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What’s On Your Docket?

photo by fang guo, via flickr creative commons

photo by fang guo, via flickr creative commons

It’s amazing how many people find this blog through searching “exercise + motivation.”  Unfortunately is  $1,499, or I’d consider buying it and trying to do something there.  Like sell treadmills and tickets to 20-year high school reunions.

Actually, building that site might be tougher that it sounds.  The science of motivation is complicated, and there are tons of books out there  that offer perspectives about it (Dan Pink’s Drive is one of my favorites; I covered it a few months ago).  When it comes to exercise specifically,  self-determination theory (SDT) is often referenced.  The foundation of SDT is that human motivation lies along a continuum which includes intrinsic (self) and extrinsic (world around us) components.  Runners who are intrinsically motivated might run because they love the thrill of racing around the track and the feeling of the wind in their hair, while runners who are extrinsically motivated might run because it will result in outcomes that matter to them, or to their loved one, doctor, etc. (i.e., lower blood pressure and body fat).

Every person is at a different place on this continuum — possibly even because we’re wired that way.  The great news is that if “being an exerciser” is (or can become) part of your identity, you’re more likely to stay motivated (according to one study, at least).  So how do we all deepen the exercise portion of our identities?  A great place to start is signing up for a formal event (after all, events are for ATHLETES).  Here are a few resources to help if you’re looking for one to put on your calendar:

Runner’s World Race Finder

Stand Up Paddle Events (after all, it’s SUMMERTIME)

Triathlon Calendar

Great Ways to Get Fit for a Cause

Fun Team-Oriented Events (firewalking, included)

I’m training for a half-Ironman in September right now.  How about you?  What’s on your calendar?  Do you feel more like an athlete if you’re training for a formal event, or doesn’t it matter to you?  Beyond events, what motivates you to get and stay fit?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. ebriceno #

    Stand up paddling events? Sounds fun! I had no idea those existed – thanks for sharing. And I love the idea of signing up for events to help shift our identity, cool. Maybe that has helped me shift my identity and I didn’t realize it (I NEVER used to exercise, I hated it, and now I love it). Another thing that has helped me make the shift is simply to start doing it (same with eating healthily). At first it’s not fun, but then the habit forms and my body starts craving it (especially since it’s good for it). I’ve read that to form habits, even starting with something very easy – even just getting dressed to exercise or driving to the gym and back or doing one pushup, regularly, triggered by a cue we want to drive the habit going forward, and building from there, can be a great way to get started. (for me the shift was catalyzed by my body breaking down, but hopefully one doesn’t need a crisis to shift our behavior!).

    July 9, 2013
    • ebriceno #

      …and on my docket for this weekend is Tough Mudder Tahoe… I hope I don’t end up in crutches like last year. 🙂

      July 9, 2013

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  1. 10 Excercise Tips for Busy Moms | Bay Area Parent
  2. 10 Excercise Tips for Busy Moms | Bay Area Parent

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