So......I survived the Falmouth Road Race. YAY! Some of you may not know what that means, but to me, it means VICTORY! Not necessarily over anyone else, but just a victory for myself. Notice that I didn't say that I won the race or finished the race. I have never run that far, 7.2 miles (at least not consecutively) in my life. I suppose I may have run around a field hockey field or a basketball court for a solid hour at some point in my life, but there were always time outs and penalties, etc., etc. where you could take a quick breather. This, however, was a solid hour and ten minutes of running until my legs were tingling and my brain was urging me to stop and have a beer with the cheering fans on the sidelines. It is definitely not an amazing feat, I realize that. I'm sure people run 10k races all the time, but it was definitely a personal goal for me. And with only 2 weeks of training under my belt, I feel pretty good about the outcome.
But the reason that I bring this up on my DIY-home-renovation-related blog is because I went through a lot of the same emotions during the race as I did during the renovation process. The biggest correlation that I found was when I started to give myself small attainable goals. I would look down the road and say, "I just need to make it to that next turn" or "once I get over this next hill, it will be all flat the rest of the way." All of these were fake deadlines (even lies, in certain circumstances..) that just pushed me through the next mile. Once I got to the halfway point, I kept saying, "you are less than halfway done....you can do this!!!" I never really thought of myself as a glass half-full person, but after the race, I know I am. In fact, if I look back at the bathroom and kitchen renovation, it's funny how many of those "mantras" I would adopt to get from one project to the next. Especially with painting. I would always say, "as soon as I finish this wall, I will take a little break," but when I finished with that wall it made more sense to just keep going and finish the whole room. Even though I knew that I probably wouldn't take that break, having the option available was what got me through painting the ENTIRE house from top to bottom without crumbling.
I even find myself doing that at my day job. I tell myself that if I finish this one project, then I will take a break and get some hot chocolate or go and catch up with a co-worker. But when I finish the project, I am on a roll so I tend to just keep going until I get everything done. It is almost like a reward system, except that I rarely take advantage of the reward. Honestly, it sounds depressing to continually make false promises to yourself, but it definitely works for me. And it especially worked during the race yesterday. Every time that I felt like I couldn't take another step, I made a deal....."go around that corner, and you can have a water break, or once you go up the hill its only 2 more miles left". I'm sure everyone has their own little system that gets them through life. And maybe this isn't the best way to do it, but it certainly comes in handy when my motivation lags (whether it be during a run or during a DIY project)
What do you do when you are running on empty or lose motivation?