Tagged: motivation

How I Get Motivated To Work Out

An old school friend of mine has decided to undertake a triathlon, and she’s just been given a rather grueling training schedule.

I feel exhausted just looking at it. I think I need a lie down to recover!

I’m not one for training programs. Without a doubt, they push you to work out and be ready for whatever competition you’re entering, and I’ve followed programs in the past with good results.


However, I wonder what percentage of those people who start a training program actually complete it. I would assume, for all manner of reasons, that it’s actually very low.

It’s one thing to be excited about and motivated by an upcoming race, but it’s not so likely you’d get excited about and motivated by each workout in a training schedule. In order to complete a full program, you need absolute commitment to seeing it through.

I don’t have that commitment. I couldn’t possibly run intervals on a treadmill or ride a turbo in the basement. I do swim lengths in the pool, but given an ocean and warm weather, I would much rather swim in the sea.

Wherever possible, I try to make my workouts exciting and motivating. First, I give myself choice. Depending on how I feel, and the weather, I can choose from any of the following:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Trail running
  • Cycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Swimming

For all but the swimming, I can then decide where to go. I am surrounded by beautiful countryside here in Japan’s Gifu prefecture. There are hills and mountains for more aggressive training, and acres of rice fields to run around, and rivers to run or cycle beside.


Every workout is an adventure. I like to choose different places each time so I can take photos or video to share with my friends on social networks, and that itself makes each workout something to look forward to.

Whether such random training will see me through to the finish line of an Ironman triathlon, I can’t be sure. I know I won’t be standing on the podium, but if I can cover the distances in training that an Ironman demands, and do it within the time limits of a real event, I don’t see why I can’t reach my goal.

What I can be sure of, however, is that every workout leading up to that Ironman is itself an adventure and awesome experience.

Motivate Yourself with FutureMe

FutureMe.org A year ago, I used a free service at FutureMe.org to send an email to myself in the future. I had completely forgotten about it until it came through the other day. Here it is, with obscenities and personal info removed.

Dear Nick,

It’s Sept. 24th, 2006. Hopefully when you read this you will have achieved the goals that I’m setting today!

1) Be earning (deleted)
2) Have saved (deleted)
3) Have bought a (deleted)
4) Have a baby on the way if not already!

If you’ve done these things, then good for you! If not, get off your (deleted) you lazy (deleted)! What happened to you over the last year? No excuses! Get back to work. You used to be really into it, you know. How about that crazy November in 2005, when you were (deleted), writing the (deleted)and working at (deleted), too? You were relentless mate. Don’t lose it now! You’re a born winner, but you’ve got to put your back into it.

Love from yourself,
2006 Nick

I’m glad to say I achieved all the goals I set for myself, and will be using FutureMe.org again this year to get me motivated once more. Maybe you should try it, too. Another neat thing you can do is send an email to someone else at a specified point in the future. How about sending birthday messages or love letters for someone to receive ten years from now? The possibilities are endless!