For many, the new year brings a new lease of motivation. Whatever it is we want to achieve, we feel a stronger drive to get after it on the 1st of January than we did on the 31st of December. We have an overwhelming desire to seize the year and make the most of everyday. However, when we go out at 100%, it is near on impossible to maintain this level of enthusiasm day on day.
What can we do to ensure our new year motivation stays as high as possible and lasts the entire year?
Slow and steady.
This saying really does say it all. Pace yourself! Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a recreational jogger, it is impossible to feel completely motivated every hour of every single day. Therefore, it is important to commit to a level that you can maintain for the whole year. For example, if you have never run before, it may be better to commit to 2/3 runs a week throughout the year, rather than starting with 5/6 days and struggling to maintain it after a few weeks. This is the same for competitive athletes. If you have decided to incorporate strength and conditioning into your training, it is better to ease yourself in otherwise you may risk overdoing it and not only losing motivation, but ending up injured.
Even if you are a creature of habit, variety is always a good thing. If you keep it varied and interesting, your motivation is less likely to dwindle as your brain does not get wise to what you are doing. The variety keeps you excited to get up and train each day. Too much of the same thing makes up complacent, and without even realising, our brains have become lazy and we have taken the foot off the gas .
The best part about training with company is that it makes you accountable. On the days you wake up and don’t want to get out of bed, or the cold evenings when you curling up on the sofa seems very inviting, having someone waiting for you to train makes you a lot less likely to sack it in. Not only do you not want to let them down, but you also don’t want them to see you giving in. Once you are there, the company will also allow you to work harder, go for longer, and simply just enjoy it a bit more!
This point is very important. In order to prevent burning out and to remain feeling fresh, regular rest days are a must. Rest not only allows you to stay mentally motivated as it allows you to appreciate the days you get to run, it also allows your body to reap the benefits of the training you have been doing. Personally, when I start to get more physically fatigued, my motivation reduces slightly. This is usually because my body tired, but so is my mind. Regular rest prevents you from reaching those extended periods of fatigue that leave you feeling demotivated. Rest is also the precious time when the muscles you have broken down from training can repair, rebuild and allow you to become even stronger.
There are so many things you can employ in order to ensure your new year motivation doesn’t flounder. These are just a few of them and I hope they help you keep up the good work!
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!