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Motivation for the Long Haul

Motivation for the LONG HAUL : How to Stay the Course

habits motivation Oct 16, 2021

Hello! Amanda here again!

This week- let’s talk about staying true to yourself, your big dreams and staying “motivated” in the long haul. We’ve all been there haven’t we? We’ve started a new workout regime or diet, perhaps a class or maybe sworn to get up earlier.

You’ve done really great for 1 or maybe 2 weeks – then kaboomIt all falls apart and you’ve lost your “motivation” to do the thing you’ve told yourself you want to do. Oof.  


So what exactly is motivation?

Well sugar – First off, I’m going to let Annie, our fearless leader define Motivation for us:


If we go by this definition, motivation is just a reason for doing something:

I am motivated to sit on the couch and watch True Crime documentaries. But...I am also motivated to continue my strength practice to earn my Strong First Level II Certification… By this definition we can and do have conflicting motivations every day. In order to stay the course we must understand that at any given moment our immediate motivations may interfere with our “future” goals. 

(Side note….my first college major is in classical Greek and the verbs have different “moods” and different “aspects”. One such tense is Future Progressive, an action that is ongoing in the future. Another is Past Completed, an action that is done and had a definite ending. There is Future Completed, Past Progressive etc… However, it is worthy to note that there is no completed aspect in the present, because you can’t be done with something that is happening right now. Which let’s me believe that there is an ever changing flavor regarding our present which I find very poetic… if you’d like to geek out with me about ancient languages, please let me know...)


Knowing your True North is the key to staying motivated

Back in January I spilled my guts in a blog post about finding your True North, and Annie recently let us peek into her new life, her new vision for her future and 3 Things to Do When Motivation Changes.

In these blogs, we learned that we have to consider that our big dreams – or rather our True North and grand ideas – are not stagnant finish lines. They are without edges and yet somehow concrete in our own minds.

We know what our goals feel like. When asked, “How will you know that you’ve reached your goals?” have you ever responded with “I’ll just know.”?

We all have visions of what we want our future to look and feel like. So the problem we are discussing today is how do we stay the course to get to that place especially when we have so many competing motivations surrounding ourselves in the present?

Well- okay… Let’s simplify with a few steps.


How-To define your course

  1. Visualize, feel, imagine and taste your True North, your BIG motivation for change. What is it that lights you up and is the reason you have for acting or behaving a certain way?
  2. Curate your path by marking your steps: What does it look like in 1 day, in 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years? If you are saving for your dream home, what steps do you take on day 1 to get there? Perhaps staying off Amazon, maybe skipping Starbucks and making coffee at home...
  3. What actionable steps do you need to take on a day-by-day basisTo buy that dream home, maybe you start saving $5 per day for the down payment and maybe when you get to a certain milestone you contact a realtor, for example.


Sanity check: make sure your course is achievable

Now that you have mapped your course, is it easy enough to follow? Take a look at what you came up with from above and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your True North and BIG motivation important enough?
  • Are your actionable steps easy enough?


You’ve "fallen” off course – What Now?

Alright - you're identified your True North, mapped your course, and you have a list of actionable steps – congrats! However, life happens, and well, its possible you might fall off course. But it that happens, it doesn't mean you need to jump ship completely and give up on ever reaching your True North. Consider the following:

  1. Has your True North Changed? Do you need to readjust your path? 
  2. Give yourself the grace to be off course for a bit. Think of it like a rest stop to recharge your batteries, get some gas and get back on the road refreshed and ready. 
  3. Are your actionable steps too hard to commit to? Actionable steps should take such little energy and emotion that you can equate them with brushing your teeth.
  4. Did you celebrate your milestones?

A very wise woman by the name of Annie reminded me the other day that motivation and long term change must be both disciplined as well as flexible. Without structure we have no path, but without the freedom of movement we have no momentum. So finally, ask yourself, have you allowed yourself space to grow towards your True North and have you built the steps to have it within your reach?

Until next time,
Amanda Bauer
Forest Coaching Breathing and Running Expert
Follow her @amanda_willrun4cookies


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