least get out there and try today and if it sucks after 15 minutes I’ll go home.” Some days I don’t even wanna run half a mile but those end up being the best runs I have. Some days you just gotta fake it til you make it, but eventually the motivation comes!
Cheers to staying motivated!