Motivation is such a big topic in the endurance world – fitness world – life. I often get asked:
Where do you get your motivation from?
How do you get motivated to get up early and train?
What makes you want to climb up mountains? What motivates you to run for 3 days non-stop?!!?
The list is pretty endless with the questions that people ask about what motivates me.
Different types of motivation
- persuasion by authority – doctor
- observation of others – see changes in friends (more energy, fat loss)
- physiological feedback – clothes feel tight, a remark overheard
- successful performance – reach goals easily
Whilst doing my PT course training I came across the area of motivation and thought it was quite interesting, and thought I would share my personal opinion on the matter.
These are the four different areas how motivation gets broken on the course.
Persuasion by authority – doctor
Observation of others – see changes in friends
Physiological feedback – clothes feel too tight, remark you overheard
Successful performance – reach goals easily
Persuasion by authority (doctor) – Visiting a health care professional who would give you good news or bad news. I see this side of motivation coming in two forms.
1 – The health care professional has told you that you are obese or unwell and fitness/exercise will help with your health. The motivation to be a healthy role model for your kids or to listen to the authority as they know best.
2 – The health care professional telling you that what you want to achieve is impossible with your body, injury or impairment. I kind of think of this motivation as a ‘Fuck you’ to the health care. They are telling you that you cant achieve something – anything is possible right?!
I admire the people that gain motivation this way. There are some really inspiring stories of people who have been told they will never compete in races due to their injuries but have gone and stuck the preverbal middle finger up at the people that doubted them and gone and achieved incredible things.
Observation of others – I have seen this happen in my personal life, I went from being quite chunky and un fit to now being pretty fit and running ultra marathons. My own personal journey has helped inspire close friends to re assess their habits and get motivation to lose some weight or take on big challenges.
Physiological feedback – This motivation is like a harsh learning curve and you need quite a good mental resolve to deal with this one. An example could be you try and whack on your jeans and you are struggling to get that button done up. You can go one of two ways, buy some more jeans or do something about it. The motivation to get back into those jeans is a good measure of your personal success and resolve.
Successful performance – This all stems back to setting achievable goals. Set small goals that you can hit and your motivation to keep achieving will keep you route to your fitness goals. If you aim too high too quickly then the struggle will grind you down. An example would be aiming for a marathon time, which can be a daunting prospect. Break the training down into sections and give yourself perimeters. A steady arc of improvement is much more satisfying and sustainable than a sharp climb in performance then plateau.
Just a few thoughts on motivation – let me know your thoughts and think where your motivation stems from.
Its never to late to start
Create small achievable goals