If it is anything like mine, you may find yourself struggling to maintain your workout routine. There is something about summer break, summer camp, and vacation that throws me off track. Although it isn't all bad. Vacation usually means more outside running and higher mileage weeks for me -- and that is a good thing. But motivation can still go to the wayside even under the best of conditions.
Summer is wrapping up, I know, this may seem early for some of y'all but kiddos go back to school starting August 6th here on Maui. This makes it the perfect time to address motivation with 10 tips to staying motivated in your workouts.
- Know your why: We all have different why's to why we are working out. And to be honest, your why can and will change over time. Stop today and ask yourself, "What is my why?" Refocus on that.
- Eliminate negative self talk: It is so easy to be hard on ourselves, isn't it? Maybe those few extra pounds, the extra indulgence, the slower pace, etc. Don't let those rule you. What you say to yourself matters and frames what you think of yourself. Thoughts are powerful. Don't use your thoughts against you. Think good!
- Love your body: This is closely related to #2 but what I mean is to really appreciate your body. Whatever you do and achieve your body is pulling you through. Appreciate all the elements of your body that lead to your success. One prayer I turn to on rough days is a simple, "Thank you God for my running legs." They may not be model beautiful but they are mine and I appreciate all the hard work they do for me.
- Avoid comparisons: Don't compare yourself to others or yourself in the past. Just be in the moment, the day, and be thankful. Yesterday is gone. Forget about it. Tomorrow isn't here yet. Don't worry about it. Today is present. Live in the moment and acknowledge what you just achieved - the gift of one more workout.
- Start small: Whether you are starting, restarting, or readjusting, make your goals small and achievable. I would love to run an ultra one day but I am not going to go out tomorrow and run a 20 mile training run. I also know now is not the time to work on that goal so my goal is more focused on the now and to average 1 hour of working out a day. It used to be 30 minutes a day and you can see, even though my big goal is still a distant dream, I am making small steps to realizing it.
- Put your plan on paper: Document what you want to achieve and how. It is harder to slip up when you have it written down. I am notorious for printing out my training calendar and posting it on the fridge front and center for me to see throughout the day. It makes it impossible to ignore your plan and goal.
- Join a workout group: This can be in real life or virtual. Fitbit friends can be amazing motivators even if you are all in different states racing to the finish line. For me, virtual challenges can be equally appealing and Fitbit has group and solo challenges. And the Amerithon Challenge is really cool!
- Be forgiving: It will happen. A day will come when you are off plan. It may even be a week. Don't beat yourself up. Reflect on the why this happened. Traveling back to Maui from Texas totally messed me up. I have taken more than my usual just a mile days to let my body get back on track. I am calling it a rest week with the intent to push onward and upward next week.
- Create a mantra: Have a phrase you turn to when things get tough. It can be made up by you or a quote. You already know my "Thank you God for my running legs." but I also have "Run with endurance". My mantras are closely related to my faith but yours can be whatever lifts your spirits and propels you forward over the rough patches.
- Reward yourself: If you are like me, it is hard to spend money and precious resources on yourself. I feel guilty when I do but have established a set reward plan for myself. Every 100 days of running every day deserves a treat. I gotta confess, I haven't rewarded day 2,400 which I hit a few days ago yet. I feel torn and wonder if my two new pairs of much needed running shoes that I bought in Texas count as a pre-reward. What do you think? But in all reality, I may splurge a few dollars and get a new Bondi Band - maybe one I design myself that says "Run with Endurance"!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for each day I workout.
Daily Bible Verse: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. ~ Psalm 34:17-20