Good old motivation. The ruler of our lives. The decider of whether we’re ever going to fit back into those pants. The difference between janitors and doctors; pro athletes and high school wash ups. This mysterious, powerful force, is what usually guides all of us throughout our lives. Whether its school, work, or exercise, our motivation levels typically dictate our level of commitment.
We all know motivation; it’s that inner feeling that says “YES! I want to work out today”…or “NO! I want to lay on the sofa and eat bon bon’s all day!”. It’s a tough emotion to fight, no doubt about it. Those that are able to fight it are typically the ones who achieve the greatest things and have the healthiest and most fit bodies. But fighting a lack of motivation is no easy task. It would be somewhat naive of me to tell you to simply ignore your low motivation or burn out, and workout anyways – it just doesn’t work like that, and after years of experience, I know it.
So what are we left with? Either fight the motivation monster, which is almost always going to be a losing battle unless you have insane mental toughness (I certainly don’t), or learn how to flip the switch on your motivation and get things moving in the opposite direction. Today, I’m going to show you how you can instantly boost your motivation levels, keep them elevated, and turn your motivation into the everlasting fuel that burns your fitness fire AND takes you to unimaginable heights in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
How To Get Motivated in One Easy Step
The way you’re going to turn your motivation around, or give a boost to your current motivation levels is simple; you’re going to train for, and compete in, a race. Maybe it’s a 5k, maybe it’s a 10k, maybe it’s your first sprint triathlon – it doesn’t matter. Either way, you’re now training for a purpose that doesn’t include, looking good naked, because your doctor told you to, because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t, blah blah blah….
You want to know how to get motivated? Well, let me tell you, THIS is it. I’ve witnessed it personally, I’ve witnessed it in dozens of my clients, I’ve witness it in family and friends. Training for a race, of whatever length, is a sure-fire way to give your motivation levels a serious jump-start.
I don’t care if you’re a collegiate athlete or a stay-at-home mom with four kids who can’t get away from the living room to work out…training for a purpose, or more specifically, a competition, is going to help get you motivated in a way you never thought possible. And if this is your first run or race…oh sweet baby Jesus, hold on, because you’re in for a treat. There’s nothing like that first time you compete – it’s a feeling you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Get Motivated…Stay Motivated
If you’ve never been blessed with high motivation, it’s such a great feeling. Actually waking up and WANTING to go to the gym is an unbelievable feeling. Running off a string of 10 or more healthy eating days in a row with no slip ups is something you relish. Learning to stop looking for huge changes overnight and actually feeling satisfied by the little things is such a beautiful thing. Not only will these things get you motivated to exercise, they’re actually going to make you a happier person. And this, my friends, is one of the greatest gifts of all.
See, when you’re happy with your life and your body, you’re more likely to continue exercising. So many people ask me, “Matt, how do I get motivated to exercise?”. It’s as if they are looking for some magic bullet or workout that will spare them the feelings of burn out that inevitably ensue. The problem is, burn out is ALWAYS going to ensue until you find a way to keep it at bay…and simply starting a 5th workout plan in three months, isn’t the way to do it.
You’re going to develop a motivation to exercise, to live your life in a healthier way, and to push yourself like you never thought possible. Success and confidence breeds success and confidence – it’s a vicious cycle of the positive variety. Feed off of your positive emotions, embrace the challenge of competition, and dare to attempt things you never thought possible. This is how you’re going to get motivated, and it’s also how you’re going to stay motivated.
Using Competition to Drive Motivation
So now that we’re clear on how you’re going to get motivated, the next step is to formulate a game plan for how you’re going to attack this race or competition. It doesn’t matter if you’re aiming for a 5k or a full marathon. The point is, you’re pushing yourself to new heights. If you’re comfortably running 2-3 miles on the treadmill, you had better set your sights higher than a simple 5k. Remember, we’re training for a purpose here – if you’re already at a certain performance level for your chosen competition, it kind of defeats the whole “training” thing, doesn’t it?
Not only is the physical act of competing a great motivator, but the benefits of living this lifestyle are what help keep people motivated. You don’t see many triathletes with soft, squishy bodies, do you? I’m willing to bet their vital signs make their doctors pretty happy as well. The point is, when you adopt this lifestyle, you adopt all that comes with it. Whether your goal is to increase your strength, boost your endurance, drop 30 pounds, or simply become more athletic, training to compete is going to help get you there.
Anyone who competes regularly can tell you one thing; competition is like a drug. Once you complete one run or race, you instantly want to compete in another…and another…and another. You want to go longer. You want to go harder. You want more variety. It’s a beast that feeds itself, and once you get yourself hooked, your motivation is going to be set to cruise control.
Need to find a race by you? Check out either of these two great sites:
How to Get Yourself Race Ready
So if you’re reading this, completely unsure of how to get yourself ready for your first race, rest assured I have you covered. Stay tuned in the coming weeks, because I’m going to draw up a step-by-step weekly guide to help get you ready for your first 5k, 10k, fill-in-the-blank K. The intensity of the training will vary depending upon the race length, but the formula is the same.
And the formula is different from many others out there. One thing that particularly stuck out to me, was a bit of advice I received from a physical therapist friend several years ago. He told me, “Long distance running is a slow death”. He explained the constant pounding our knees, hips, ankles, and other joints take when we go on regular long distance runs is a guaranteed way to slowly destroy them. I really took this to heart, and for that reason, whenever I train for any endurance event, I train in a very focused, high-intense, fashion. I don’t do tons of long distance runs in preparation, and I don’t recommend you do either. Some people will say it’s a must…I completely and whole heartedly disagree. A couple of months ago I ran a marathon, finishing in the top 30% for my age group. The longest run I did in preparation? Five miles. And I didn’t even do it that frequently.
I’m going to show you how you guys can get ready for your first race, or improve your times if you’re already a competitor, by training in this same high-intensity fashion. You don’t need tons of time a day, nor do you need to pound those joints anymore than necessary. We’re going to train in an efficient and effective fashion, that’ll get you ready to compete in your endurance event, and completely change your body in the process. Now that’s a win for both your motivation AND your waist line.
So stay tuned as we’ll be coming out with our race ready guide here on the blog in the coming weeks. In the meantime, leave a comment below and let us know what your first race or run is going to be. Remember, push yourself to complete something you have to actually TRAIN for.
That’s it for today, so good luck, trust in the process, and understand once you tap that inner motivation, the sky is truly the limit.