At the beginning of 2014 I wrote out my goals for the year like I usually do. One of the goals on the list was to run a marathon which is 26.2 grueling miles long. I mustered all the courage to tell my family and friends of my decision to take on such a big challenge. The most I had ever run was a half marathon and that was many years before when I was fitter and weighed a lot less. So I researched marathons in my area and decided on one in September that was going to be held only 40 minutes away from my house. Then, I looked for different training plans that would give me plenty of time to train. I bought myself some new running shoes, clothes, and a watch to be properly prepared for the long months ahead. After I had a race date, a running plan, and the right gear in place, I knew I needed to recruit others for support and accountability. You see, I had attempted to train for a marathon in 2013 but without the proper training shoes or training plan, I ended up injuring myself after my 10 mile training run. So I joined a running club to help me especially through the long runs.
At the beginning of May I took off on my first training run. I was excited to start the process of growing my physical endurance and mental strength. I was also very motivated to see it through to the end. What I didn’t realize was that my motivation would start to dwindle down to almost a complete nothing. The adrenaline rush that I was getting after each run turned into exhaustion and irritation instead. I wanted to quit and was secretly hoping something would happen that would give me a good excuse to do just that. That’s when I had to dig deep inside myself to summon some much needed gumption to keep going. In order to do so I had to ask myself the following:
Why did I set this goal in the first place?
What was significant to me about running 26.2 miles, instead of 5, 10, or 15?
What was at stake if I didn’t accomplish the goal?
What would I lose if I quit?
What would I gain if I didn’t quit?
How would I feel if I gave up?
How would I feel after crossing the finish line?
Once I had distinctly answered those questions and was crystal clear on my why, I was able to gain the necessary momentum to see it all through to the last step. And to tell you the truth, the feeling of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line with both arms raised in celebration was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was on cloud 9 for weeks after the race.
Now that we are closing in on the end of January you might be tempted to quit on some of the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Perhaps you’re getting tired, fearful, discouraged, or even frustrated. If that’s where you find yourself right now, take some time to ask yourself the same questions I had to (geared towards your own goals of course). By doing so you too can become clear on your reasons why you set those particular goals in the first place. I guarantee it will get you over the hump and reignite your motivation to see your goals through to their completion.
Leave a comment and share where you are getting stuck in your goals, and what’s one thing you learned when searching within yourself for more motivation.