There are days when you just don’t feel like it. When the idea of putting on your shoes and heading out onto the road seems about as appealing as root canal. It happens to all of us at some point, and it applies to hundreds of areas of day-to-day life, not only our fitness regimes.
But what’s the secret to overcoming this lull in motivation? How can you get yourself out there despite all the odds, when that little voice inside your head is demanding that you stay in bed for a few more minutes, or catch-up on your favorite TV show instead of exercising?
There are many ways, of course. Inspirational stories, uplifting music, “just doing it” – but if you want a magic bullet dose of instant motivation to get you moving, there is one technique which never fails:
Sign up for a race.
By this I don’t mean “decide that you’ll do a race” or “say that you’ll probably do a race.” I mean register yourself on a run, buy the ticket, and make it solid and official. Let the people close to you know that you’re going to do it. Pick something reasonable (if you’re still working up to being able to run two miles, then don’t sign up for a marathon) and give yourself a fair length of time to get in shape (a couple of months, depending on your level of fitness). But make a solid “no-going-back” commitment and stand by it.
Motivation comes in many forms, but having a looming deadline might just be the strongest motivation of all. [tweet this] If you’re committed to a specific event and know you can’t back out, then the only thing left for you to do is to get ready for it! This creates both a sense of purpose and excitement: you’re running “for” something immediately solid and tangible, which isn’t as easy to dismiss as your general fitness in itself. You’re taking on a new experience, you’re competing with yourself (never mind with others), and if you start to waver in your training, you’ve got “the fear” to get you up and out of your front door. Because no matter how much you may want that extra 20 minutes in bed, you’ll want to avoid falling flat on your face in front of a crowd of cheering onlookers and fellow competitors even more.
It’s the same story as with anything else—something about the way the human mind is set up likes the idea of “goals” and “practical application.” We like to put things in clear cut and definite terms and know for sure when we’ve been successful.
Want motivation, structure and a boost to your confidence? Sign up for a race!
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