I don’t know about you, but there always comes some point in every workout plan, healthy eating plan, or just life in general where I start to think, “Why am I doing this again?” It’s very easy for me to lose steam and motivation. Scary easy, actually.
I’ve been told that I’m not a quitter though, so there must be something that keeps me going. In all honestly, a lot of my motivation comes from the world of social media. I look to comments on my Blog (and here at Shrinking Jeans), Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest when I feel myself beginning to slide. I’ve been feeling that slide for awhile now. I had gotten very burned out on racing and training, plus now I’m dealing with an injury due to too much racing and training. (I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow so please thing good, healthy thoughts for me – please and thank you.)
The problem? I really like running. Love it. Need it. Right now I can’t do it and that frustrates the living crap out of me. I see runners out every morning and I wish I was them. I have a training plan that just says “cardio” and “strength”. I work so much better when my plan says, “5 mile tempo with 3 at 9:40 m/m pace”. To me, that’s motivating. I want to see those numbers, but at the moment I don’t have that.
So, I took to social media and sent some feelers out. I asked my friends (because, in real life or not, that’s how I see all of you) for your best tips for staying motivated.
Here are 10 tips for staying motivated, generated by folks just like yourself:
- Megan says, “Have something to work toward – a race, massage, new clothes, vacation, etc. Eyes on the prize!” – This is a great example of a tangible motivator. If you know you have a race coming up, you might be less likely to slack off.
- Jessica added, “My motivation for running is my mental health. It keeps the anxiety attacks away. :)” – I get this 100%. Not being able to run right now is HARD because it’s my best form of escape.
- Tami says, “As far as exercise, the only thing that keeps me motivated is a goal…weight loss, a race, etc…”
- Laura had some great ideas. “Habit! Staying consistent until healthy eating and exercise are as natural and needed as showering, sleeping, breathing, and going to work.”
- Laura also added, “I am feeling bored I try a new class, activity, or download some new songs, or new workout clothes.”
- Noreen had a great idea as well. “Having an honest diet buddy.” If you know you need to be accountable to someone else, either by reporting what you eat or showing up at the track to run at 6 am, you’re more likely to stick with it.
- Nancy reported, “Posting my pre-weight loss pics to look at periodically. And following inspiring fitness pages on fb.” I think looking back and seeing how far you’ve come can be very motivating!
- Molly stays motivated with “a date on the calendar.” She says, “I am never without a goal.”
- Robyn tells me she keeps telling herself ‘ over and over to JUST DO IT!!”
- Selena tries on different clothes “that used to not fit, but now do, and look great, or are getting too big. Almost daily.”
So, it seems there are a few themes here.
- Have a goal – a date on the calendar, a number of pounds lost, etc.
- Rewards – buy yourself something (NOT food!) as a reward for sticking with your plan. New workout clothes, race entries, etc. Give yourself a treat on whatever interval works for you.
- An accountability buddy – this can be huge! Post progress or struggles here at The Sisterhood, on Twitter, on Facebook. Find a friend near you to workout with or check in with.
- Make your new behaviors a habit – once going to the gym or eating right is ingrained into your everyday behavior, it just becomes part of you.
- Mix things up. If you start to get bored, find a new exercise class or try a different interval workout. This keeps your mind sharp and helps to prevent plateaus.
What about you? What is your sure-fire way to stay motivated when you start to get in a rut?
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Bari is an avid runner and sometime triathlete, learning the importance of training smart but also having fun. She loves to share a good beer with friends and has been known to host virtual toasts on Twitter. When she isn’t running, biking, swimming, or trying to lift heavy things, she’s playing on her phone or trying to figure out how to pay for college for her twins who graduate in 2015. Bari lives in West Michigan and loves to encourage new runners and triathletes to reach their goals.