It’s 6 degrees. The wind is howling. A certain runner I know has 5 miles on tap. The question isn’t IF she’ll run today, but rather whether she’ll brave the elements and get it done outside, or take those miles to the trusty mill. Of course she’d rather curl up with coffee and skip the whole thing. But she doesn’t even consider it. Why? Because she’s motivated. Staying motivated isn’t easy, especially when there are obstacles to overcome. But there are certain traits that help get the job done:
1. Optimism. Studies show the most successful people feel they are responsible for their own happiness and have a positive mindset. Deep down, they BELIEVE they can do something.
2. Set Goals. Not just goals you’ve achieved in the past and you know you can do again, raise the bar. Choose new ones that excite and challenge you. Goals that nudge you out of your comfort zone may scare you just enough to keep going.
3. Find your tribe. Like-minded people who share your passion energize the whole process. A support system you can share war stories with will keep you going and keep it fun too. Tribes come in all shapes and sizes. They can be friends and family, a running club, online community, it all works.
4. Track progress. While you don’t want to compare yourself to others, it’s perfectly acceptable to compare yourself to an earlier version of you. Note your starting point then break down a huge goal into manageable chunks. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by focusing on one day at a time. One workout. One mile. One step.
5. Celebrate success. Don’t wait for the finish line to celebrate. Celebrate milestones too. Sometimes just getting out of bed and getting in ANY workout is a victory. Reward yourself as you progress.
By consistently chipping away at your goals, even in small ways, you gain momentum and start to define yourself by positive traits. Productive behaviors performed over and over again become good habits that will serve you and carry over into other aspects of your life.
What motivates you? How do you stay motivated?