By Soji James, CPT, CSCS
It’s crowded at the start of any race. Excitement is usually at an all-time high, and moments of potential adversity are usually an afterthought. When it comes to fitness goals, marathons aren’t my thing. But competition inspires me, especially modes of competition that truly pit an individual up against themselves. Whether you hit the pavement for 26.2 miles of glory or you lace up your sneakers for weightlifting, it’s always “You vs. You.” This is true no matter who is in front of, beside, or behind you. Whether you are into running or not, you can’t help but be inspired by the capabilities of the human mind, body, and spirit. Running a marathon is a grind—and when it comes to achieving our health and wellness goals, there are a lot of similarities.
At the start of any race, some people explode out the gates with seemingly unlimited motivation. The same thing usually happens around New Year’s Day. Droves of people set their goals for the new year, and pack the gyms.
With the passing of time, however, things begin to change.
Those same people who start a race with reckless abandon seldom finish. Instead, injury and exhaustion causes them to quit early. Similarly, most gym-goers won’t end up making it past February and will table their aspirations for the following year.
On the other hand, the individuals who pace themselves effectively—in the race and at the gym—come out successful. They outlast the initial honeymoon phase of motivation and derive their strength from something more meaningful. These people have prepared for adversity in their training, so they understand that it is just a part of the process. They couldn’t care less what the person to the right or left of them is doing; the focus is on being the best version of themselves.
Whether you’re running a marathon or making regular trips to the gym to reach your fitness goals, here are 3 ways to stay motivated.
Motivation comes and goes. Focus on building effective habits and routines, and you will get things done. This is true even when you don’t feel like it. Small is the new big! Huge goals can seem unattainable until you break them down into smaller, devourable actions. Then, you can be consistent, and that’s when the magic happens!
One of my favorite books is James Clear’s Atomic Habits. This book is definitely one of the most comprehensive pieces on the topic of habit building. If you read one book this year, this needs to be it. We are the sum of our daily habits. If you are trying to transform your body, there are a lot of factors that will dictate your results. These variables extend outside of the gym. So, if you are truly on the hunt to take your health and fitness goals to the next level, purchase this book here.