Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finding Motivation

This last week, I have been severely lacking in motivation.  I have not been motivated to do A.NY.THING.  Well, except lay in bed and watch re-runs of Modern Family on Hulu...  As of Saturday morning, I had officially half-assed my homework for the week and had only run once (!!!).  Instead, I had gone out with people from school and/or had dinner with friends 5 out of 5 nights between Monday and Friday.  So, Saturday morning (the morning of my scheduled long run), as I sat in front of my computer, drinking my coffee, eating a leisurely bowl of oatmeal, I realized that I was starting to talk myself into putting off my run until Sunday.  It went a little something like this:  I'm kind of tired today.  If I get a good night's sleep tonight, I will feel more like running tomorrow.  Plus, it's already so late in the morning and I feel guilty about not running earlier.  If I just push my run back to tomorrow, I can get up and do it first thing.  And so on...

And then...  I said NO!

Sometimes, I think, lack of motivation comes from being tired and not taking good care of yourself (i.e. not getting enough sleep, eating out too much, etc.).  Sometimes, it comes from feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where or how to start (at least it does for me, anyway).  Sometimes it comes from fear or sadness or sometimes from an interest in something new and exciting.  In any case, I've been there and done that before.  And I know that the one, surefire way for me to get over the hump and get going is to remind myself of my goals.

So, yesterday, as I drank some water and waited for my breakfast to digest, I got busy.  I printed out my half marathon training plan, wrote my goal time on it, and hung it in my office near my desk.  I had been feeling pretty guilty (good, old fashioned Catholic guilt, no doubt...) about the fact that I'd only run once during the week.  But, when I looked at my schedule, I realized that there was something I could do about that.  I could run today (well, yesterday, but you get the picture).  Next, I printed out one of the journal articles that has recently inspired a couple of new ideas for my dissertation project.  Then, I made a to do list for the upcoming week.

Then...  I ran.

And I was really happy that I did.  As soon as I got home, I checked "Run 8 miles" off of my to do list.

This week, I am determined to get back on track with school work and with running.  Because I am committed to graduate school and I am committed to running the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 6th in less than 2 hours and 10 minutes.  And the more I remind myself of those goals and commitments, the more I keep them in front of my face, the more motivated I will be to do the things necessary to achieve them.

That's the plan, anyway.

What do you do when you've lost motivation?  Do you have any tricks or strategies for getting yourself back on track?

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