When you decide to do something in life there is always a motivating factor. Let’s say for example that you decided to learn how to make apple pie like your grandma made. The motivating factor is either that you really love your grandma’s apple pie or possible that you miss your grandma and you know this will help you feel closer to her.
Figuring out the motivating factor can help you determine the best approach for what you want to accomplish. If you are extremely busy, living a hectic life and just miss your grandma, maybe figuring out the exact recipe and process to make her pie isn’t 100% necessary. Maybe you could spend some time looking through pictures with your family and talking about grandma. If on the other hand you are motivated by the fact that not only do you love her, but you love her pie maybe you need to rearrange your schedule and find a way to get that recipe right. Not only will it help you feel close to her, but it will also help you enjoy that amazing apple pie.
Running (or adopting healthy habits) is no different than anything else. There are all sorts of reasons people get started. If you are 5 pounds over weight and have always thought the idea of running a marathon would be cool your motivation is completely different than a person 75 pounds over weight that wants to be able to enjoy their kids. Figuring out what is motivating you will help you determine the path you should take and help you find the drive to stay with your plan.
I started running to lose weight because I knew that at 250 and gaining weight each year I was headed down a dark path. I wanted to lose weight so that I would be around for my kids and their kids. With that motivating me last summer I managed to get up at the crack of dawn 3 days a week and go for morning runs plus long runs on Saturdays. I didn’t miss one day on my training schedule from start to finish for my half marathons. My desire was deep and motivation was strong.
This year I signed up for my first full marathon. At this point I was at 193 and feeling pretty good about my health. I decided to run a marathon because with my goals for Run Richmond it felt like something I should do. I am in week 5 or 6 of my training for the 26.2 and I have got up and did a morning run less than 5 times. My motivating factor isn’t the same. Cold weather has more power over me than the desire to run. Luckily, I do enjoy running so I have been doing more evening runs and staying focused on Saturday long runs. I am comfortable with the fact that I can still accomplish my goals on the full marathon. If that wasn’t the case my motivating factor would change. I am highly motivated by challenge. If I thought I wasn’t going to meet my marathon goals I would be much more motivated and I bet you those mornings wouldn’t feel so cold.
So if you try to get started with a diet and can’t stick to it or start a run/walk program and are struggling to stay motivated think about your true motivating factor. Are you doing it for vanity or are you doing it for health. If it is a health reason think about your family, think about your friends. I am quite sure there are a lot of people that are hoping to spend many more years with you. See if you can get some extra motivation from that. If your motivation isn’t a deep as that, and you really don’t like running it is going to be hard to stay at it. I would encourage you though to give it a chance. Over time as your body adapts to running and the breathing becomes easier and your leg muscles don’t get so mad at you it is possible that you may enjoy the running. That seems hard to believe in the beginning, but it happens.
Running/walking puts you into whatever environment you enjoy, city or nature. Running/walking can give you alone time to think or community to enjoys others. Running/walking can be almost whatever you need it to be. Just give it enough time for you to figure out what it needs to be for you to enjoy it.