Once, several years ago, I took a personality test. It was in one of those corporate training sessions intended to help me learn about my personal style and how to work better with others. I don’t remember much else from that course, but I do remember learning one seemingly important thing about myself.
I get more enjoyment/reward out of starting new things, than I do by completing them.
Ever since that day in training, I have over and over again seen this fact demonstrated.
Case in point: I have three knitting projects in process at the moment. Scratch that. Two. I guess I did finish one last week. Anyway, I keep finding myself looking at new projects I could start and wanting so badly to cast on a new one. All while this blanket sits in a basket, taunting me with it’s semi-not-even-half-finished state. I look at it and I just feel guilty for not wanting to work on it, although I do want it to be done. It just seems like a never ending project – I know that I am not even halfway yet and already I am looking for something new to do.
Case in point #2: I just spent a half hour or more putting together a training plan for the Quad Cities Distance Classic in May. I had no idea it was 12 weeks away exactly from today. I have the plan all lined up, and will start tomorrow. Right now I am excited about it and can’t wait to start. I am definitely over-optimistic, and I know I probably have put together a much too aggressive plan. I predict no more than 2 weeks before I miss a training day and start to feel burdened by the thought of following the plan for a full 12 weeks. I completely wimped out this morning and didn’t go run with my friends. On one hand I was feeling really guilty for not going (in my defense the windchills were -14 at 7 am this morning), on the other, now that I see this 12 week expanse of training I feel a bit justified in taking one more day off. I see a lot of treadmill running in my future…and I dread treadmill running (Betty and I are not friends at the moment). But I don’t know how else to do 400 m repeats in the dead of winter. Almost all my favorite running spots are covered in snow or ice. See? I’m already questioning the sanity of the plan and I’ve only had it for an hour!
Oh, and let’s not go anywhere near the sanity of my goal to run 750 miles this year. Let’s just not. Perhaps in a few months I will be able to say I am on track. Right now, not so much. And it’s only mid-February, there’s still time to correct, right?
How do you stay motivated to complete a long training plan or project?