This post first appeared on Sept 27th, 2010 on http://www.fitnessgoopd.com. It was written by life coach Lara Williams.
There will often be circumstances that can derail you from your running schedule. Whether it be the weather, a bad mood, too much food in your stomach, childcare, a traffic jam, or sad news. So how do you maintain your best intentions in the midst of life’s curveballs?
Establish a conscious intention to battle the de-motivators. Take inventory of what you’ve noticed that has taken you off course in the past, and create an arsenal of strategies to combat these factors. Some ‘tools’ in your arsenal could include:
Energy gel-pack for hunger, wet and cold weather gear, alternate routes planned (i.e. a shady forest if it’s too hot outside/ or raining really hard), spare clothes.
Establish a back-up location for your run
If you plan to run for 5 k or maybe 40 minutes one day, but the time comes and you have low-energy or don’t feel like it, revert to a Plan ‘B’- a different route, a lesser time, a smaller distance. The point is to maintain your running schedule and do what it takes to get out there.
Map out different routes.
Having a selection might work well for you if you don’t feel like going because you’re bored of the same old route.
Place ‘props’ in obvious areas to remind you of your commitment
Place your running shoes or gear in an area that you be forced to see the visual reminder, such as in the doorway, by your coat at work, on the driver’s seat of your car, on the toilet seat, or-if you fall prey to TV distraction-perhaps on the sofa by the remote control .
On days when you absolutely don’t feel like it:
Whatever you do, keep the motion of putting on the gear and getting out there. Even if you have to tell yourself “I will only run one mile, or for 5 minutes….and then see how I feel….” Or break up your route into bite-sized chunks, and aim to run it one chunk at a time. If you give yourself permission to be flexible on days when you’re feeling low, you may just surprise yourself. The very act of maintaining the ritual is important, as habits are maintained by repetition.
There are plenty of ways you can motivate yourself to go for the run you committed to, but perhaps the most powerful is this one simple line of reasoning: you have no idea how great you might feel once you get out there and get moving for a few minutes.
Sometimes we lose motivation because we are distracted: life is full of emotional ups and downs, as well as incidentals. When you just had a heated argument or you have to shell out big money for an unexpected car repair, the last thing on your mind might be the logic that the run you are about to take will change your state and improve your ability to handle whatever might be bothering you. Blood flow, endorphins and increased oxygen intake are the most reviving, invigorating and resourceful tools we can use.
About Lara Williams, CSFC – Life Coach (Expert)
Lara Williams (BA, CSFC) is a Vancouver-based Life Coach. Her coaching practice supports busy professionals to prioritize success and life-fulfillment. Along with private coaching, Lara is a conference speaker and facilitates groups, seminars and workshops on topics such as Self-Care and Life Balance, Making Successful Changes, and Life Design. Lara studied Psychology at Simon Fraser University, and completed Solution-Focused Coach training at Erickson International College of Coaching and NLP Practitioner training. Her involvements and affiliations include Business Networking International, Transitions Career and Business Consulting, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network and the International Coaching Federation. In her personal life, Lara enjoys hiking, cooking, exploring nature, laughing hysterically with good friends and practicing radical self-care.