The Journey #11: How to keep that motivation high?
In regards motivation, it is also a long run. But, it all starts with you taking action.
This post takes ~ 5min to read
Team, Hi! 👋
As always, we hope you are well. With those energy levels high, feeling good about your training and motivated. Even though, in the last year and a half, keeping motivation high has not been easy for some of you. Especially for those who feel only motivated when they have a race in the near future. For others, keeping training up to date is already part of the ritual. Race or no race. They show up.
Both situations are normal. That’s the reality we need to accept, the life of someone who is not a professional runner, who runs because is passionate about it and has the desire to explore, desire for change, to fullfill a purpose, feel alive and be challenged. Again, that’s normal. That’s life.
⚖️ On what should you focus? You must find a balance. Not feeling motivated today? Make the decision that makes you feel better. But never hesitate.
ℹ️ Example from a community member (Mandy Camara)
I don’t give myself time to hesitate. On days I have to work, the alarm goes off at 4 am. I get up. Lace up. Go. The key is to not allow the mind or life to get in the way. It gets easier to do this over time.
Now, whether we are talking about
training for a race (for many of you a long distance race),
a challenge - FKT’s (Fastest Known Times), self-guided adventures or
talking about someone who may be starting to run or restarting a training “process” that we know is long and painful, some questions arise:
How can I stay motivated?
How can I be consistent?
How can we deal with those hard days when the mind tells “No, not today”?
🎬 It’s time to take action
“At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.” - Steven Pressfield
In order for you to feel motivated, you must take action. Motivation means action. We normally think that: "I don't feel motivated to Z (e.g run). So I might read X or watch Y to get the motivation to do Z.” That’s not the way things work. That’s what we call inspiration.
And to take action, since it is sometimes hard to begin whatever we want to begin, you need to make your life easier. Create your own rituals, routines, tricks that will make you "put your shoes on", even when you are not in the mood. Additionally, this is where your vision, your purpose, will play an important role, allowing you to be consistent. And, let us tell you, these are the days where the "reward" is bigger because, yes, YOU DID IT!
When we talk about making your life easier, we are talking about:
👉 Create your own ritual that leads you to put your shoes on and go out. And after you have that routine/ritual, stick to the same pattern. Et voilá, you (might) have created an healthy habit;
👉 If you are just starting to run or returning from a short or long period without running, start small, with short distances, or even better, short periods of time.
ℹ️ You might have heard about Hellah Sibide. He has been running, every day, for more than 1500 days now. He recently crossed the US (from California to New York) being the first black person to achieve this. Do you want to know the trick he used to start running? He decided to run every day for 10 minutes (he then finished running longer).
👉 Set a time for your training and don’t you ever negotiate your goals or priorities.
ℹ️ Example from a community member (Vitor)
Having a routine schedule helps. After that, priorities. These days, I'll skip lunch or dinner to go run if that's the only time I can get it done. But that only happens after I decide that running is priority #3 after family and work.
📈 Team, it is a long run!
Now that you have three suggestions on how to start to act, what’s the second thing you need to focus on? Being consistent. Keep the motivation for a long period of time.
And here, we are talking about intrinsic motivation. Your desire for new challenges, achieve your goals, learn something new. This is the type of motivation that will allow you to stay focused & motivated in the long term.
(External motivation is like a “Jelly bean”, which gives you only a short and rapid boost of energy. For example: reading books or watching youtube videos. Team, what you need is a more “sweet potato” type of motivation. Longer boost of energy.)
This is where we say again that life is not a sprint, nor a marathon. But an ultrarunning race. Because, in the end, what you need to do is to find a strategy that will keep you move for a longer period of time. You need to find your "mental mountain".
🧭 And what strategies you can put into practice?
The most important aspect you need to take into account is: your “mental mountain” must be something that it’s achievable. If you think that is going to be easy, a low hill…might be BO-RING. If the “mountain” is too high, you will give up. So, find the balance. And go from there.
Mountains represent an opportunity that will lead you to act and reach the level you want. So, choose one, and let’s reach the top.
Suggestions for “Mental Mountains”
Starting by the most obvious, register for a race;
Prepare your own challenge (or invite some friends for a small challenge);
Think about a specific amount of time or miles/kilometers you want to reach weekly and/or monthly and, every week, raise the bar (+1km or +5minutes).
To finish big, we must tell you this, the truth: of course, it is difficult to stay motivated for a long period of time (We are humans, hello!) But, that’s also why we are here. So, here are five things to keep in mind:
Whatever your mind is telling you when you are deciding on what to do, don't take it as an order. Your mind is just "giving suggestions”. To protect you. But, you are the one who, in the end, decides. The brain knows bad things and protects you from bad things. But, growth comes from you controlling your mind.
#Runinpublic: why don't you commit in public that you are training to achieve a specific goal?
(We just saw this week on Twitter, an inspiring woman with the name Rav Billan that reached the number of 1250 running)
Measure: You must measure the progress to see if you are actually improving. And offer yourself some small rewards.
"It is hard". "I can't." Do yourself a favor. Go out and inspire us by showing up.
It is ok to have a day or two off.
TELL US: do you have already a “mental mountain”? What are your solutions to keep yourself motivated?
📖 Growth Station
👊 We got your back!
If you feel like that you want to raise your hand ✋ and shout: I want to be part of this! Come, join this community of like-minded runners!
Here's a sneak peek of what you can expect by joining our community:
Accountability: when you get back home from work or practice, you will have a community of runners that holds each other accountable to keep momentum;
Grow and learn from the best: every month we will have the opportunity to meet professional trail runners and learn more about their journey, their training, and best practices;
Share Stories and Learnings: You will have access to our digital safe space where we will share stories and learnings, victories and losses, help others to achieve their goals by just saying: "Count on me!;
Support and Training: Being a global community, with our "The Journey Experiences", we will organize digital and physical events all year round, for you to connect with the others members.
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