Motivation is a tricky beast.
At times you can feel like you are unstoppable and there is nowhere else to go but up, and then all of a sudden you’re trapped on your couch eating bonbons and watching the entire collection of the “Real Housewives’”, including the “lost footage” and reunion shows (trust me, I get it).
I’ve spent many mornings driving to work and scoffing at those dedicated and committed assholes jogging on the sidewalks or standing at street corners with a yoga mat slung over their shoulder… who do they think they are? Don’t they have jobs? Don’t they have houses to clean, and dinners to cook and groceries to shop for and dogs to bathe and laundry to wash and a billion OTHER things to do OTHER than work out?
I know I do. But somehow, every once and awhile, I can go on 6 month stints doing all of the above listed chores, as well as fit in time to exercise and be in tip top physical form. Then the wagon hits a catastrophic speed bump, and bam, I’ve jumped off and found myself landing back on that damn…comfy…reliable…couch.
The thing is…if you don’t want to do it, you can easily find a million and one reasons why you shouldn’t or ‘can’t’….
For example: It’s too dark, too cold, too expensive, it’s been too long, you need new runners, you need new water bottle, you need a new scale…and so on and so forth.
But then, when you want it, there is no stopping you.
I don’t think taking time off and setting up camp in front of your television screen is a terrible thing, as long there is an exit strategy at some point.
My crash and burns can only last for a certain amount of time before I am practically clawing at the door to get out of the house and back into a sweaty, huffing and puffing exercising machine.
So what is the secret to maintaining motivation and sticking with it? As an athlete, and being part of a sports team, it helps to have expectations. I do well when I know there is a bit of pressure and I know my team mates and coach expect me to be training for the goals we have committed to.
If you aren’t into team sports, many people have found that being committed to a gym membership or finding a workout partner help get keep motivated and provide that level of expectation. You can even try telling friends your work out plan, or writing it down and putting it on your fridge or bedroom wall to help remind you what your goals are and keep you accountable for them.
HOWEVER, at the end of the day, the following statement still remains gospel in my opinion:
When you want it, there is no stopping you.
I’ve tried workout partners, and bailed on them. I’ve had gym memberships and cancelled them. I’ve tried everything short of publicly announcing my scheduled workouts as Facebook status updates in order to have some sort of accountability when I end up back on the couch…but honestly, the only thing that has ever gotten me into my running shoes and out the door is my own deep and true desire to better, faster, stronger.
Until you want it more than a clean house, a third nap, a pack of bacon or round of Tetris, you will not be successful.
So good luck my friends. I’m off to do some push-ups. I SWEAR!