Friday, January 3, 2014

Staying Motivated During the Cold Months


     Let's face it: this is the time of year when it's hard to stay motivated. For most of us, we wake up, it's dark. We work all day then go home. It's dark. Sometimes just curling up on the couch with something warm to eat or drink seems like the best idea. I think it's some genetic predisposition to "hibernate".

     But I'm here to tell you that hibernating is not good for you. Your body needs to be active during the winter months. For me, it's a way to keep a positive mental outlook (not to mention keeping the extra pounds off).

     So with that in mind I wanted to give you all some suggestions for how to stay motivated during the cold months. There are actually a few things that I suggest: (1) sign up for a race or event for sometime in the early Spring. This will keep you focused on an immediate goal which will keep you focused on training. This year I'm planning on running my 1st ultra marathon toward the end of April so I am running 5 times a week. You don't need to do something that extreme but just choose something that you will look forward to doing. Maybe even choose an event in a different location. That way you can get a little vacation as a reward for all of your hard work. My 1st marathon was in Myrtle Beach in 2012. I took a full week of vacation when I ran the race. It was such a great experience. Give it a try. 

     Another suggestion that works well:  (2) train with a group. Last year there were days where I knew I didn’t want to train but I showed up anyway simply because I knew others were relying on me to be there. Training with a group keeps your level of motivation high. You work together to push each other to become better. You encourage each other to keep going. There is accountability that is not possible if you’re training by yourself.  I know that I can count on my running buddies to keep me motivated. This helps so much, especially for running, because I have others who hold me accountable for my training.

     And my last suggestion: (3) join a gym. When you’re around other like-minded people keeping fit it’s so much easier to keep yourself going. I joined a gym last year and even though I prefer to run outside, it comes in handy to be able to hit the treadmill inside where it's warm.

     So that’s my game plan. I’m gonna tell Old Man Winter to take his “blahs” and hit the road. I’m going to work hard to keep myself motivated and focused on maintaining all the positive progress I’ve achieved on this journey. And I hope you’ll do the same. Stay positive. Stay focused. And stay motivated.

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