In September I completed my first Ironman in Wales. It required months of focus, motivation and dedication. As a Brand Champion for SportPursuit, I wrote about how to stay motivated, you can read it here.
This winter, I need to train hard and smart but most of all, I need to stay motivated. As winter approaches it’s vital we have bags of motivation in store for the coming months. Without a clear vision of what we want to achieve and why, we may struggle to find the how.
When the sound of the alarm breaks your sleep on those dark, cold mornings – you need your goals to be the first thing to pop into your head. Your vision needs to get you moving before the excuses have time to catch up. Here are a few tips to share with you:
1. Be Inspired By Others
Who inspires you? Let yourself be inspired by others, watch what they do, how they do it and learn from them. There is only thing that differentiates you from anyone who you aspire to be or anything you aspire to achieve. It’s the simple fact that someone else made it happen. People the world over have proven time and time again that anything is possible. You have to be prepared to take risks, to make sacrifices and to work hard, but if you are, you can make anything happen. Be inspired by others and then shoot for the moon yourself.
2. Have a Training Partner
Find someone working towards similar goals to share your journey with. Your training is physically and mentally demanding. You’ve got a tough job balancing it with your work, home and social life. Sharing your goals and experiences with positive people who believe in you and what you want to achieve is important. Sharing it with people who want to achieve similar things fosters a competitive, supportive environment and helps you achieve more. It also makes it more fun! Even if you live in the sticks, use twitter to see what other people are up to and connect with them. I’ve made some brilliant connections through Twitter that have now become friends and training partners.
3. It Comes from the Heart
The heart is the source for all motivation. There are many techniques for developing short and long-term motivation but as much as we can train the body, it comes from the heart. It’s by believing passionately in your goals and why they are important to you that you will succeed. This isn’t something that can be trained or learned, you’ve either got the motivation, and want it badly enough to overcome everything that stands in your way, or you don’t.
4. Get Through The Grind
Training and especially winter training is about getting through The Grind. You know that stage where it stops being fun anymore? Where you are tired, bored and your sessions become a chore? That is when you have hit The Grind. Stay motivated and push through this phase, as it is here you make big leaps in progress, train your mind to endure the boredom and learn to dig deep. When I look back on my challenges, I remember how fun and adventurous it feels to cycle 200+ miles in 24 hours. I also remember the repetition, boredom and pain. Mile after mile of sitting in the saddle, enduring the wind and rain and digging deep. Get through The Grind, you’ll thank yourself later.
5. Songs, Movie Clips, Quotes
Rather embarrassingly, on the morning of my wedding I was getting dressed in a room full of photographers, makeup artists and bridesmaids. My cousin picked up my Ipod, found the playlist entitled ‘Cycling to Paris’ and set it to play. Oh dear. The first song to play was Simply The Best, Tina Turner. Everyone laughed and asked if this was the kind of rubbish I listen to whilst cycling to Paris. I explained that they needed to be patient as more classy tracks were on the list, such as? Don’t Stop Believing, Journey, and It’s My Life, Bon Jovi. Hmmm… Ok, maybe not classy but at 4am in the morning having cycled 80 miles through the night, slept for 1 hour on the ferry and with 120 miles to go before stopping, I need all the motivation I can get.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
This list is just a start, so I want to know what are your tips for staying motivated?