My very type A self has a ton of photos saved on my phone organized into different categories. The first category I ever had was running motivation. When I started training for my first half marathon, I needed something that got me out the door and reminded me why I should continue to push through the hard parts. It clearly worked because I now have about a hundred motivational images on my phone just in that category alone. One of my all time favorites?
When you want to quit, remember why you started.
It made me take a step back and realize that even if it was hard right now, I was doing this for a reason. I feel like I say this often, but running is my metaphor for life. I don’t just use this reminder when running gets hard. I also use it when life gets hard.
Speaking of running being a metaphor for life, it’s often a marathon rather than a sprint. A lot of what we tackle is a longer process than not, meaning that the end point (or the finish line, continuing with the theme) isn’t always in sight when we’re in the middle of journey. It’s easy to lose sight of your “why”, especially when you’re in the middle of a difficult time.
Whether you’re on a weight loss journey, working for a promotion, raising kids, maintaining your marriage, training for a 5k, trying to launch a blog, writing your own songs, or anything else you can possibly think of – you need to keep track of your why. Your why is what keeps you going, and your why is what makes it easier to push through those difficult times.
What if you don’t know your why?
It’s amazing when you have that clear vision of why you’re doing something. You love your child. You can’t imagine life without your spouse. Your career is your passion. Sometimes, it’s not so clear why you’re on a particular path. Journaling can be an excellent way to unpack some of these feelings and figure out your why. Writing down your thoughts and feelings about a situation can help you figure out what your motivation is and can give you something clear to focus on when the going gets tough. If you’ve tried everything and just can’t seem to get to the answer, it might be time to re-think the road you’re on.
Whether it’s your passion, your means to an end, or the love of your life, remember your why. Say it, write it, save it in your phone. Your why is what will get you through anything.
Need some extra help figuring it out? Feel like you’re on the wrong path? Let us know. We can help.
Rachel is a licensed therapist and co-founder of Viva Wellness. She gets most of her inspiration for the blog while on the run, and if you ever need to find her, she’s probably in Central Park. If she’s not running, you’ll find her planning the next time she’s going to eat, exploring all things wellness in NYC, or raising her stress level by watching her sports teams.