Picking Up Trash And Other Ways To Stay Motivated

by Johnny Bravo · 7 comments

Picking Up Trash And Other Ways To Stay Motivated

One of my 2014 goals is to run more consistently this year. I love running and believe it is a great way to stay healthy.

On most of my runs and depending on my mood I’ll listen to either music or podcasts. This is to keep me pumped up and quite honestly, distracted.

Running is not always easy to do. It hurts, I get bored, and I get distracted.

I took a few weeks off when my son was born simply because we were are still adjusting to life and sleeping with a newborn in the house. Suffice to say being tired, and not keeping up my pace has made running a little more physically straining then the norm.

I’ll adjust, I’m not worried about that, but even then I know there will be times when I just don’t want to push that extra mile, or go up that last hill. I might rationalize reasons why I don’t need too or I may simply give up. I’m only human.

But today I started thinking about the various ways I stay motivated to finish my goal for the run. And as I thought about it I realized that many of these motivation techniques work with pretty much any part of life.

Below I’ve listed three things I do to stay motivated during my runs and how you can uses these to stay motivated in anything you do.

Start With A Goal

As the saying goes, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time”.

The first thing I do before starting anything I think will be the least bit challenging is I set a goal.

I’m going to run 4 miles.

I’m going to make 20 cold calls.

I’m going to spend less than $100 at the grocery store.

What ever the task, set an appropriate and realistic goal for completing it. This will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and will force you to work just that much more in order to reach it.

At work break your daily grind into separate parts or projects and set individual goals to meet them.

Do Something Out Of The Ordinary

During my run today I came to a street intersection that allowed me to make a choice. I could continue on my current path and head home or I could turn and take a round about way home.

I was waiting for the light and noticed there was a McDonalds cup on the ground. Besides my disgust with the person who littered after enjoying their tasty meal I used that as an opportunity for motivation.

On the path that would add a little more time to my run I could see a trash can that looked like the perfect home for my new friend the McDonalds cup. So I made the choice. I was going to make myself better by running a little longer and try to make the world a better place at the same time by throwing the cup away.

Mission success.

Your job does not have to be defined solely on what the job description says. You are allowed to branch out and try new things to help your company and build your skills.

Novelty is a great way to build motivation. If you see a project that the marketing team is working on that you think is really cool, offer assistance. They’ll get an outside perspective and you’ll get a fun pet project to work on. this will help to review your vigor.

Think About How Good You Have It

Because my son was born with a disformed arm, many physical activities I do make me think “how would he do it“. I know he won’t have a problem doing most things, he wont know any different.

But I still think about this often. For example when I do push ups I think about him and the example I have to set. It will be very easy for him to use an excuse to not do push ups. That is not the son I want to raise.

So for me a great motivating thought is that I have two perfectly good arms. I am blessed to be able to do push ups with both arms.

During my run I saw a guy across the street running. We were going in the same direction but on opposite sides of the street. I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I didn’t notice at first that he had a prosthetic leg.

As soon as I realized that I was like “holy crap, here I am trying not to stroke out and here’s this guy giving me a run for my money with one normal leg and one not so normal”.

By the way it looks super cool. That guy was a baller and I am truly humbled by the fact that I had to up the pace to keep up with him. There is no way my son is going to think he can’t do something because of his arm.

Motivation Is Internal

For those days that seem to go on forever you need to look deep inside to stay motivated.

Maybe you can think about what your plans are later in the night. Maybe you have a date tonight once you finish this project. Maybe you have a warm bed waiting for you to crash when you get home. Or maybe your motivation is a fat sales commission when you land the sale you are preparing for.

Find your own motivation to push forward and do things you never thought possible.

~ Johnny Bravo
“Image courtesy of sakhorn38 /”.


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

maxwell ivey March 13, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hi Jonny; a wonderful post not only about motivation but about being a good father and example in general. I am the blind blogger of the bloggers helping bloggers group. and i am on a list for blind people to share thoughts about exercise. while I have lost over 250 pounds after having gastric surgery I don’t know that I will ever be a runner. However, when one of the members mentioned running a marathon i had to ask how. they said they have a running partner who wears something similar to a dog harness with two handles on it leading them as they run together. smile Your post brought this to mind. And it helps me to better accept the idea that what i am doing with th website blogging youtube videos etc is inspiring to others. Maybe you and the guy with the prosthesis should become running partners. One thing I can tell you about being blind is its always good to be asked if you want to come out and play. Thanks again for th post and take care, max


Meredith Wouters March 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I really like the analogy of the McDonald’s cup and your choice of which way to run. I think a lot of times when we’re unsure of what path to follow to make our own lives better, the decision becomes easy when we consider how to make others’ better. Along the way, we find that it was better for us as well. Your son is a lucky kid to have a dad who makes decisions like you.


Susan Cooper March 13, 2014 at 4:04 pm

Your right, goals regardless of what they are, do require internal motivation. Planning is all part of that. When you know your end game, it’s easy to figure out what kind of motivation is needed.

In your effort to make your goals a reality, as you mentioned, set a great example for your son. He will remember that, as he grows you will be there to show him the way. 🙂


Arleen March 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Staying motivated throughout the day keeps your mind and body working to its fullest. Many of us problems but it is how we deal with. There are always alternatives in life and business. My goal this year is start to get rid of excess stuff I have around the house. Boy has that been rewarding. I am starting to see my desk. The more I do the more motivated I get. The cleaning up is great on many levels. I feel I can do more.
We all are blessed in many ways and need to be happy with what we have. Being a devoted father is going to make lasting impression.


Jay March 14, 2014 at 6:51 am

Setting goals is one of my biggest problems. I never sit down and think about what I plan on doing for the day. I pretty much just know what needs to be done and then i do it. Yeah I may miss out on doing a few thing sometimes but for the most part i get the majority of it done everyday. I guess that I do set goals in my head but i just have a problem writing them down. Any way great post and very good advice.


Krisma R. M March 14, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Johnny, this is awesome. It’s hard to stay motivated when you can’t see tangible results right away. I agree that you need to look deep inside to stay motivated. You have to love what you’re doing and not rely on external forces to push you through. As an aspiring writer, I admit that ‘being read and applauded’ is very encouraging but what really keeps me motivated is my love for the craft.


Jason B March 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

I like setting goals. At the beginning of each year I set a few goals for every month. This year I’m 7 for 7. if I can keep this trend going 2014 will be the best year ever.


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