A couple of things happened in the last few days to get me thinking about motivation.
1) Every year shortly after midnight on 1st January, my family and I write our New Year resolutions in a little notebook, which can make interesting reading when you look back at them! Last night I was sorting some letter racks out and I came across the notebook. One of my resolutions for 2010 was to cycle more than 1200 miles – basically 100 miles a month. Well I’m nearly at 5000 and it’s not yet October so I think that one is in the bag!
2) A colleague recently sent me a link to a Myers-Briggs test online and as a bit of fun I completed it. I’ve not done one for a long time but it appears I am an INTJ – Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging. The description that went with it was surprisingly accurate I thought. I like data, and I like to make sense of data and the world around me in practical and pragmatic ways. To me and other INTJ’s, the theory is great but the application is the important part. I like to make the best that I can out of everything, but driven by the practical need to apply it, not just for the sake of doing it.
So what has been my motivation this last year to really step up my levels of cycling? At the start of the year it was to hit my target of 100 miles a month. That then quickly morphed into getting ready for and completing the end-to-end. It gave me a clear goal to target, gave meaning to doing lots of long rides at stupid o’clock in the morning and to changing the type and frequency of food I ate. To relate it back to Myers-Briggs, the training allowed me to become much better at cycling, not just for the sake of improvement, but because there was a practical application at the end – riding from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.
If you are struggling with motivation then I would recommend getting a little insight into yourself to see if that helps you. Working out how you think and respond to situations can help you set goals or self-motivation that will stick, and there’s nothing like seeing results to positively reinforce that. The test I mentioned is online and it’s free. You can find it on Google – type Myers-Briggs or Jung Psychology Test and I think the site is called humanmetrics.
At the moment I am simply riding my bike at the weekends for the fun of it. But I know that I will need a goal(s) to aim for soon. It’s what makes me tick.