How Do You Stay Motivated?

Motivation is the central force that determines the outcomes for all our goals in life, work and sport. It fascinates me as it's a very personal thing. The rewards, incentives and tools that motivate me, will often be different to the ones that motivate you.  We may be motivated by money, achieving your goal, getting fit, security or personal development or many other factors. I signed up for my Ironman race almost a year ago.  This is the longest I've ever focused on one sporting goal and had it in the back of my mind constantly.  Sometimes I find it difficult to maintain motivation for the many hours of training. I think that when we take on physical challenges, we are motivated by either:

1. Completing the challenge

2. Doing it in the fastest possible time

Sometimes neither of these motivate me - achieving the end goal isn't enough, I need something else.

How Do I Stay Motivated?

I have written an article for SportPursuit's Blog with my suggestions on this topic, they are:

1. Write down your goals

2. Establish your passion

3. Don't be too harsh on yourself

4. Have a mantra

5. Love it

Click here to read more

How Do You Stay Motivated?

I also asked Twitter to share your tips and received some brilliant responses (see below), thanks to everyone who got in touch.  This topic fascinates me as everyone is different. I'd love to hear from you on what motivates you to work towards your goals, whether they are in work, life or sports.  Email me on or leave a comment below.

Howard Crompton@CromptonHoward

"So what makes motivates me to get up before dawn to pound a few miles out on the road before work? What motivates me to ensure that I don’t sit on the couch and be lazy all day?

It is a tough question. Is the answer so I can eat a shed load of food each time I get back from the long run or a 60 mile ride? Sometimes it is, yet times it isn’t.

We all have a few years on this planet, some people will have more, some people will have less. But the way I see it is that I would prefer to go out knowing that I have done everything I can to enjoy my time on this planet.

But for me what motivates me is that I want to be the best I can be. I want to be able to say I kept myself in good health, saw some amazing sights whether that is by running, riding by them or just travelling and exploring. I will never win a race, I haven’t since I won the 100m at primary school. Yet when I am training for a race or event boy do I train as if I would win it.

Howard - Brighton Half Marathon 2013
Howard - Brighton Half Marathon 2013

I am not motivated by money. I don’t earn a fortune but I enjoy my job it gives me several weeks holiday a year and I make use of them. Each week I volunteer my time as a RNLI crew member. I do this so that I can help people when they are in trouble at sea. I spend time training out at sea at all times of day and night training in all conditions so when it comes down to it I am trained to save a persons life. I was a team member within my local Mountain Rescue team for 6 years. I was motivated by the fact I was helping people who could potentially lose their life if we weren’t there. I have spent many hours either at sea saving someone’s life or hours walking in the night, in the driving rain getting cold myself to save someone who I had never met. All for no money."

Eric Winstone@ericwinstone

Eric is 62 years old and loves sport. He runs an average 20 miles per week, plus gym, cycling and swimming. Wow! He has run 12 London Marathons, 70 half marathons and 22 Great North runs. What motivates him?

Eric - 62 and fit as a fiddle!
Eric - 62 and fit as a fiddle!

"The need to keep fit, feel and look the best I can. Stay healthy and at least try to keep my destiny in my own hands. I do like a pint and glass of wine though. (Good man)

The competition... I love it and most of the time it's against myself and the targets I set myself. I do like to compete in my age group and usually finish in top 3"

Iain McKenzie@Iain_McKenzie

As Manager of a climbing wall, Iain manages risk on a daily basis. When not at work he's out in the hills climbing rocks and ice. For him, the motivation is simple:

"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail"

His position is clear: "I can't afford to fail at what I do"

Iain's Philosophy
Iain's Philosophy

Laraine Wyn-Jones - @LaraineWynJones

Laraine's tip is something I believe in - don't forget what it is you love about your sport in the first place and do it for this.

Joy of running
Joy of running

"I do quite a lot of running, up to marathon distance, but in the past few months I became really disenchanted.

You see, while I run a lot and cover good distances, I am really slow! No matter how much speed work I do or how fit I am, I can't get below a 60 min 10k, or 2.15 half marathon.

I decided that rather than get stressed (and keep injuring myself pushing too hard), I would stop entering races and simply go back to enjoying running.

For the past few months, I've been running long distance with a friend. I never take a Garmin, I don't clock my pace.  We just run at the 'speed of chat'.  It's been fab, and I'm really enjoying running again (except today, when I got friction burns on my inner thighs from wearing shorts!)

So, to sum my top tip, it's to back off when you become disenchanted with your sport, and simply enjoy it for a while."

Just Run
Just Run

Thanks again to everyone who contributed and feel free to continue the discussion below to let us know your top tips.