I like Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The kind that scare you a little can really light that fire under your tush. I also like SMART goals, emphasis on the Attainable. Regardless of what kind of running/fitness/weight loss goals we make, we usually start out with a good bit of motivation. Sometimes keeping our “eye on the prize” is enough to keep us motivated to achieve our goal. Sometimes it’s not. So what happens when goals aren’t enough to keep us motivated day in and day out?
You’re reading DAY 25 of the Run & Not Grow Weary series.
If you get something out of reading this, please share it!
When Goals Aren’t Enough
“I was doing so good! Why can’t I stick with it?” we cry. Truthfully there are many reasons and many ways you could tackle this. Books have been written and specialized professions have been dedicated to motivation; creating it, maintaining it, encouraging it.
For today, I just want to zero in on one idea;
shifting your focus from achieving a future goal
to enjoying a present, daily practice.
If our big picture goal is no longer doing the trick, can we zoom in to the smaller steps in our process and find motivation there?
Let’s look at this from a spiritual growth perspective for a minute.
We are all works-in-progress with a long way to go. However, we know that if we stick close to God, He will transform us and He has good plans for us. It’s awesome to zoom out and see the big picture of what God has already done in our lives and imagine and hope for what He might yet do.
What things might God accomplish in and through me? It can be super motivating in our daily practice of faith to think about that. Connecting the disciplines of studying scripture, prayer and fasting with God’s big transforming work can encourage us to keep at it.
However, it can also be useful to zoom in and look at the immediate value of those daily practices. I benefit from prayer immediately with a heart and mind re-focused on God. I enjoy studying scripture with my family, talking about Bible stories and the unpacking the lessons. Regardless of what God may or may not accomplish in me in the future, there is so much joy and comfort to be had now in the daily practice of my faith.
Enjoying The Daily Practice
So, how do we apply this to our current dilemma? Our question was, what happens when goals aren’t enough to keep us motivated day in and day out?
We can find daily motivation by focusing on the immediate rewards of our training runs or workouts. Surely it will be great and feel great to achieve the big goal. However, it is also great to have a clearer mind and a more productive day because you got your run in first thing in the morning. It’s also great to be sleeping better because you’re eating healthier.
Identifying the benefits from your daily practice of exercise is not necessarily difficult. The important bit is to then choose to be grateful for those benefits. Notice the impact they have on your life here and now. Learn to enjoy the daily practice itself, independent of the larger goal you want to achieve.
When we approach it this way, those daily strength exercises or weekly sprint repeats can become a habit. A routine. Something you don’t find as emotionally or mentally exhausting to get started.
Habits don’t feel as thrilling as that wave of motivational energy you had when you first set your goals. That was like a fast-burning kindling that started your training/fitness fire. Learning to enjoy the daily practice is the slow-burning log that will keep your fire steadily aglow.
Thanks for reading! Share if you enjoyed it:Follow the 30 Day Run & Not Grow Weary series! pic.twitter.com/dQyVkNoVbP Click To Tweet