In my last post, I commented on the fickle nature of motivation, and how it’s not a particularly reliable tool for getting things done.
Habit, on the other hand, produces solid results (if you make it a habit to work out every other day and you stick to the habit, you will notice changes – it’s as simple as that). Habit does not care how you are feeling that day, or whether you happened to have seen an inspirational video or meme that morning. Habit just does. This becomes especially true once you can get yourself into the position of operating on autopilot. I don’t really need to motivate myself to go to work anymore; it’s just something I’m in the habit of doing.
But how do you get to that point?
One way is to hold yourself accountable publicly. But I don’t really like to post about each and every run to my friends on Facebook. This stuff is interesting to me, and other friends who run, but too many gym posts or running posts will probably get me promptly deleted from many people’s news feeds. (I feel differently about this blog because it is quite clearly labelled as a running blog.)
So I’m going to borrow the greatest motivator I have at work: a deadline. My to-do list at work is often more than I can handle, and I never really get to the end of the list. The only way something usually gets done is by moving to the top of the list, and the way something moves up the list is by becoming urgent.
(It looks as if I’ve never heard of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, as it seems I’m constantly responding to the urgent instead of the important.)
If only there was a way to apply the deadline principle to running…
…it must be time to sign up for an event.
A 10k should do it for now, but the potential shame of returning a time significantly worse than my PB will tip the balance in my favour: I’ll be less likely to want to skip a workout if I know I have a race coming up.
It will give my running programme a sense of urgency again!