Thursday, November 7, 2013

How I Stay Motivated

Now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I feel as though I can write this post.  It's no secret that I have had some excruciatingly long days and weeks during the past three months, but now that I look back on it, they have really zoomed by.  My days have been filled with student teaching, class, and homework.  I also have to spend time with the boyfriend, my family, friends, and my dogs, yet, I have exercised literally every single day, even when I was so worn down with everything that thinking about hitting the gym or the pavement physically hurt me.  And when I was done, I had a new, positive outlook on life and everything was okay again.  That's what I love about exercise.  It's my therapy.  Here are a few ways I stayed motivated.

1.  I set goals-  At the beginning of the year, I set a long-term goal to be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day for 365 days.  I already had a two and a half week streak going, so I figured why not?  I started this blog to keep myself accountable and I started writing each workout on my calendar.  Seeing a blank day or having nothing to write about on my blog would be embarrassing to me, so I kept it up.  And soon, exercise became something I did, like eating and breathing.  Thanks to my fantastic running partner, I signed up for an 8 and 3/4 mile terribly hilly race.  Finishing that race without dying quickly became my short-term goal.  When that was over, we signed up for a ten mile race.  Then I just knew I had to do a half marathon, and my goal for that was to not walk.  Mini goals throughout the year have kept me honest and have helped me achieve my big goal.  I wouldn't have been able to complete that half marathon if I hadn't trained for it.

2.  I make it a priority- I know if I don't, the exercise aspect of my life would easily go out the window.  I know I will be spending a lot of hours sitting at a table in a classroom getting grouchy that I haven't moved my body.  So, I schedule time just for exercise.  It means I have to sacrifice an hour and a half of sleep a couple of mornings, but as soon as 5:00pm rolls around and I have been sitting for several hours, I am always glad I had gone to the gym that morning.

3.  I switched things up-  When I begin lacking motivation, I know I am getting bored, so I do a lot of research and find new things to add into my routine.  Every run is different.  Yesterday, I decided to add sprints to my 5 mile run.  On Tuesday, I did leg day instead of chest/triceps, and added a few new fun moves in.  Each Saturday, I do a different workout video instead of going to the gym for the same ol' same ol'.  Switching things up keeps me interested in working out and keeps my body guessing.  

4.  I tell myself I only had to start-  This morning was an early one.  It was hard to get out of bed.  I didn't want to run.  I told myself I only had to run 1 mile as a warm up before doing my weight training and then I could finish my run afterward if I felt like it.  Well, I started running and 3.4 miles later, I stopped.  This happens a lot.  I tell myself I only have to run x amount of minutes and then suddenly, 40 minutes has gone by and I am still running.  Starting is the hardest part, the rest is easy (most of the time).

5.  I force boyfriend people to workout with me-  About 99% of the time, I work out alone.  It is my way to unwind.  I am a total introvert, and having the hour-hour and a half to myself really helps me be in my own mind and re-energize.  But sometimes, I get lonely, and I ask someone to meet me at the gym.  Having someone to meet you at the gym makes it so that you can't just NOT go.  Someone is expecting you, it would be rude not to show up.  There were many Sundays when I wanted to cancel my running partner and my plans to do our long run, but knowing she would be by my side and probably yell at me if I said I couldn't make it was motivation enough to put on my running shoes.  Now that she's about to have her baby, I have boyfriend come with me.  He's not the same as her though.

6.  I read running blogs-  I found the wonderful world of running blogs back in March and have been addicted ever since.  I read them while eating breakfast and dinner.  Of course I read the big ones that everyone reads, but I really, really enjoy reading the lesser known blogs and have made some great blog friends.  It's nice reading what they are doing and I get motivated each day knowing there are other people out there just as passionate about fitness as I am.  The ladies are hilarious, down to earth, and I know that I would be best friends with them in real life.  

How do you stay motivated?


  1. These are all such great tips! And your blog is super inspiring, because if you can stay active with your ridiculous schedule, anyone can!!

    P.S. I love the booger comic.

  2. Thank you for this post!
    You have such a work load and still manage to work out!
    I haven't worked out consistently since I started teaching and I really need to get back into a routine!!!
    You are an inspiration! Keep doing you!