Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Maintaining Motivation

It's pretty easy to keep up your motivation to train when you have a race scheduled -- especially if it is a longer event that requires months of training, such as a marathon or half marathon.

What is tough is maintaining your motivation, or even maintaining a level of fitness, when you are not training for a specific purpose.

When asked, a couple avid walkers shared ways they keep up their motivation to walk or workout:
  • Look back at how far you've come. Whether you have lost weight, reached a fitness goal, or even hit a mileage milestone, looking back at where you started (and the desire to not repeat all of that hard work) can keep you going.
  • Mix things up by focusing on a different training goal. Instead of just walking goals, the focus might be flexibility, weight loss, strength, endurance.... Don't stop walking, just make your main focus something else.
  • It's also OK to use bad examples. I know it is not politically correct, but thinking about people you do not want to be like is OK if it keeps you moving. As one of my favorite quotes goes: If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. (Catherine Aird)
  • Set an appointment for workouts and take them as seriously as any other appointment on your calendar. For many people, if the time is blocked out, they won't miss the workout whether they want to walk or not.
  • Give yourself rewards for meeting goals. Rewards can be as simple as a new pair or socks, a small ice cream cone, or even as big as a new workout outfit. Depending on where you are starting, your goals can be finishing your first mile, first 5K race, half marathon... whatever distance works for you.
So, what tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated when you don't want to workout?