“The First Day of Spring Is One Thing. The First Spring Day Is Another.”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with workout motivation? It’s okay, nobody’s looking. What’s even more okay? Your hand won’t be the only one up there.

Motivation isn’t a fortunate personality attribute or magic mentality with which only some people are blessed. It’s something everyone has to work for, all the time. Something that often requires you to dig down deep and yank it, kicking and screaming, to the surface. While it may not be something that comes easy, motivation is something everyone can have. And there are strategies everyone can implement to get it.

Personally, I’m a big believer in goal setting (feel free to check out a blog I wrote for HARD CHARGE on the topic). More than that, I recommend setting new goals all the time. Just as it’s tough to stay motivated week after week, it’s nearly impossible to let the same goal keep that drive going.

During marathon training, one might assume the marathon is my goal, the driving force that keeps me motivated. And it is – but it’s far from the only one. Even that big of a goal is tough to keep in mind 14 weeks out when I’d rather slip into sweats after work and watch Seinfeld reruns. So I have to set sub-goals for myself every week, sometimes every day. For example, this is my first week with the goal of logging 40+ miles. Also, Olympian Shalane Flanagan set a new record in the 15k and I felt it should be celebrated. So here’s how those things play into my sub-goals:

Primary Goal: Running a marathon on May 10
Sub-Goal for Week: Hitting 40 miles by week’s end
Sub-Goal for Day: Run a 15k on Monday (which I achieved!)

Running a marathon or dropping 50 pounds or whatever your primary goal may be isn’t something achievable in one step – there are a lot of baby steps to take and obstacles to overcome along the way.

Contrary to popular strategies, you don’t have to wait to set a new goal because it’s Jan 1, the first Monday of the month or exactly 6 weeks from when you first plan to wear a swimsuit. There should always be a reason to set a new goal. But sometimes a “kickstart” is needed to re-energize and reignite the motivational fire under our asses so here’s your reason to set a new goal today: It’s the first day of spring – although the layer of ice I had to scrape off my car this morning might make one think otherwise, hence today’s quote. What a great day to set a new goal. So do it! And remember to give yourself a high-five when you achieve it. First Day of Spring

The first day of spring. It was a good enough reason for George Costanza to try and move his dreaded wedding date, it’s a good enough reason for you to set a new goal. Comment or tweet it to me @runlikeagirl311.

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