Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: Running

3 Steps to get Motivated

Motivation is something you doI didn’t want to run. Not a single bone in my body felt like venturing out into the dark cold winters morning to exercise.

Luckily, I have some well-rehearsed steps to get me motivated:

  • Get what I need | I get dressed and lace up my running shoes.
  • Step Out | I step out the door.
  • Take Steps | I take steps in the right direction and repeat.
  • Finish | And eventually and after a few thousand steps I finish! And the soak, not in sweat, but in the sweet high of endorphins that comes from finishing.

Clearly, this is not really a post about running.

It’s about motivation.

It’s about that task or project you have been putting off.

Often the times we least feel like it, are the very times that we need create motivation.

Get what you need.

Step out.

And take the first small slow step.

Motivation is not something you have, or feel.

Motivation is something you create.

Motivation is something you do.

Every Single Day

The secret to daily exerciseI’m not sure what caused the epiphany. Maybe it was the brief moment I had sitting in crisp fresh air marveling at the lake and mountains nestled in the Swiss Alps. Perhaps it was processing time from long hours of driving. Or something I was reading, I cannot recall.

But on that day, I knew that I was making a decision that would impact the rest of my life.

So I started.

And I’ve done it every day since.

That was 1301 days ago.

Back in October 2013, I decided to exercise everyday for the rest of my life. Which I am aware sounds way more amazing than it actually is.

So here are my two secrets:

First, because I love freedom, I have a very loose definition of exercise. Exercise for me can be the hard, less fun, stuff like running 10km, or going to the gym. Exercise is also going for a walk with my wife, having a walking meeting with a co-worker, or playing basketball with my son. And on the bad days when time is short or I’ve been sick, exercise might be something as simple as some press ups.

To exercise means “activity carried out to improve your health”.

That’s pretty loose.

So why over complicate it?

My second secret. Doing it every single day. (The only leave pass I will give myself is being in a coma.)

Doing anything daily sounds exhausting, but I actually find it rewarding (particularly given the low expectations I have). Once the habit is established, it is significantly easier than trying to remember to do something X times a week.

And I enjoy it.

So what could you do, every single day?

If you made the rules loose enough?

I’m not disciplined. My life experiences and various psych tests prove that.

I also take a photo everyday. When I did the photo of the day, the first time for a year I found it exhausting because I had a bunch of rules. When I started again on my birthday back in 2013, I decided I had no rules. Just take or get a picture.


I’m not disciplined, but doing 1 thing, intentionally, everyday.

Proves to me, that I can be.

And it could prove it to you to.

Does fear steal freedom?

Fear takes freedomLast week I was out running with Jay tagging along on his bike. As I ran, a seagull became increasingly disturbed with my presence and finally started dive bombing me. We sought shelter under some trees and, once the bird was over it, we carried on.

It is fair to say Jay was freaked out by the bird. He was afraid or fearful.

Like all fear if it was left unchecked, it would steal his freedom. If he allowed himself to become afraid of all seagulls or even all birds then he could avoid beaches or places where there are a lot of birds. When that happens freedom is lost.

Ultimately that’s what Terrorism does. Makes us fear and give away freedom by avoiding travel or amazing experiences.

So does a fear of failure.

Or a fear of meeting new people.

Or even a fear of asking ‘dumb’ questions.

Fear is the opposite of freedom.

Next time your stomach churns a little, your heart races and fear starts to set in. Stop and check that fear … is it something you should really be afraid of?

Or is it a call to step out.

To be bold.

Is it a call to freedom?

What being encouraged by a complete stranger taught me…

Hi Five for EncourageI was fading. The motivation to finish strongly had all but gone. My pace had already faded from run to jog, and I was on the verge of walking home.

At just the right moment I saw a middle-age Māori guy waiting for his bus. As I jogged toward him, we lift our heads to acknowledge each other, as guys do. As I continued to labour toward him something profoundly unexpected happened.

He held out his hand for a high-five.

I took it.


And my jogging turned back into a run.

And I ran all the way to my finish point.

And all it took was a little bit of encouragement from a complete stranger.

I pondered encouragement as I ran home.

Encouragement can be as easy as a high-five.

Encouragement can motivate people to go the distance.

Encouragement always builds courage.

So go on, right now, encourage someone! Send them a message. Or a text. Or just walk down the hall and give them a high-five.

3 steps required to become fit and healthy.

JohnsonvilleI was running around the hills of Johnsonville recently, which if you come from a relatively flat Hamilton, can be very taxing. As I ran and navigated the streets that I used to live on, I thought about how I’ve run more in Wellington, since I’ve left Wellington, than when I actually lived there.

When I was in Wellington, I was eating crappy food, not exercising, and really putting on weight.

At the time I thought I was busy, but I was not as busy as what I am now.

At the time I was in my 20’s and thought I was bullet proof, despite the fact that I’d been given high cholesterol warnings from the doctor, and people commented on my putting on weight.

I would like to say that I took those as a warning and started to improve my health, but it’s sad to say that my health got significantly unhealthier and it would be over ten years before I made the change.

As I ran the streets that morning I realised that it would have been good to get healthier earlier. I thought about how much exercise and eating right helps me. It gives me better mental energy, less stress, better health, better fitness, and a better life in general.

I regretted the fact that I hadn’t got healthier earlier, that I hadn’t run the streets of Wellington when I was young and actually lived here.

I think there might be some strange link between exercise and energy. Shock horror!

Every time I stop exercising or eating well for a season I quickly get stressed, put on weight and feel tired.

At those times I know there are three steps I must take:

  1. Resolve | If I don’t decide to do something, nothing will happen. I need to give myself the proverbial kick up the butt and get moving. Without resolve I rarely make it.
  2. Equip | I make sure I have the tools to build a routine and pattern. Maybe it’s apps like Lift.do, ShapeUp or a gym membership, or a friend to spur me on.
  3. Start | I generally start small and try to do something every day. Just create the habit and then let the habit move me forward.

If you are in that space… you should do something.