This week I have been thinking a great deal about motivation.
For example, now that I know that we are almost 100 days from the Bay To Breakers, I am easily motivated to work out by walk/running every single day for about 50 minutes.
It has been about 2 miles a day – sometimes a little more.
I have also started upper body weight-lifting again.
I follow the plan set forth in Veronica’s post, What Everyone Ought To Know About Training For A Marathon In 2010 where if you are a novice you train for 6 days and take the 7th day as rest – usually Mondays.
It seems easy to get myself motivated and out the door in my running shoes – even when I don’t feel like exercising.
Why has a 7 mile marathon suddenly lit a fire under my butt?
And why haven’t I been doing this all the long – I mean for the past couple of years?
Is it that the Bay To Breakers is a short term goal which makes it an easy motivator?Â Or is it the fact that I am running with a group?Â Or is it because we have committed to this in front of the world (or those few thousand people who stop by here regularly)?
What is it?
In a research study scientists found that in a series of experiments, where individuals were assigned different types of goals on a variety of tasks, it was repeatedly found that those assigned hard goals performed better than those assigned moderately difficult or easy goals.
Individuals who had specific, challenging goals outperformed those who had vague goals.
I would say that the idea of doing the Bay To Breakers before my 50th birthday is a pretty specific, challenging goal. But really I started out just wanting to support 8 Women Dream members with their dreams, and they said they were going to compete in some marathons this year.
Now -Â how exactly did I get here with a swollen knee and aching hips?
I understand motivation only works for people who are willing, or ready to change.
Obviously I must have been ready to change back into the person I was before who worked out every day prior to getting Hashimotos disease. Last Thursday it dawned on me that I must be feeling better too, and realized how far I’ve come managing hypothyroidism.
Maybe my motivation comes from the encouraging feelings I am experiencing as I train, which helps me work toward a goal of hiking 14 miles each weekend by April, then running (maybe crawling) in the Bay to Breakers in May.Â Â Frankly folks, I am a little worried about having enough training time, since I lost a month with that nasty bronchitis that hit everyone over the holidays.
Can I do this?Â It seems easy in my head, but then I am not up to 7 miles yet.Â Hell, I am not back up to my old 5 miles yet.Â OK not even to 3 yet.
Motivation theorists say that motivation creates the needed energy to perform, as well as energy creates the motivation to perform.
It”s sort of the scenario of the snowball rolling downhill effect.Â Once the energy gets the motivation rolling down the hill, then the motivation keeps the energy going which keeps the motivation going until BAAM your run straight in to accomplishing something big.
The energy part comes from our emotions, which can be both good or bad. Meaning you can be just as easily motivated by negative emotions as positive ones.Â You can be motivated because you are angry and tired of something, or you can be motivated because you are happy and excited about something.
Or maybe for me it’s a little of both?
What about you?Â What motivates you?
Meanwhile I’m the girl over here in the corner with an ice pack on her knee.
Catherine Hughes is the founder of 8 Women Dream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead but don’t hold that against her.