Break Out Of Your Winter Rut!
Coach Al shares some TIPS on how to find your motivation!
“Work involves whatever a body is obliged to do, and play involves whatever a body is NOT obliged to do.” – unknown
Motivation is the fuel and propulsion behind everything you do. For me, it’s an emotion that is built and maintained through clear planning, repetition and a very disciplined approach to ensuring my actions are always congruent with my destination. Although, I think the primary motivators should be internal, there is nothing wrong with adding external motivators to the mix as well. You can never have too many sources of motivation. Feed that fire daily to build a bridge to your results. - Ken Blackburn
Motivation. Hmmmm....if you're anything like me at this time of year, you're impatiently waiting for the warm weather, and struggling at times with finding that daily motivation to do the things you know you NEED to do to become the person and athlete you want to become. The cold dark mornings and races that still seem far off conspire to have us crawling back under the covers at the wee hours of the morning.
Motivation is an interesting thing, isn't it? I think we all know it when we have it, but the truth is that only a few can really define it.
So what is motivation?
- Is it a feeling? (I think not - feelings are primal responses to a stimulus and a pattern of thought).
- Is it something you either have or you don’t? 🙂
Wikipedia defines it as an "inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner." Experts on motivation would likely say that it is a “cognitive comparison between outcomes.” In other words, our motivation is driven by our brain making a comparison between the cost of an action vs. the potential benefit of that action. Think of it this way: what do you lose if you don't do something? And what do you gain if you do?
We know that motivation is usually specific to a task, e.g. you can be very motivated in one area of your life and not in another. Think about the difference in your motivation between setting the alarm for an early wakeup call when it is to catch a flight for a vacation, vs. going off to some unpleasant task. In both instances, we are motivated to get up, but with one (going on vacation), we’re a lot more enthusiastic! Many people aren’t exactly in love with the idea of getting up at 5AM to go to work, but the cost of not doing it (we all need to eat and a place to sleep!) is motivation enough to set that alarm, right?
As a coach, the key for me is to help athletes find that one thing they can think of that would be unbearable to not have or to lose. When you know what that ONE THING is, you can use it and remind yourself of it daily, especially when you have the tendency to want to sleep in. Part of what motivates me to get up early and train is my desire to be able to continue to “walk the talk.” No one really wants to listen to a coach who is overweight and out of shape, right? 🙂
To help you find a bit more of that inner drive to keep on keeping on, today I’d like to share a special podcast with all of you on the topic of motivation. I recorded this audio a couple of years ago for some coached athletes. As a result, you’ll hear me reference my work with them occasionally. Don’t worry though, what I have to share is going to be well worth you listening.
Mark Twain is known for having said that the "secret to getting ahead is to get started," so let's get to it!
Keep on keeping on!