Step by Step: Get Your Motivation Back
But even with my knee better, it is a mammoth task to get me out that back door. Why? Partly the weather – there’s something distinctly unappealing about running in the pitch dark, pouring rain in the middle of a howling gale. But partly because I have lost that love for running. Not completely – I still love it when I do eventually go out – but the memory of how good it is has faded somewhat.
So how do you push past that demotivation? How do you make yourself go out there?
1. Stop thinking about it
I bet you’ve spent all day at work thinking about how much you don’t want to go for a run in the evening, or are lying in bed listening to the alarm go off thinking how cosy you are right now. I bet you’re sitting there contemplating the run, and trying to find excuses not to go (you really should put that load of washing on). Stop. Avoid thinking about it. Walk in from work and immediately change – don’t even pause. The moment you pause you’ll find a way not to go. Just go already.
2. Give yourself some variety
Don’t just go for the same route each time – pick a few and mix it up. Vary the distances to keep your training going (and it also means you can still go out no matter how much time you have available). If you stick to the same old route it will get old very fast, and mean you feel less motivated to go out. Mix it up. Give yourself some excitement.
3. Reward yourself
It’s almost tiring how often I use this phrase – whether it be writing or exercising. Give yourself a reward at the end of it, and it makes that job so much more desirable. Run that extra couple of kilometres and you might even be able to give yourself a double helping of cake!
4. Don’t make it too difficult
If you set yourself too high a goal, you’ll never achieve it. Don’t promise yourself four runs a week if you know that you’re too busy to make that. And equally, if you’re in the middle of the worst storms the UK has seen in years… well it’s okay to give yourself a night off then too. It’s no good beating yourself up if you can’t do it. Sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
5. Make the commitment
Pick the days you’re going to run and stick to them. If you plan ahead, you’re more likely to stick to it, and not get easily sidetracked. Book your social stuff around your exercise, and you won’t find yourself putting it off or using meeting up with your friends as an excuse.