An Honest Account of my Motivation

Anyone else struggling under the weight of the ironing pile? Or to achieve a health or fitness related goal? Or simply to ensure they have enough time to themselves in the week.

Yes me too. 

I often blame lack of time, and it is absolutely true that the finite number of hours in the day is a limiting factor, but sometimes, if I’m honest I simply lack motivation to get out the iron!

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What is Motivation

‘A reason or reasons for acting in a particular way’

‘Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people’

So this sounds fairly easy. To be motivated I just need some reasons to want to achieve a goal and perhaps some external inspiration.

I do have a clear fitness goal in the short-term. It is nothing spectacular, but important to me. I aim to complete ten 5k Parkruns and to finish one in my pre-baby personal best (pb-pb!) time. Once this is achieved I’ll work on a longer term goal.

My reasons & motivation to run:

  • I have more energy when I am exercising regularly.
  • Running reminds me to engage my weak core abdominal muscles.

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  • A little break from parenting duty helps me enjoy and appreciate all the rest of the time with my children.
  • I sleep better (children’s whims permitting) when I’m active.
  • I am enormously grateful to still be able to run following postpartum complications – I will never take this freedom for granted.
  • My local Parkrun is conveniently close to my house.

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  • I enjoy competing week-by-week only against myself.
  • My children can watch the race, and I hope they can absorb the fun involved in exercise
  •  5k distance as it is a sufficient challenge without being too time-consuming

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  • BONUS POINT: As extra motivation I intend to buy some new running attire once I have achieved my target!

External Inspiration

It also helps me to have external inspiration to maintain fitness.

I am lucky enough to have several fabulous friends who are extremely inspiring. Even better, I keep some external motivation at home. No, it is not one of those wearable band things that count your steps to berate your lack of movement.

My own motivation to exercise is actually Mr R. This is a man, who by his own admission, would rather sit on the sofa and eat pizza, than exercise. Yet in the last two years has only missed one single planned workout.

That was the morning little Pumpkin was born.

Within the last month he had run his first marathon, raced in his first triathlon and completed a  10k race. I realise I run the risk of doing the smug adult equivalent of ‘look at my clever toddler’. But, despite my pride in his achievements, I do not mean to write  ‘look at my clever husband’, not least because he would be mortified.

I simply want to illustrate that exposure to external inspiration is great motivation for me.

This is how it works on a day-to-day basis.

MY BRAIN ‘I had a bad night with little Pumpkin, perhaps I’m too tired to run today’.

REALITY: Mr R arrived home at 1am having been stuck on a broken down metro. He got up twice at my insistence to investigate very loud drill-like noise in our bathroom. (This incidentally was related to the extractor fan and not the more sinister cause in my imagination.) He woke before 7am with Pumpkin. He finished his run by 9am

….Perhaps my night wasn’t that bad after all

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MY BRAIN ‘Its really cold out. And windy. Maybe the ground will be frosty.

REALITY: Mr R ‘Oh no its not frosty now, but it was when I went running super-early in the cold, and wind and dark

.Oh all right then I’ll go.

So there you have it, I have some important reasons to want to achieve my fitness goal. I also live with someone whose achievements both motivate me, inspire and squash my internal excuses.

Now could anyone please help me with some ironing inspiration?

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30 second summary: I have both personal reasons to keep me motivated to exercise, I also find external inspiration helpful especially when my internal resolve is failing.

I’d love to hear if there is anything that helps you to stay motivated, or if you have any particular fitness goals at the moment?

Mami 2 Five

7 thoughts on “An Honest Account of my Motivation

  1. mummyofboygirltwins May 24, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    I know! Find it so hard to get motivated to iron or clean the bathrooms! But I always feel so much better when I am running or exercising. I haven’t been for a few weeks and I can feel my energy levels dipping. Thanks for sharing xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 25, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      Yes I definitely have more motivation (and energy) for my running than the housework. I still sometimes need a little external inspiration though!

      Like

  2. Kirsten Toyne May 25, 2015 / 7:42 am

    I take the approach that at some point the housework gets so critical that I will actually want to do it but until that point I do the things that give me energy!! If I kept up with the house I would not get to write my book and that is unthinkable for me personally. Good luck with your running.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DrJuliet May 27, 2015 / 11:15 am

    One part of the definition is ‘internal factors’ and I think that’s really important. I know by nature I’m a very self-motivated person and I’m always setting goals and trying to improve myself ( this isn’t always a good thing!) Some people definitely find it easier to keep to follow plans and programmes than others and I wonder how much of that is not having enough positive external factors or is the internal drive the biggest stumbling block. Interesting post. J

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 31, 2015 / 8:56 pm

      You know your comment has made me think of this issue a little differently. I’d sort of assumed an inverse relationship between my internal drive to do something and my need for external motivation. Ie no internal drive to do housework so enormous external motivation required, more internal desire to run my best 5k again so less (but still some) external prompts needed. Actually I wonder if you are right that as well as this each of us have a sort of instrinsic set point for motivation with more or less need for external prompts depending on individual characteristics. It would make for a great study if only there was a way to capture a persons ‘internal motivation’ then the external cues could be adjusted as required.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie (@mami2fiveblog) May 30, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    This a great post. I’m glad you have your motivations to keep you running. Sorry can’t help with the ironing, I don’t even own an ironing board! Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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