As a Run Faster Coach, it’s my job to help my clients stay motivated. They all come to me wanting to run faster for a specific event. Some of them want to prepare for a 5K race or a marathon, and some of them want to train for a military or law-enforcement fitness test. Other clients simply want to become better athletes in their sport. But no matter what their reasons are, one thing is constant—it’s important to them.
Now even though I don’t know what your goals and dreams are, I know that they’re important to you too. I also know that without action, that’s all they’ll ever be—another goal and another dream. But action doesn’t just happen. It takes motivation.
When we first set out on a goal, we’re usually excited about it. We start imagining how great it will be when we accomplish it…and then all of a sudden, our life-changing project gets put on the back burner. This is an all too common phenomenon with common results.
Mistake #1: Little to No Commitment
Having a life-changing goal doesn’t mean much if you’re not committed to seeing it through. How many times have you started something and never finished it? Odds are, you give up because you don’t have any skin in the game. If there’s nothing to lose, it’s easy to just walk away.
Step Forward: Increase Your Level of Commitment
Commitment is a measure of motivation. Therefore, the higher your level of commitment, the more motivated you are to make it happen. One of the most powerful ways to raise your engagement level is to invest in a growth program. Once you’ve spent money, you’re more inclined to stay engaged.
Another effective way to increase your commitment is to share it with the world. The more people you tell, the more motivated you will be to achieve it. This is an important step, because your natural desire to look good boosts your motivation.
Mistake #2: Going from Zero to 100
Have you ever jumped into a new activity or lifestyle that required an enormous amount of self-discipline or self-deprivation? Of course you have. We’ve all done it. And it usually doesn’t end well.
Making extreme changes in your behavior over a short period of time is hard to sustain. Willpower will only get you so far. It takes way too much effort. It’s your habits that will take you the farthest. They require the least amount of thought and effort.
Step Forward: Stay Consistent
Consistency is key to building new habits. You don’t just get up one day and run a marathon. You train for it—consistently—for months. You start off slow and gradually increase your mileage. Then suddenly, what you once thought was impossible becomes possible. Consistency will get you wins. And every win will build your confidence and motivation, as you take forward, consistent steps towards your goal.
Mistake #3: Doing It Alone
Even the most self-motivated person can lose momentum during the ups and downs of pursuing a goal. The pressure to perform and complexity of the project can be overwhelming. This is one of the most common motivation mistakes.
Step Forward: Stay in Community
It’s important to stay in community, because community skyrockets your motivation. Your family is your immediate community; but sometimes you gotta seek out people who actually understand you. You want a community that gets why you want to run 26.2 miles, despite your perfectly running motor vehicle. You also want to be around people who’ve been where you’ve been and are now way ahead of you. Their knowledge base and experiences are invaluable.
That’s the magic of community: it multiples your motivation. Not only do you receive support and energy from the group, you also get to serve and pump up the other members. And let me tell you, one of the best energizers in life is the rush you get from helping other people achieve their goals. It’s like their wins are your wins too : )
Mistake #4: No Guidance
If you’re on your way to a destination and you don’t know where you’re going, you tend to get lost. And if you don’t have a map or GPS, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy trying to find your way. After a while, you’ll start to feel stuck. Until eventually, frustration and hopelessness sets in and you lose all desire to get to your original destination.
Step Forward: Stay Coached
There’s a reason why all professional athletes have coaches. Having a coach is the best way to stay motivated and at the top of your game. Their trained eyes can immediately identify inefficiencies and opportunities that can boost your results.
A coach is also your accountability partner, so your excuses have no place to hide. He/she will push you towards your goals by keeping you out of your comfort zone. The only way to get faster results is to get into your growth zone.
Mistake #5: You Stop Believing
This is the biggest mistake of them all. Belief creates motivation. If you don’t believe in something, you’re not going to fight for it. You’re not going to take a stand and invest your time, money or energy in it. That would be foolish. It’s not easy to believe in something you can’t see. That’s why it’s called faith. You’re never going to know the exact outcome of your journey. And that’s okay. That’s part of the fun.
It’s so easy to lose our beliefs the minute something goes wrong. Fear is usually the elephant in the room. Don’t let fear deter you from your greatness. It can convince you that you’re not good enough and that things will never work out.
Step Forward: Run a Self-Belief Campaign
Your actions are based on your self-belief. So if you want to stay motivated and crush some BIG goals, you need a self-belief campaign.
Here are the campaign components:
Clarity supercharges your belief. It’s a total game changer. The clearer you are about your mission and how you’re going to achieve it, the easier and faster everything else becomes. Your actions come from a place of power and confidence instead of fear and weakness.
Tow the party line
If you keep telling yourself something over and over again, whether it’s true or not, eventually you will believe it. It becomes your story. If your story is that you never finish things and you’re not good enough, then you will always have a way out the moment things get tough. I challenge you to transform your story. Keep telling yourself how powerful and unstoppable are, and you’ll find ways to breakthrough any obstacle.
Drink the Kool-Aid
Every day, for the rest of your life, read books and listen to speakers who tell you how great you are—AND BELIEVE THEM!
So what’s your motivation? Leave your old stories and excuses in the past. You’re the only one who can take control of your future. What forward steps are you going to take, today, to turn your aspirations into achievement?