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#My1000Hours: Motivation is about purpose and process - it's not magic...Hours

Most people presume that all athletes are incredibly motivated and naturally resilient people who have a naturally high capacity to deal with challenge and adversity. It's easy to see how you may think that. But motivation and resilience is a human capacity that is possessed by every single human being. As a fundamental human capacity we all possess it, yes at varying levels, but just like all skills or capacities it has to be ignited, activated and can be developed and grown.

Why athletes can look so motivated and resilient is the simple fact that they have identified the thing that they are most passionate about, the thing that makes them feel fully human and fully alive. They have been brave enough, or crazy enough, to single this out and prioritise it above all other things.

Put simply, they filter out what is not important to them so they can now place all their energy and abilities into the things they love most. This is like shining a flashlight on an area that is dimly light; as soon as you harness and focus the full power of the light on that area it is immediately illuminated and brightened to reveal its full potential.

Defining your WHY

This is their WHY, it's their purpose. Once we have this, a clear picture of the things we value most we can stop putting our energy into things that don't really fulfil, excite or energise us and start to re-focus our energy, time and passion into a smaller number of key items that are really important to us, we can start to activate our passions, our motivations and our resilience.

Once you have the picture you can now start to look at the process or the HOW. With a clearly defined process and support in the right areas it now becomes about baby steps, it's about taking only the required steps each day and slowly and carefully building something small into something great.

With a lot of athletes I work with we use Mount Everest as a simple but effective goal-setting tool. It has a clearly defined target or summit; to get there we take it step by step or camp by camp. Each part of the journey allows us to develop new skills, capacities and levels of physical, emotional and mental wellness. We also see that there is more than one way to reach the top, it's not always straightforward and of course there are times when we will move very quickly and times our movement will be much more gentle, but all the time we are moving forward.

So the key is to define your mountain or your destination, don't put it off any longer, name your mountain then get on it and start having some fun as you make your way up.

Why take up the My1000hours challenge

Well it's not about the run first and foremost. It's about accepting the challenge to set a defined target, with a specific place and date and start and then to align your energy and time towards that single vision that involves a healthier, more confident, more resilient more fun you.

Maybe you will do it because you need to invest in your personal health and wellness to ensure that your children have a healthy and happy parent, or maybe you will take this opportunity to ensure you are there on the day your children get married.

Whatever your personal reasons, it's also about taking a medium such as running and using it as a way to demonstrate your journey over the next eight weeks where you will be taking clear and specific steps to start to understand your own self and your passions better; activate and enhance levels of motivation and energy; develop a healthier more focused you; and be part of a community of like-minded people who will share and take this incredible journey.

The 168 Project

So the last piece, 'Where the hell will I get the time to take this challenge?' Maybe the answer is time-management classes. But to be honest I never really liked that term.

To imply we can somehow manage time is a little untrue. There are 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week and we can't change that.

So maybe it's more about self-management. It's about being more careful and selected with where we invest our limited time into. It is also worth noting that there are always 168 hours in a week, every week.

It's a valuable exercise to plot out where you invest these hours. Of course we have the big ones, work, sleep, cooking etc. It doesn't take long to get a long way to the magic 168.

However if you do this exercise I bet there are at least 10 to 15 hours per week you can't account for.

Even if you are only to give this challenge 1pc of your time, that is approximately 15 minutes every day or 1 hour 45 minutes per week.

All you need to ask is if becoming a more confident, healthier, happier person is worth 1pc of your time and if you decide yes, then come on and let's get cracking!

The Irish Independent My1000Hours 5k/10k in association with Berocca will take place on Saturday March 7.

You can sign-up for the event at www.FITMagazine.ie/events.

For more information on the work of the My1000Hours team, follow them at @my1000hours or go to www.my1000hours.com.

Health & Living