6 Ways to Stay Motivated
Imagine a marathon runner who trained for months to get ready for a race he’s dreamed of running in. Finally, the day of the race comes. He feels great and ready to do what he’s been training for. He starts at a good pace and is confident that he will accomplish his goal of finishing the race. Mile after mile goes by. He eventually gets to mile thirteen (halfway) and something starts to happen. He doesn’t feel as good as he did when he started the race. He starts to feel fatigue. The race feels like it’s all up hill. He’s thirsty and hot. He’s way behind the other runners. He starts to question why he even started this race. The finish line at mile twenty-six now seems impossible to reach. Unless something drastically changes, he will not finish the race. He must find his motivation.
Many championships have been lost mid-season because of a loss of motivation. In order to reach your goals and be successful, you have to stay motivated. With the long season of rodeo, the better motivated you are the more likely you are to finish what you set out to do. You will have difficulties and your motivation will be tested.
If you are in a similar situation, here are some things that you can do to stay motivated.
Before you do anything, you need to ask yourself “why am I doing this?” Your reason for riding bulls is what will keep you going when all the signs say to give up. The more important your reason is, the better it will carry you through. Don’t just say you want to ride bulls because it’s fun. That’s not enough to make you ride the rank ones.
My grandpa died when I was about 12 years old. He didn’t really get to see me ride much before he died. I remember lying in bed thinking about him in heaven and deciding that I was going to ride for him. I wanted to succeed to honor him and make him proud. My reason for riding was a heartfelt reason.
Your reason may change several times throughout your journey. That doesn’t matter as long as your reason is something you feel very strongly about. Find your reason.
Get a Plan
Have you made a plan? If not, do it! You CANNOT just start going to rodeos hoping you will get the championship. You must make a plan and start working it little by little. Your subconscious brain will make it a priority to accomplish what you have put down on paper. It’s like writing a contract with yourself and you will do whatever you can to not break that contract. So, sit down RIGHT NOW and write down what it is you want to do and how you will do it. Read our “Setting SMART Goals“ article to get some good ideas about how to write things out.
Your plan needs to have small steps that lead to your ultimate goal. As you take little steps toward your goal, you will gain momentum and feel good about your forward movement. For example, saying you want to be the World Champion is a great goal, but how are you going to get there? If you don’t have some smaller goals and steps to take, you will be overwhelmed by the mountain you are trying to climb.
Visualize Yourself Reaching Your Goal
Get into the habit of visualizing yourself reaching your goal(s). According to Walter H. Jackson in his book Sporting the Right Attitude: Lessons Learned in a Troubled Family, “visualization is using your imagination to create what you desire in life.”
Try to visualize as many details as possible in your dreams of accomplishing your goals. This includes sights, sounds, feelings, smells, and physical sensations. Visualizing what you want to happen will make it more likely to happen in reality. Visualization is so important that the majority of top athletes practice it on a regular basis.
As a bull rider, you should visualize yourself making great bull rides, winning events, cashing checks, signing autographs, and traveling all over the country. The more you visualize the right things, the more likely you will produce the same results in real life. As you get more skilled at visualizing, you will be able to use visualization to relax, focus, and prepare yourself for competition.
As you work toward your goals, it is very important that you re-evaluate your progress on a regular basis to see if you need to make any minor adjustments in your training, thinking, or performance. I recommend checking your progress monthly to see where you are in regards to your overall goals. It is better to make many small adjustments along the journey than to try to make a major one at the end.
You should examine your plan and see what is working and what is not. Also, are there people you can reach out to for help? Are you sticking to your plan like you should? Think of some other questions that will help you evaluate your progress.
Share Your Goals with Others
By sharing your goals with other people that you trust, you are asking them to keep you accountable. Your goals will become much more important when you know that another person is cheering you on and encouraging you to succeed. Also, by sharing your goals with someone else, you are solidifying your desire to see them come true just like when you wrote them down.
Continually Remind Yourself
It’s very likely that you will get a month or two down the road and forget why you were even going. You need to constantly remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing. This goes back to your reason and visualizing what it will be like when you reach your goal. The more you think about it, the more real it gets. Keep your goals written down in a place that you will see everyday. You could even set a reminder on your phone to remind you everyday! Do whatever it takes to reach your goals and see your dreams come true. It’s worth it.
Keep believing your the champion and stay motivated!