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A study in motivation – beyond numbers

About 2 weeks ago my joggling stats for the year showed 63 miles were needed to make juggling motivation1500 for the year. Originally, 1400 was the goal but being so close motivated me to try for 1500. I’ve never joggled that many miles in a year and finishing them will provide a feeling of satisfaction.

Numbers motivate me. They actually motivate most jugglers who constantly report how many thows of a certain pattern they accomplished. It’s how we measure our progress. But really, the numbers don’t mean much. And they don’t mean something to everyone.

To accomplish things in this life you need motivation. Here is a step-by-step method to motivate yourself to accomplish something.

1. Decide that you want to accomplish something. It’s fine to go through life watching tv, talking with friends, and generally goofing off. But at some point you might find it boring or depressing and you’ll want more. When you get to that point, decide you want to accomplish something. If you’re not there yet, just keep doing what you’re doing.

2. Decide what to accomplish. Once you know you want to accomplish something, figure out what it is. For me, it’s “becoming the fastest marathon joggler in the world”. Lofty as this might be (it may never happen) it does motivate me to get out a run and juggle nearly every day.

3. Write down your plan. After you know what you want to accomplish, create a plan to do it. I start all my plans at the beginning of the year. First, mapping out the major races for the year and then the training schedules to get there. Then I can add things like how many miles to run in the year. Like I said, I like numbers. Check out Runners World, Running Times, or The Final Sprint for help with training plans.

4. Tell others about your plan. Nothing motivates like other people in your life. When you tell them about your plans, they’ll naturally ask you how you’re progressing. This added interest will keep you going. Keeping a blog is a great way to report and record your progress.

5. Focus on your plan. Commit to doing something about your plan every day. Even if it means juggling for 1 or 2 minutes or running around the block for 5 minutes. Chip away at the plan. And reward yourself, especially on days when you didn’t want to work on your plan but you did. My reward is typically a 20oz bottle of Diet Cherry Vanilla Diet Doctor Pepper.

6. Forgive yourself if you don’t make it. Inevitably, you will not accomplish everything you set out to do. Somethings sound like a good idea when you come up with it but you’ll tire of it or you just aren’t good enough. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok not to be the fastest joggling marathoner in the world. (At least that’s what I tell myself). But learn celebrate the things you do accomplish and learn from the things you don’t.

You can see this previous post for some specific tips on running and juggling motivation.

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