As exciting as it can be to start a new running or fitness habit, it can be equally as challenging to stick with running when life gets busy and the motivation starts to fade!
And when it comes to being a busy mom, I’m here to tell you: a lot of your excuses are valid!
Sick kids. Stress at work. Extra carpool and extra practices and extra rehearsals.
As a mom, you’re juggling a lot for sure. So when life gets busy, it’s easy to push the stuff that is “just for you” aside.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you can actually stick with running when life takes over… and why you should!
First: check in on your mindset.
If you’ve been around for even a little while and read even a few of these posts, you know: I am all about mindset.
And there’s a very simple, but profound, reason for that:
What you tell yourself is pretty much always true.
If you tell yourself that you’re too busy, you’re going to be successful at finding reasons you can’t run.
If you tell yourself that running is a priority, you’re going to find a way to run!
So this idea of checking in on your mindset is really about double and triple checking in with yourself and asking yourself a few important questions.
Why did you start in the first place? What was the driving motivation? Is it still valid? Are you feeling like it’s less important than it felt when you got started?
If you are finding that your original motivation just isn’t cutting it anymore, then it might be a good idea to drill down a bit more on your Why.
What’s a Why?
It’s simply the deepest-seated, most heartfelt, most emotionally-tied reason that you are driven to achieve goal you set out to achieve.
Often we start a fitness or running program thinking that we want to perhaps lose a few pounds, or we want our clothes to fit better. And those reasons are often enough to motivate us to start.
But when life gets busy and demanding and stressful, how you look in your jeans just doesn’t feel as important as it maybe did a week or two ago.
Because you’re a busy mom with important things in your life and on your plate, and when push comes to shove, something as simple as vanity often fails us as a motivator.
So if you no longer care about the size of your jeans, what will keep you motivated?
If you are struggling and your Why isn’t as powerful as it was when you began, it’s time to dig deeper.
A powerful Why will drive a positive Mindset.
Usually, the most powerful Why is about something bigger than you and you alone.
Yes, your confidence is HUGE! I want confidence to be a part of your Why!
So, definitely seek confidence as a part of why you want to continue running!
But often, I find that a great question to ask yourself when it comes to your fitness and running and wellness habits and your Why is the following:
“How will those I love most benefit from me being my healthiest and happiest?”
This is a question that can help you really drill down and has helped lots of moms in the past to find their Why.
Often this question yields answers like:
“When I am healthy and happy, I am more patient.”
“When I am working out on a regular basis, I have more energy and can play with my kids and enjoy their games.”
“Working out and eating well helps me keep my hormones more balanced and I have fewer headaches.”
Are you seeing the trend? Are you seeing how a truly powerful Why can make you so much more likely to do what you need to do to fit in those workouts?
If so, then you’re ready to go to the next steps!
Next, mindset tip #2: remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
When it comes to fitness, try to think of it as a lifelong pursuit.
You know I love three-month goals. You can read about why I love three-month goals in this post, and in many others throughout this blog.
However, each three-month goal is just one powerful and wonderful stepping stone along the path.
Your goals should be finite, yes. You should have a plan and a goal and be excited about that 5K you’re about to run, or that half marathon you’re seeking to run faster in 12 weeks.
But when it comes to fitness? It’s about the journey. You are always going to be getting better!
When you feel discouraged and you feel like the road is so, so long to get to where you want to be, remember that!
Every single step, every single workout is moving you toward a fitter and healthier you.
It’s important to celebrate every workout as a win! You ran today? Congratulations! Was it as fast or as long as you maybe wish it was? Perhaps not. But that one run is a building block for the longer and faster runs to come. And you can’t get further down the road without today’s workout.
You can’t expect results overnight, that’s not fair. But you can trust the process, because if you do the work, you will get the results, every single time!
Lifelong fitness is a marathon. And that’s a good thing!
Next tip: Take an honest look at your training plan.
I preach challenging but doable goals, for a reason. I want you to experience success, because success breeds success!
Your training plan absolutely should challenge you. The workouts should be hard enough that, when you complete them, you are tired- in a good way.
However, a common mistake is to bite off more than your schedule and your lifestyle can handle.
I talk about this over and over again: your plan must be realistic given the demands on your time and energy.
So sometimes, you are able to get all your workouts in for week one, and maybe week two…
And then week three, when motivation starts to decline, you realize: this plan just might not be sustainable long term.
Only you truly know if you’re using time as an excuse, so be honest with yourself! If you’re using “I don’t have enough time” as your reason but you’re still managing two episodes of Schitt’s Creek a day, then it’s an excuse, right?
But if you really and truly are not able to sustain the plan you started, then give yourself grace and reevaluate.
If you’re working with me as your coach, please hit me up or share in Mom’s Running Club and we’ll work together and modify your plan!
And if you’re working on your own, consider scaling back by twenty percent. If you’re trying for five workouts, cut back by one and see if that’s a more doable number. If you’re trying to workout 40 minutes, cut back to maybe 30 and see if that allows for a bit more margin.
The goal is success! It’s far better to do a bit less and succeed than to throw in the towel entirely.
Bend, don’t break!
And finally: reward yourself along the way!
When our kids start youth sports, what happens at the end of every game?
They get snacks, right?
For some kids, they want to play baseball or soccer intrinsically. But a lot of those kids are most excited about the post-game snacks.
I’m certainly not suggesting you are no more mature than a five-year-old! However, you might consider that a treat here and there can make the challenge all the more fun!
Why not consider a small treat for yourself at guideposts along the way?
Some ideas might look like:
Once you finish your first week, maybe buy yourself a new pair of running socks.
After your first month, maybe take yourself for a pedicure. Treat those toes that have successfully run so many steps!
To celebrate your race, get your family to take you out for dinner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far you went, you set a goal and you did it!
See how fun that can be? They don’t have to be big or expensive, at all. But recognizing all your hard work can be an important part of staying motivated and excited!
What do you think? Have any of these tips helped you reexamine your motivation?
My wish for you is always that you find success, and the confidence that comes from setting goals and following through!
Finally, I want to share a resource that a lot of us find super helpful, and that’s our Sunday Checklist.
When you’re having a hard time fitting in your workouts, sometimes a few minutes on Sunday, getting organized, can make a world of difference!
You can grab it below!
Make it a great day and a great week!