Recently, a few of my good friends asked me what it is that motivates me to run/workout/stay active. How do I keep myself motivated to run? I think that’s an awesome question, and my sister suggested I write a blog post about it.
I love running, but of course there are times when I lose my zest. But I absolutely believe that if you truly want something in life, there are no excuses, you just have to charge after it. If you find the right ways to motivate yourself, reaching your fitness/running/health goals isn’t hard at all. And in the end, it is so so rewarding.
Run with a buddy. Having a buddy to run with, holds you accountable. You’re not just letting yourself down if you don’t get out the door at 6AM to run, but you’re letting down the friend you said you’d meet up with. That, and running with a friend is a gazzilion times more fun than running alone. Even if you’re not chatting or are a few minutes apart on the trails, it’s nice to have someone going through the runners highs/lows with you. If running isn’t your thing, join a workout class!
Sign up for a race. Being unprepared for work, class, or meetings is scary and no fun, and running is no different. If I’ve got a race on-deck, that really helps keep me in line when it comes to putting in the effort to prepare sufficiently. I love having a race or two to look forward to. It gives a purpose to your training. That, and who doesn’t love a race t-shirt and/or medal?!
Write down your goal. Somewhere you’ll see everyday (on a post-it on your fridge, the background of your computer, scribbled in dry-erase on your mirror, on a piece of paper stuck to your wall). The more you see it, the more you’ll believe it. A friend once told me that the more you physically see your goal, the more likely it’ll come true. In college, I wrote my XC and track goals on paper, stuck next to the head of my bed. Teammates and friends would see my goals and that made me want to not let them down, since I knew they knew what my goals were. I felt responsible. And that empowered me.
Reward hard work milestones with non-food incentives. I love doing this. If you’re trying to get back into running, or just want to lose some weight, this is a great way to motivate yourself. For example: if you run 3 days a week for 4 weeks, reward yourself with that dress you’ve had your eyes on; if you reach a short-term weight loss goal (5lbs, 10lbs), treat yourself to a massage. You’ve earned it!
When it comes down to it, ya just gotta ask yourself, how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to lose weight, run a PR, or complete that half marathon? Believe in yourself that you CAN do it, and that you will do it. Like my homeboy Joe says, “Believe deep down in your heart you are destined to do great things.”
What helps motivate YOU to run? What are your tricks? Share ’em with me! Maybe your comment will help inspire another reader!