If you are a beginner or just starting to run, you will probably need a good motivator to keep it up. It can be difficult to keep at something that is not a normal habit for you so define what your motivation is and WRITE IT DOWN. Writing it down will make it much more concrete in your mind. Also, describe your motivation more in terms of the long term reason why you are running. By this statement I mean if your motivation is to get in shape you need to dig for the why you want to get in shape. Maybe your why is that you want to live a long life, to enjoy your kids more or to make sure you are in good health to play with your grandkids. Once you identify your motivation write it out in a statement such as, “I run 3 times a week for 30 minutes so that I can live a long life, take care of my kids well and enjoy time with my family more.” Please don’t just say, “I run because I want to be in better shape.” When you don’t feel like lacing up your sneakers on a Saturday morning that type of a motivational statement will never get you up and going.
I also suggest that you write down some of the pain you will experience if you don’t keep running. What are those negative things that you will feel if you quit? Things like: no energy to play with my kids, a shorter life, or a bad influence on your kids.
For me, my initial motivation was to run to raise money for TeamFox. Once I had raised several donations for my cause I couldn’t stop running. I had to reach my goal of finishing the NYC Marathon. I also set smaller milestones along the way in order to keep going. I registered for several shorter races which kept me always focusing on the next race.
Now, my motivation for running has changed. I finished the NYC Marathon so I need a new goal and a new way to motivate myself. I have several motivators now. First, I have seen how my running has made my daughters want to run and be active. Second, I still love raising money for TeamFox. I’ve also discovered that my running is strangely motivating others to run so now I have to keep it up to help others. The most surprising motivator for me though is that I actually like running now. I’m not saying that there aren’t plenty of days when I don’t feel like going outside in the current 20 degree weather, but I do know now that I like my runs and I love the way I feel afterwards.
If you’ve been running for a while now make sure you reassess your motivation. Has it shifted like mine? If so, make sure you know why you run and why you won’t quit.