Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tips on Staying Motivated

{I originally wrote this post for Carson, over at Running Southern, as a guest contributor, but wanted to share it here as well - just in case you didn't catch it over there.}

Whether you are in a long training regimen or just in a funk, many of us could use a few suggestions on how to stay motivated during our workouts from time to time. Below are a few tips and tricks I have found to help me when I am feeling less-than-excited.

Find what you LOVE.
If you hate running, then you probably aren't going to stick with it. How about giving cycling or yoga a try? Do you remember having a blast playing kickball growing up? Check out local sports leagues and clubs. If you have kids, why not play on the jungle-gym right along with them? You will stick with an activity that you enjoy MUCH longer than one you loath - so find what works for you and JUST DO IT!

Sign up for a Race.
Money is a BIG motivator for me. I am, what some would say, frugal. If I spend money on a race entry, you better believe I am going to train for it (because otherwise it is just me throwing away my money or buying a crappy tech tee that won't fit properly). I will often have a few races on my calendar at a time, that way, when I finish one, I still have something to work towards. (This year I am trying to do 14 races in 2014 and am well on my way.)

After PR'ing my time at the San Diego Half Marathon

Reward Yourself.
I have had friends that would put an amount of money in a jar (say $1) every time they went for a run or took a trip to the gym. Once they hit a certain amount (say $50) they would take the money for a shopping spree - who doesn't love new running gear?! For me, I told myself if I PR'ed my half marathon time that I could get a new pair of shoes. Sometimes those shiny, new things can be a huge motivator. (PS I try to never reward myself with food)

Bring a Buddy.
Finding a friend you can exercise with is a great way to stay motivated (and YES your friend can have four legs :)). Whether it is the sense of a little healthy competition or the conversation that helps the miles or time go by quicker - having a pal along for the workout is one way to help take your mind off the task at hand. Also having someone counting on you to show up tends to add an accountability aspect that will help you complete a workout you otherwise may have talked yourself out of.

Sometimes I can talk my hubby into being my running buddy...
And even my TWIN {Check out the PRO Compression Socks!}

Change up your Route.
I live in Southern California, so I am blessed with some AMAZING scenery (I run along the Pacific Ocean 75% of the time), but even with the beauty around me I can get bored or burnt out on the same route. Check out new trails, run near your work instead of at home, shoot, even just reserving your direction can break up the monotony.

Get Back to the Basics.
Sometimes you just need to remind yourself why you started. Do a fun run, run without your watch, just do it for the LOVE of it! I always tell myself, if I can't smile while I'm doing it, it isn't worth my time. Rediscover why you started running/ working out/ getting fit/ becoming healthy. And remind yourself YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Don't take yourself too seriously!

Do you think there are any tips I left off the list? 


The Silent Assassin said...

Wait... your friends put money in a jar for you? when you run or go to the gym?

Carlee McDot said...

HAHA, You are funny Mr. Silent Assassin! No! They put money in a jar for THEM! I was just sharing one way some folks reward themselves (I bought myself new shoes once I got a PR :)).

The Silent Assassin said...

Take a look at my blog, tour dates section. Do you qualify? A medal is almost if not IMHO better than shoes :)