Thrive in Five: What’s Your Motivating Factor

motivating factor people running the marathon

This weeks thrive in five is about motivating factors when building new habits

This week is about how to build a habit and I’m not going to break it down bit by bit. I’m going to give you one big idea, which will help you to really grasp it.

A surprising event

So, first a story. Back in 2013, I was working as a personal trainer and I was looking for leads. So I went onto my local forum and I put in the search box, personal trainer. And one of the results that came back was this fairly long post from a lady called Claire and her father at the time was profoundly ill with MS, Multiple sclerosis. And she had wanted to do something about that. So she’d written to the MS Society and begged a marathon place. Not thinking for a minute she’d get one.

Now, Claire is what she herself would have described as a couch potato. So this was a huge deal! Not thinking she’d really get a place as competition is so fierce. She just forgot all about it. Until she gets an email from the MS Society to say, you’ve got a place, you’re in!

At that point, she panics. She goes on the forum and writes a post to say, “I’ve got this place, I don’t know what to do, I’m a complete beginner. Maybe I should get a personal trainer, but what do you guys think?” So, I see that post. I wrote back to Claire and I suggest we go for a coffee. We go for a coffee. We get on. We decided to work together.

Starting at the start

A week later Claire is doing her first hundred-metre run. We do it and at the end of it, she’s delighted. But she said, “oh Leanne, I just can’t imagine doing a mile!” A couple of weeks later, we do our first mile together. She says to me “I feel so pleased myself, but I cannot imagine doing five kilometres!”

We get to 5k. And it’s the same story. She’s really chuffed with herself, but she just can’t envisage getting to 10K and 10K becomes a half marathon. The half marathon becomes the 20 miler, which becomes the final 22 mile training run. Claire can’t believe it, but she also can’t imagine, actually being able to do the extra 4.2 to get to the marathon.

Come marathon day there we are at the start. The two of us are there together because whilst we’re training, I said to Claire, you know, wouldn’t it be amazing if we were doing this together because I’ve done all the training. And she said, Yes, I wish you were. So I wrote to the MS Society and they gave me a place.

So there we are at the start together, a wonderful experience. We have some difficulties along the way, but we actually get to cross the finishing line together, hand in hand six and a half hours after we start on marathon day. We raised over £10,000 together for the MS society.

Getting to the finishing line

Now, the reason I’m telling you that story is that what got Claire from the couch to a hundred metres, to a mile to 5k, to 10K to a half marathon to 20 to 22. And ultimately the full marathon is a very strong, motivating factor. Her Father.

She wanted to do something for a man that had a machine to lift him out of bed, a machine to help him walk and move. She felt that that was going to be a huge challenge or something she could really get excited for and in doing so raise lots of money. So that’s what got her all the way across the training and ultimately across the finish line.

She’s since developed a good fitness regime subsequent to that as well, which is amazing.

So what’s your motivating factor and what is it really? Quite often with fitness, we say it’s about losing weight because we think everyone will understand that. But often it’s not. It’s about confidence. It’s about wanting to feel more capable. It’s about self-esteem or it’s about functional fitness. It’s about wanting to be healthy later in life or healthy for our children as well as for ourselves.

Motivating Factor

So what’s your strong motivating factor?

You may enjoy my TEDx talk on why fitness if more important than fatness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SLP1BF7KBQ

We also have our fantastic resources to help you become a Business Athlete, using the training technique and strategies used by professional athletes, applying them to your day to day to help you be fit for the rigours of business and everyday life.

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