This past weekend, I participated in a Thoughtluck around motivation. We discussed how to define motivation, our motivation sources, and how our family/culture/society shapes our motivation.
I love these monthly Thoughtlucks. They’re a gathering of people from all walks of life with the purpose of coming together to enjoy good food and rich conversation regarding some big life questions. I always learn something fascinating, get to know friends on a new level, and get to unpack my own thoughts and feelings about a topic. These gatherings are also a chance to test out recipes! I made some vegan black bean, mushroom and spinach quesadillas using this recipe for butternut squash cheese sauce and they were quite the hit!
At this Motivation Thoughtluck, we discovered that it’s hard to define motivation. Motivation is a feeling, but that feeling is different for everyone. Sources of motivation for me (listed below) may not be the same motivation sources for another. In addition, these sources can change over time. How many of you are stuck in the FOMO motivation phase? Your drive towards doing something is influenced by fear of missing out on something that your friends are doing. That’s happened to me quite a few times.
On the other hand, how many of you draw motivation from your kids? You’re motivated to action based on something that your kid needs/wants/likes. Or, what about being motivated internally instead of externally? You are motivated to do x simply because you’re passionate about it, versus you’re motivated to do x because you will be rewarded with y. Here were some of our other discussion questions:
I had some interesting big takeaways from the Thoughtluck. It made me reflect on my motivation sources and how they impact the communities with which I surround myself.
My Three Motivation Sources
In my experience, positivity attracts positivity. Yes, I know that goes against all scientific principles, but hear me out. I think that in order to be motivated to action, you need a positive outlook. You have to believe on some level that what you want is attainable. If you surround yourself with positive people- optimistic folks as opposed to Negative Nancys- and feed off their positive energy, I believe motivation increases.
Positive people and positive energy are two of my biggest motivation sources. The “can-do” attitude, the optimism, and their willingness to help others inspires me. That’s why I choose to workout with November Project and go on trail runs with EDGE members. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past, being around positive people motivate me to make positive change in my life.
Positivity piques my curiosity. I start dreaming and questioning. I wonder what would happen if I mixed these ingredients together? What would running in Japan be like? Could I grow my blog enough to get sponsorships? What’s it like to run for 10 hours straight? Can I run an ultramarathon? Am I a good motivator and coach for others?
My curiosity about the world, about the reach of my talents, about the fringes of what I think is possible has led me to interesting places and interesting circumstances. Seeing what I am capable of has always fascinated me; continuing to grow and challenge my perception of myself drives me to set goals.
3. Achieving specific goals
Both positivity and curiosity lead me to my third motivation source, setting and achieving specific goals. While unpacking my motivation sources during the Thoughluck, I realized that I thrive on setting specific goals. Working towards a dream, gradually checking off boxes one-by-one, and measuring my progress all motivate me. The times I have not had a specific plan or a specific goal to work towards, I have felt a little lost (like my blog post alluded to last week).
When I think about goals, I imagine myself standing on my tippy-toes reaching for an object on a high shelf. I imagine my finger tips just grazing the object. That’s the goal I set- something that is just on the fringes of my current reach, something that I will have to grow just a bit to achieve. However, it’s not about just checking off one goal and immediately jumping to the next. For me, the true beauty is the journey I go on in an effort to reach my goal. Will I need to build a chair to get to the higher shelf, will I need to call upon some friends for a boost? I see the goal as the end result, but the growing process is much more interesting.
I’ve outlined my goals for 2017 before: grow my blog, become a running coach, and run an ultramarathon. These goals drive my day-to-day life and the idea of accomplishing them excite me. The closer I get to achieving a goal, the more motivated I am to finishing it.
What are your motivation sources? What are you currently motivated towards? I’d love to hear about it, so leave a comment below!
Week 1 of Ultramarathon Training
This past week was the first official week where I wrote all my plans for ultramarathon training without the help of a coach. It was fun, it was challenging, and here’s how it went down:
Monday- 7 miles, EZ
With ultra training, I am trying to force myself to take it slow. However, I did not do a good job today. I hoped for close to 8:30 average pace but I was 7:55 pace. Have to slow my roll next week.
Tuesday- Speed. 5×400
I knew that I had the half marathon on Saturday. I didn’t want to tax myself too much, but I still wanted to get some high intensity in. Short intervals were the perfect option. I did just 5 so I would feel some speed in my legs without tiring myself out and depleting resources for Saturday. Met up with Jackie and David in the Zoo lot for drills + workout, then I held consistently at 1:32 for each interval.
Wednesday- EZ run + NP
Normally I do a strength class at EDGE on Wednesday mornings, but Robyn said not to tax my body before the race Saturday. Instead, I took advantage of the rare Wednesday morning “off” and decided to do an easy run to NP. It was PR day so they were a bit farther north at Cricket Hill. On my way up to the run I met Emily H. on the path. It was lovely to catch up with her! I was able to keep my average to 8:22/mile, thanks to a few loops up and down Cricket Hill.
In the evening, I made pizza with Jon. I went to his place for the bigger kitchen, only to discover that he does not have a rolling-pin. We had to improvise for the pizza crust…
Thursday- Rest Day, the Best Day
Yoga! Got a great stretch
Friday- 6 EZ + NP
Kaitlyn picked me up and we ran an easy 6 miles with Matt and Dallas before NP’s Sesame Street themed workout. It was great to go south on the path and get a change of scenery, perfect 8:50 pace!
Saturday- F^3 Half Marathon
Will do a separate post on this as a recap, but I was really pleased with the result. 17 seconds slower than last year, first in my age group, and way better than what I hoped for. Running with Jeremy and hoping to get him a PR changed my focus for the race.
Sunday- EZ Trails
Got in 8 miles with Pedro and Javi. We spoke in Spanish for most of it and swapped some good recipes and book recommendations.
Total Week’s Mileage: 51
On to week two! 🙂