Motivation can be tough to come by. Inertia is a powerful force, and it’s a lot easier to stay on the couch all day and watch 10 episodes of The Hills the History Channel than it is to pry yourself off the couch to exercise.
It takes significant amounts of motivation just to get through each day. You need it to wake up when your alarm goes off, to do your homework, to drive into work, to cook dinner and clean it up. In fact, most of us probably spend large portions of our days doing things we “have” to do, not things we want to do. That can really drain on your motivational reserves.
Once I get into a routine, I’m usually pretty good about making my workout a priority. I try to make it just another part of my day; something that’s non-negotiable, like eating lunch or getting dressed before I leave the house (not that I always match or have clean clothes, but still…). I’m pretty good about it, that is, until something derails my exercise train, like friends coming into town or getting sick. Sometimes it will take me weeks to get back on track, by which point I’ve started to lose some of my hard-won progress. Now that’s a motivation-killer.
My half-marathon training so far has gone really well. I’ve had a few days where I didn’t follow my schedule exactly, but I’ve been able to compensate and not lose any ground.
With the date of my race steadily approaching, I have a pretty intense motivator: a desire to avoid public humiliation. I’ve committed to this thing, told friends, family and coworkers about it, and people are surprisingly interested. I also have a friend who has decided to sign up for this race. It will be her second half. When the thought of suiting up and running a few miles is less than appealing, I remind myself that she’s going to text me to ask how my training is going, or that my coworker will mention how nice the weather is and how many miles he got in that day. I’ve also dished out a decent amount of money for my entry fee, and I’d really like to earn that medal. All of those things help keep me accountable and motivated. Oh, and fitting into my skinny jeans with ease doesn’t hurt, either.
So, what motivates you to keep it up when you don’t feel like it? A sense of accomplishment? Doctor’s orders? Your personal trainer? Your desire to eat 12 gallons of ice cream and not gain weight?