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Runners are no strangers to motivation and establishing running goals. This cycle may sound familiar: You start out strong with your first week of getting into shape. But soon, the fatigue sets in. You find your motivation waning, and you ask yourself why you are even running in the first place. A month later, you start all over again from scratch. However, running does not have to feel discouraging. With the right motivation and mindset, you will hit benchmarks that you never thought possible.
There is no shame in starting small. Especially if you're new to running, start with smaller goals and work your way up to larger goals. No one was born running a seven-minute mile. Try setting small benchmarks based on the process rather than the results. For example, you may aim to shave 10 seconds off your mile time instead of trying to run 2 miles without stopping. Every milestone matters. When you shift your focus to smaller, manageable objectives, running starts to empower you rather than break you down.
Broad aims don’t actually exist. If your daily objectives cannot be measured, you cannot achieve them. For instance, running more every day sounds nice. In practice, though, how do you measure that? Specificity is the key to meaningful goal-setting. Your target needs to be clear and defined. See if you can write down your daily running plans in a single, specific sentence. These are the kind of objectives that motivate runners to achieve.
Don't forget to reward yourself when you reach a new goal. Running celebrates the process more than the result. Take pride in your achievements, however small they feel at the time.
If running for yourself isn't good motivation, find a cause and get involved in runs for illnesses and people in need. Causes inspire us, pulling us to run instead of us having to push ourselves out of bed for a morning jog. Choose a cause that is close to your heart. When your heart is in your running, every step feels easier. You will no longer struggle with the mental roadblocks that are preventing you from achieving your potential.
Motivation is all about where your focus is directed. Your mindset is all that matters. When your focus shifts toward small, specific objectives for a good cause, you will find true joy in your running.