Monday, November 4, 2013

Finding your motivation

This is not an instruction manual.

This is my way of looking at the crazy stuff I do and figure out a way to be better at it.

Over the weekend, I stumbled upon an article about motivating employees. Motivation is a hot topic for me, and it's a confusing topic for me.

For me, motivation is internal.

Yes, I enjoy motivational videos.

Yes, I love motivational quotes.

But none of them motivate me to be or do the best I can in any venture.

When I'm struggling on the bike, watching an Ironman video doesn't get me excited to do a race.

When I have a hard time (everyone does), what works best for me is to figure out why. Sometimes it's as simple as having too much other stuff going on in my life. Sometimes it's that I need a new route to ride to a new challenging workout.

For me, it's about how I feel about myself.  When I feel good, a song on the radio will make me feel even better, but ultimately, the initial motivation came from me.

I thought about this during my long run because it was one of those runs where you feel like you're running through mud.

I used to look back and say, "Well, look how far I've come!"

BUT, I learned something from that phrase. When I said that it was a way to make me feel better about not being where I thought I should be. Progress....YES.....but not the progress that I thought I should be making.

I was running, and it was hard. I refused to look at my pace. I didn't want to feel discouraged if I really was running slow. More importantly, I didn't want to get into the "Well, you're running faster than you used to!" Of course, I am. But if that was my end goal, then I'm done.

I was running up a big hill, and I thought about the previous days workouts. They were all hard. Now, I'm running long after those workouts.

Every workout has a purpose. Every WEEK, put together by individual workouts HAS A PURPOSE. I don't always know what the reason or purpose is, but I don't always care.

Sometimes workouts are about physical strength and sometimes they're about mental strength but neither can be accomplished without the motivation to do it.

That's when I realized that my motivation isn't to be better than I have been in the past, it's for future me. It's for the unknown. It's for hitting one goal and then realizing that I can go further or faster than I thought and reaching for a goal that I might have thought was impossible.

I felt like I was running in mud. At that point, I didn't care because I knew I was supposed to feel this way, physically and mentally. This run. The culmination of weeks of training, getting ready to run my fastest half. That was the purpose. And that was all the motivation I needed.