Motivational Monday: What Is My Motivation?

It’s Monday!  The beginning of a new week.  All the potential, all the fun experiences you are have yet to encounter, all the challenges…sounds so exciting and awesome!  And yet, at 5:30 AM this morning, I couldn’t get out of bed to tackle my workout.  Nor could I do it again at 6:15 after a brief snooze session.  I finally dragged myself into the living room at 6:35, work out gear on and looked around like a lost kid in a superstore.  What was I going to do again?  I didn’t have enough time to do a full P90X routine, no time to go to the park for a run, and really didn’t feel like pulling out the chin up bar.  I could have just said “Ah well, tomorrow morning will be better,” but I took out one of my Fitness magazines and did a quick 15 minute routine and packed away my running clothes for after work.

But it got me to thinking why there are some days I can be hopping out of bed waiting to seize the day most mornings and then other days, despite the fact that I had 9 hours of sleep, I just can’t hash it.  The obvious answer is my lack of motivation and excitement about my morning routine.  I am no guru, but these things typically work for me when it comes to reevaluating my motivation.

  1. Set a long-term goal. I want to get down to about 128 pounds and be able to run the Run for Your Lives 5K in November.  That is my goal.  Fairly attainable, on a deadline, and has measurable results.  Setting a long-term goal gives you something to work towards and gets you excited when you begin to see results.
  2. Set short term goals.  There are some days the long-term goals are just too far off in the distance, and you need the instant gratification of achieving something.  Setting a short term goal, even for the day, will help boost your motivation.  Today for instance, my goal is to do a little bit of ab work in the morning and successfully run 4 miles in the evening without having a walk break.  Still gives me something to work towards, but will give me the instant gratification.
  3. Think in short term benefits.  Going along with instant gratification, I have always been the type to ask, “So what good is this going to be to me?” I can clearly see that one day, if I keep this up I will be healthier and fit better in my clothes.  However, that long-term benefit may mean absolutely nothing to me on a day when I really need that extra push.  Thinking in short-term benefits really helps even if it is just I won’t feel flabby today because I got a quick muscle toning routine in or I will not be totally disappointed and overly full if I stay away from that extra slice of cake.  
  4. Enlist a friend.  Accountability may be what you need to get out and actually do what you’re saying you’re going to achieve.  Whether it’s Facebook or even a diary entry to yourself saying Hey! I did it!, it will boost your confidence and keep your accountability in check. Also, having a friend to help you achieve your goals makes the journey a lot sweeter.
  5. Switch it up.  Ever hit a rut on your way to a goal?  Usually that’s what sets you back or takes you completely off track to achieving what you desire.  By getting creative and trying new ways of achieving your goal, chances are you will be able to make your deadline…maybe even a little early!  With fitness for example, even P90X gets boring after the first 4 weeks.  I love to mix it up with a run in the afternoon or a Zumba class.  As long as I am getting out and about for my daily 30 minutes to an hour, I am a happy camper.
  6. “You gotta enjoy the little things.”  I love this quote from Zombieland, because it resounds throughout my daily life.  I enjoy my little triumphs and even reward myself.  It could be a day trip, a night out, or even a new outfit.  By enjoying achieving your small goals and rewarding yourself along the way, you are more likely to stick with it.

What keeps you motivated?