If you lose your way after three weeks, do you internalise that as a personal failing?The reality is that this is really common to everyone and it’s not just a matter of will power or drive or commitment. In this episode I’m talking about:
- Why it happens, even with the best of intentions
- How to set yourself up to avoid this or at least work around it
- And some of the ways I’m using this in my own life right now
Learn to Run starts on the 18th of JanuaryThis program includes:
- Four different programs depending on whether you are an absolute beginner or already running 5km
- A 12 week, supported program with access to a coach.
- Options for individualised programming and one-on-one coaching
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Have you ever wondered why it’s so much easier to get going, once you take that first step?
But that first step is brutally hard and challenging isn’t it? And once you do get going you wonder why it was so hard in the first place?
This week I’m talking about how to create routines that make habits almost inevitable by creating little steps that have nothing to do with running or your new habit really, but make it almost impossible not to happen once you start to create that chain reaction.
So in this episode I’m talking about:
- Creating those habits to build in that first step so you don’t have to think about
- How motivation happens after you get moving, not before
- Creating some temptation bundling for those things that you are most resistant to doing
- Setting up systems to get your habits on auto-pilot and make the things you want to do almost inevitable.
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This week I’m talking about how to get yourself going for things that aren’t exciting, that you don’t look forward to but you really need to do. That might be rehab, strengthening weaknesses or it might be those hill sprints that you are dreading or it might be the meal planning you can’t stand.
The longer term the reward is for the things you are trying to do, the harder it is to get going.
So this week, I talk about:
- Knowing why you are doing it in the first place, and what the benefits are
- Prioritising things early in the day and early in your week
- Finding something, even something small that you can enjoy about it
- Creating a reward system to sweeten the deal
- Creating some social accountability
- And even tricking yourself i you need to!
This morning I was chatting to my neighbour about school and kids and homework and all the usual stuff that you talk about at school drop off. I was mostly talking about how I don’t structure homework into our lives because I don’t really believe in it, and my ultimate goal for my girls is that they develop their own internal motivation. They might never find what they are looking for if I am always pushing them one way, or worse I might ruin something they could actually love by applying pressure they don’t need.
Running is the same in a lot of ways. You only need motivation when you don’t love it enough. You only feel like you are in a slump when that joy you once had starts to feel a lot like a chore.
So the question is not: how do I get my motivation back? The question is: how do I find joy and love and meaning?
You don’t need motivation for things that you love. You don’t have to talk yourself into it, or bribe yourself to do it, because it is the reward. But finding that joy when it goes AWOL can be hard and scary and you can start to feel even a little lost with it.
Sometimes it might be that you’ve forgotten why you started in the first place. Somewhere along the line you might have gotten sucked into paces and times when really in the beginning all you cared about was time to yourself in the fresh air. And you have to remind yourself that even if you never improved, you would still be here.
Sometimes it might be that you are doing what you think you *should* be doing, not what you want to be doing. Not everyone wants to run marathons or half marathons, even though sometimes it feels like that’s exactly what everyone is doing. You might really love 5km as a distance. It might not ever get the kind of glory that surrounds the marathon or ultra trail events but maybe it’s your jam. The joy in a distance you love can’t be substituted for someone else’s high opinion.
Sometimes it just might mean that you need a few people to share the journey with. It’s hard to feel that anything is meaningful in a vacuum. The best part of a running community is that when you achieve something, everyone else knows how hard that you worked. It’s not an arbitrary number. It’s 12 weeks of training. It’s early mornings. And it’s willingness to suffer for your joy a bit. And it’s not the time that the community celebrates, it’s the process – which is absolutely universal.
Sometimes you’ve just allowed yourself to talk to yourself in a way that you thought you’d grown out of. You’ve managed to convince yourself that you aren’t good enough or worthwhile enough. And instead of each run that you do celebrating what your body can do, it starts to feel like each run confirms how far gone you are. But you aren’t. Start with finding small things to celebrate about yourself and about your running and let the rest go.
You don’t need motivation, you just need joy. Go and find it wherever it might be.