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Being motivated to reach your running goals on a consistent basis has seven main components. Find your motivation to run using the following tips from our expert contributors:
1. Having crystal clear specific positive measurable goals (what would you see, hear, and feel), that are meaningful to you. They need to be detailed enough to create a picture and understandable to anyone who may read them. You need a blueprint to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. A detailed description will also help you to know what resources (money, people, information, tools) you’ll need to succeed. What would: your measurements be, your weight, your vital signs, your activities, etc.?
2. Understanding the negative consequences of not achieving a goal (pain pushes). What will you lose in all aspects of your life if you don’t exercise?
3. Know the wonderful positive benefits of achieving a goal (pleasure pulls). What will you gain in all aspects of your life if you do exercise?
4. To know yourself in terms of your values, beliefs, skills, and self-concept (traits), and they need to be in harmony with the goals.
5. To uncover and neutralize any limiting beliefs (“I’m too old;” “I’m too overweight;” “I’ve failed in the past, so I’ll fail in the future”), and eliminate any “negative self-talk” (“I’m so stupid;” I knew I’d screw that up”).
6. Installing and reinforcing the required positive empowering beliefs (“I can do it,” “It’s worthwhile to me,” “It will happen,” “I deserve to have it”).
7. Setting up a realistic step-by-step action plan, making each step as small as possible.
When someone is motivated, all of these elements are working, often at the subconscious level. At the foundation, when a goal is so important based on one’s values and beliefs, someone is unstoppable. When procrastination happens, one needs to investigate which of the seven keys needs attention, and the first place to check, is beliefs. Paraphrasing Henry Ford, “If you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.”
Three tips that athletes of any fitness level can use to start and maintain a running regimen:
1. Write down your long term and short term goals. Next, brainstorm small actions you can do each day that will put you on the path to reaching these benchmarks. Then, begin implementing these actions into your daily routine and track them on the same piece of paper. You will start to notice that you will try to find new actions, opportunities and experiences to add to your “accomplishment list.” On those days where it seems like you are not making much progress, you can read over what you have done to date and it will help you to truly see how far you have come on your journey.
2. Tell your short term goals to someone that you trust. What you will find is that they will begin to check in on your progress to give you a boost of motivation and accountability. Who knows? They may lace up their shoes and join you on the adventure!
3. Use technology! Receiving feedback on what you are doing and how you are doing can be a huge motivator. Free online tracking systems like myfitnesspal.com are a great way to stay motivated while moving toward your goals. Heart rate monitors (ranging from $50- $300) take all the guess work out of how hard you are working. Pedometers, phones and or music players with GPS systems can track how much work you’ve done. Gaming systems like Wii Fit and Konnect are a great ways to increase your activity and stay motivated. Embrace your inner technology geek and get going!
How do you motivate yourself to start and maintain a running routine?
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