Motivation. Definition: The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
We all need some good motivation. We need reasons to keep us on a good path. At some point in your life you will get tired. It might be on the bike or in any other realm. We always have to look back at our reasons to keep moving forward. We have to find the motivation to keep showing up to work, to maintain our relationships, or to live a healthy lifestyle.
It’s normal to find peaks and valleys of motivation. You wouldn’t think twice if someone stated that they didn’t want to go to work one day. They usually go anyways. Why do we give ourselves such a hard time if we struggle to find motivation to get on the bike? It’s ok. You’re allowed to not want to do your workout now and then. This is normal. It’s how we handle these feelings that can define our outcomes.
So can we truly control our feels of motivation? How can we try to skew these emotions in our favor? What can we do to find more motivation? Here are my 5 Ways to Increase Your Motivation.
1. Remember Your Why
This is probably the gold-standard for how to stay motivated. If you’re struggling to get out the door on your bike, take some time to reflect on your why. Why did you start your cycling journey to begin with?
If you’re training for a race, imagine how good it will feel to show up that day knowing that you are as prepared as you can possibly be. If you’re seeking health, reflect on all benefits that you are giving your body.
Try to find a why that is bigger than a single workout. Find a “Why” that is long term. Write it down. Journal about it. Stick a word or a couple words that remind you of your Why in places that you will see throughout the day or as you prepare to go ride your bike.
2. Make Smaller Goals
Sometimes chasing your ‘Why’ can begin to feel a bit allusive. Health is an on-going journey and your race may be months away. As humans, we are inherently inpatient. Many of us need a much more pressing reason to get moving.
Make smaller goals that lead you to your over-arching why. Use these stepping stones to motivate your daily actions and allow them to feel like a nice pat on the back every time you achieve something on the way.
These goals should be short term oriented like daily or weekly goals. It could be as simple as riding 3x per week or it could be to try to beat your time on a local hill segment. You can set these small goals on your own or don’t be afraid to tell your coach that you are looking for something a little extra. Your coach should be able to work with you and help to incorporate these goals into your training.
3. Find a Friend
Find someone to help hold you accountable and/or who has the same goal as you. You can find a friend who wants to complete workouts together and you can hold each other accountable by knowing that you are counting on each other to show up. You can also hire a coach and have someone who is invested in your journey on a daily basis.
You can also find someone who is invested in you as a person and doesn’t share your same goals. Maybe your husband or wife or best friend doesn’t ride bikes, but they have seen first hand how much it has impacted your life. Tell them that you need some help finding motivation and I bet they will be able to articulate why you need to keep challenging yourself. Sometimes others can see and state things much more clearly than we can for ourselves.
4. Try a New Strategy
There’s always more than one way to approach something. If you find that you are really in a rut then try a new path. If you are struggling to ride 10 hours a week, then try to shorten up your rides and increase the intensity. If you absolutely cannot stand 10 minute intervals, then make that your one “no-go” workout and do something else instead. Anyone who claims there is only one way to achieve a goal is sorely mistaken. There are people and professionals all over the world who have different methods and approaches. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s so much better to try a different strategy than to just give up on your old one that is worn out.
5. Find Comfort
Reward yourself for your hard work. Sometimes this reward comes after your training, like a nice hot bowl of soup to greet you on your return from a cold frigid ride. Sometimes the reward can come during. Try to make your uncomfortable time as comfortable as possible. If you are riding indoors on the trainer, then find some great entertainment and a good quality fan. If you are planning to ride outdoors, pick the route that gives you the most joy, pack a snack that you are excited to eat part way through your ride, or wear your favorite pair of socks. These things may seem small, but they make a big different. Try to create a space during your workout that you really enjoy being in.
Stay the Course:
Don’t give up! You may find yourself in a valley, but soon you’ll be at the top of the mountain. Have fun and find joy in whatever you do!