Runner Girl’s Guide to Staying Motivation

Most of us runners have no problem setting goals for ourselves or dreaming of becoming speed demons. I don’t know about you, but when I watch fast runners racing, it always entices me to become better and to push harder in workouts. I gain motivation from those who are better than me, but sometimes I can get distracted from my goals.

It’s natural for humans to lose motivation at times – I mean who can be on their A game 24/7?! (Okay well it seems to me Usain Bolt is, but we aren’t going to talk about the outliers)

The problem is, just because you set a goal for yourself and write up a schedule to complete for an upcoming race doesn’t mean you will follow that plan. We all want to be better (or at least the vast majority of us do), but we need some motivation and inspiration to keep us on our path towards success.

The following are my tips for staying motivated:

1. Make a vision board: gather up old magazines from around your house or pick up a few from the store that spark your interest and cut out words and pictures to glue on your vision board. Select clippings that motivate you and entice you to led a better life for yourself. You can even glue pictures of your role models or race banners to your vision board…the possibilities are endless! After making your vision board, post it somewhere you can view daily, such as your bedroom.

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2. Pick up a yearly planner from your local office supply store or Target. At the beginning of each month there is usually an empty page to jot down some notes, so I write monthly goals for myself. Big or small, write any goals you have for yourself. Then on the daily calendar section I write down my workout for the day, how I felt, anything exciting that happened, and sometimes future workouts. I started a workout/goal journal at the start of 2013, and I’m loving it! It is also a great way to keep track of my weekly mileage.

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3. Post colored sticky notes on the back of your door, on your ceiling, or on your bathroom mirror with your goals and things you need to work on. I like putting them on the back of my door because I’m usually the only person who is in my room with the door closed, so the sticky notes are private. If you achieve a goal posted, take the note off and post a new goal for yourself. It’s really motivating to see these notes everyday before I workout because I always have something to work towards.

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4. Read a motivational running book (or any sports book). There are many great running books out there; just look in the running/sports section at your local bookstore or online, and you will find many inspiring options.

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You can also watch inspirational movies…those are my favorite!

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5. Put your racing bibs on your wall or somewhere you can see them! Seeing the bibs on a daily basis reminds me of all the great races I’ve had and drives me to run even better in my next race.

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6. Post anything else on your walls, on your car, on your water bottle, or on your computer screen that motivates you to become faster. Passing boys motivates me because I run with the boys at my school at practice and push myself to stay with or beat them. Any motivating quotes, posters, or pictures help keep me on track.

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7. Follow blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter accounts, and any other websites that inspire and motivate you to be your best.

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8. Make yourself a workout playlist that pumps you up. You can either listen to it while you workout or before you go. (Also, change up your music after you get sick of it)

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9. Find a workout buddy or group! I run and workout SO MUCH BETTER when I have people to work hard with. I feed off other peoples’ energy and push myself harder when they are sweating alongside me.

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10. Stay consistent and work hard, and you will stay motivated! When I see results and improvements in my fitness, I’m so motivated I almost do too much! Just make sure you don’t overtrain and fuel yourself well throughout the day (:

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I hope you enjoyed my motivation post…

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Go out there and crush those goals of yours!

Jenny:)

Overcoming Challenges

Everyone encounters challenges in their lives that may lead to setbacks or failures. Many countries’ citizens face far greater challenges than those of us in the United States, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to grow up in place with such endless possibilities. Helping others overcome their barriers and live a fulfilling and happy life is one of the most rewarding feelings imaginable. I hope to one day make a difference in the world and impact many peoples’ lives by helping them overcome their challenges. 

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” – Joshua J. Marine

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I chose to write about challenges today because I had a mile track race last night and tied my PR of 5:20.3. Yes, I should have been happy that I tied my PR and ran 6 seconds faster than last week, but I was angry and upset instead. The reason? Breaking 5:20 has been a challenge I have been trying to overcome for over a year now, and I have worked my butt off in training for months on end. I compare myself to all these other girls who are faster than me and think, “why can’t I be like them?” I used to be better than a large number of them, so I get discouraged when they run faster than me. But in reality, I should not compare myself with others and should accept my race for what it was. I have plenty of time to beat my record, and I’m still not back in my best shape yet after recovering from the flu and an injury in January. 

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Comparing ourselves with others is one of the greatest human flaws – it creates havoc and despair in our lives. So many people could be happier with themselves if they accepted themselves for who there are and released the perfect image society has engrained in our heads. Tan skin, white teeth, toned bodies, nice hair, pretty eyes, flawless skin, tons of money, good at everything…who really has all that and can say they are truthfully happy? Not many people. 

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I have decided to take a new perspective on life because I only have one life to live and I might as well make it flippin’ awesome. I will set goals for myself and work hard to achieve them, but also enjoy myself and have fun with my friends and family. I will stop comparing myself to others and try to be the best person I can be. I believe things happen for a reason, and I know all the setbacks I’ve had in my life are there to teach me a lesson. The lessons I’ve learned have molded me into the individual I am today, and I don’t regret anything that has happened in my life.

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As long as you trust in your abilities and work hard to achieve your goals, you can reach them! Nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself and take the plunge into uncertainty. Even if you are afraid of your goals, don’t let them hover over you and tease you. You can and WILL overcome the challenges you face. If you can’t do it alone, get help from friends and family or even strangers. We are all in this together!

I hope this post somewhat inspired you and didn’t seem cliche or rambly. 

What is a challenge you want to overcome? What is stopping you from overcoming this challenge?

Do you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others?

Jenny 🙂