Find Your Story

015It is really hard to be motivated to run when you wake up to snow on the ground! Thankfully, the snow is melting and the temperatures are forecast to rise! So, my excuses are going to run out. I need some motivation to get out and run. One of the key motivators for me has been signing up for 5K races.

There are probably a few reasons that works for me. First off, I am a procrastinator. I work with deadlines. My husband was out of town the other day and I texted him, “I’m so deadline oriented that I have little motivation to cook supper when you aren’t coming home to eat.” Ha ha! I post here every Thursday, which gives me a deadline to write. Deadlines force me to work. If I’m signed up for a race, and I want to run the whole thing, I am going to have to put in the work and keep up my training to meet the deadline.

I think the other reason it works is because it causes me to enter into story. Before I learned to run, I came across a blog post by Donald Miller that influenced my decision to start running. He said when we trade goals for stories, we are more likely to overcome conflict to get what we want.

I don’t have any problem with goals. I like goals and still set them. But without an overarching plot, goals don’t make sense and are hard to achieve. A story gives a goal a narrative context that forces you to engage and follow through. People who are in great shape and have their finances in order probably don’t set goals to be in good shape or get their finances in order. They probably set goals of running a marathon or paying off their house. In other words, they think in narrative rather than goals. The goals get met in the journey of the story.  – Donald Miller

It doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but it really is. If I set a goal of running three times a week, I might be consistent for a while. But, without a greater purpose behind my running, I’m less likely to keep going. When conflict comes up, I have greater reason to push through and keep going. I can remember times it would have been much easier to turn of my alarm and go back to sleep rather than get up and get a run in. There have been times when I didn’t get a good night sleep, times when the outside temperature was in the 30s, times when I had to get up earlier than normal because my husband had to leave earlier than normal. With the deadline of a 5K race on the horizon, my motivation to get up and run is so much stronger.

The best example might be my current lack of motivation to run right now. I have not run since October. Part of the problem is that winter won’t go away. It’s just so cold in the mornings! But my biggest lack of motivation is that I don’t have a looming 5K deadline at the moment. Jessica conned convinced me to sign up to do the Warrior Dash with her, but it’s not until September, so, you know, I have time. (Although, looking at the video below, I better get working if I want to live past Sept. 7.) I haven’t even committed to The Journey’s Virtual 5K. Maybe if I officially sign up for it my motivation level will start rising. (There is still time, by the way. April 15th is the deadline.)

How about you? Does signing up for an event help your motivation? Is there a larger life story you want to tell that will help you keep up your goals?


— Cori


2 thoughts on “Find Your Story

  1. Pingback: New Year’s Madness | The Journey

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