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Maintaining motivation

This article follows on from Motivation – Mind Power – the will to do

Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining motivation

In order to sustain motivation once you have set yourself a goal you need to maintain it. Initially you might be enthusiastic, but as the daily slog on the road to achieving it wears off and other external factors such as bad weather, sick children, overload of work and family duties etc. gets in the way, your motivation could wear off fast. What you need to do is to constantly remind yourself of your goal, so that it is real and it cannot efface itself and you cannot cower away from it. For example for big races that I have prepared for I have pasted up profiles of the course, and or pictures that I find motivating. These may not necessarily be running-related pictures but pictures of either of people whom I admire some other image that is meaningful or inspirational to me.

Pasting up pictures help to stimulate me mentally and keep reminding me of my goal and keep up the motivation. One runner I know uses her goal marathon time as pin access number for her banking.In just the same way you can also use mental stimuli in the form of pictures or secret passwords to helpMaintaining motivation reminding you of a goal you want to achieve. Another good way to stick to achieving a goal is to draw-up a written programme like a planning agenda with deadlines, which forces you to stick to it. You can do this electronically so that it beeps and bugs you, or you make a fun chart with your goal indicated by a pot of gold or whatever you fancy.

Use your imagination, remember how you used to get gold stars at school, you could try and sticking stars for every day you have completed or just get motivational satisfaction by crossing days off. You should break up your training chart into chunks with mini goal markers along the way. For example after a period of three weeks build-up training, give yourself a day off and treat yourself to an indulgent meal out or buy yourself a CD you want. Set yourself mini-target races or self-timed trials. Instead of having a goal sixteen weeks of hard training into the horizon, by setting mid-term goals and crossing them off will enhance your confidence and motivate you to continue. If you find it difficult to draw up your own training chart, recruit someone to coach you. Coaches are there to train persons at any level, not just professional athletes. Having a coach makes you feel committed to letting this person down. You could even go as far as making a contract with yourself. If it helps make a formal commitment, get a witness to sign it, paste it up and stick to it.

Running the same route day-in and day-out can be monotonous and boring, make sure your training is fun and varied to keep you from boredom. Run with a group, with your partner or kid alongside on a bike. Add-in some cross-training, even programme a little mini biathlon into your routine. Organise a little Sunday group run with brunch afterwards. Try thinking of some different new ways to spice things up and keep you motivated.

Discipline is also important factor. This is one thing that running taught me. I rise every day around 5 am to go running, but not everyone can be disciplined to this degree. I think discipline is important to keep you focused on your goals and help you achieve them, by sticking rigorous as far as possible to your own schedules will give your confidence. If I can stick to a daily routine then I feel confident that I am well prepared for a race, much in the same way as being well prepared for an exam.

Practise makes perfect
By this I mean not just practising running physically, but practising the achieving of your goal in your head. This may seem like a loony idea, a bit like talking to yourself. It is important to visualise yourself achieving your goal, if you can’t then you won’t believe in it enough for it to materialise.The Agreement Visualisation also helps build up a positive attitude and heightened sense of self-esteem. For important marathons in my preparation I have sat down in a quiet spot and concentrated with my stopwatch visualising every step of the way, the pain I might feel at that point as a kind of visualisation dress rehearsal of the event. In the same way you too can make use of visualisation tactics to win over a job interview, rehearse a speech or other big important events in your life.

Positive self-image
Self-confidence is importance. You have to believe in yourself, this is crucial in achieving any goal and keeping motivated. Never think negatively, especially on the eve of your goal race, you must avoid having cold feet. You have to believe and convince yourself that you can do it. Often before races I play motivational music, which not only puts me in a good mood but also psyches me up and boosts my self-confidence. For example I used to play the Tina Turner song “You’re simply the best;” I strongly recommend that you listen to your own home made motivational tapes or music that makes you feel good to put in the right self confident frame of mind before an important event. Just because your goal is a running event does not mean you don’t have to dress up for the occasion. Purchase a nice matching singlet and shorts outfit, which is comfortable and looks good on you, don’t just wear some baggy sweats you borrowed off your partner. Try waterproof mascara, match your nail varnish to your shorts, if you look good you will feel good and ready to achieve your goal in style!

Reward yourself
Lastly, mark the achievement of having reached your goal by rewarding yourself! Buy something new for yourself, be it a new pair of running shoes whatever. Celebrate having reached your goal! Remember too that it is important to have a rest, mentally and physically for a few days. This mental break, or little holiday from your routine will help you feel all the more motivated and renewed to setting yourself a new goal.

source Cassandra Davis

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