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Goals: How to Keep Your Motivation

Welcome to the second post in this series on goal setting.  Last week, we talked about writing goals that are meaningful, attainable, time bound and measurable.  Each one of these qualities is important in the goals that we set because it allows us to create a sense of urgency and a plan to incrementally reach our goal.  Check out the post to learn more about the SMART technique for creating your goals.

Like I talked about last week, I think that it is easy to set a goal but do you have what it takes to see it all the way through?  Let’s face it motivation can be a fickle feeling.  Today I am sharing tips to help you keep your motivation even on the days when it is tough to lace up your shoes and get out the door.

1.       Write it down.  A 2007 study at Dominican University tells us that if you write down your goals, you are 47% more likely to achieve them.  Personally, I find that when I write something down it helps me commit it to memory.  You get bonus points if you write it down and post it somewhere that you can see it every day.  All of these little reminders help to keep us focused.  If we are focused on our goal, we are probably thinking about new strategies and habits that we can use to achieve that goal.

 

2.       Write down at least 5 reasons why you want to achieve this goal.  Think about how you will feel when you achieve this goal.  Then, keep this list handy.  Any time that you need extra motivation to get up early, to finish your intervals, or to run at tempo pace, reflect on your reasons why.  Use them to dig deep when your commitment is wavering.

 

3.       Find an accountability buddy.  This can come in many different forms.  Maybe you need a running buddy or the support of a local running club for the extra boost of motivation to show up every day for your workout.  Maybe you just need an encouraging friend to be accountable to.  You can have a weekly check-in where you share your training log with each other every week.

 

4.       Create sub-goals and set a reward for reaching them.  Another trick to help keep yourself motivated is to set a few incremental goals that will keep you on track.  Assign a reward for each goal that you will get to indulge in when you complete that goal.  You can pick anything that is motivating to you: lunch at your favorite spot, a massage, a post run smoothie, or a new pair of shoes for your goal race.  We both know that you will leave yourself enough time to properly break those shoes in before your goal race, right?

 

5.       Create a routine.  Creating a ritual may also help you keep up with your training plan.  Do you always run at the same time every day?  Maybe you run first thing in the morning to make sure that you are prioritizing your time for your goals.  This also helps to keep your focus and motivation up for the rest of the day because you have released endorphins during your workout.  Maybe you like to run in the evening and follow up your training with a good stretching or yoga session and an Epsom salt soak before getting ready for bed.

 

6.       Mix it up.  Sometimes we just get bored with the same old workout routines.  Try a new form of cross training, run a new route, use a different workout format for speed training, meet up with a new running group.  Change really can be exciting

 

Be sure to join me next week. We will be talking about how you can harness discipline in your daily habits to make the most of your training plan.

What’s your favorite motivation tip?  Share it in the comments below.

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