It was a rainy Sunday on 31 December 2017. It was the perfect weather to stay at home waiting for the new year to come. One day before, my husband and I have made the decision to run together on this day. Due to the bad weather, we ditched our plan to run at the park and made our way to the gym instead.

The gym was surprisingly crowded. At the guest’s corner, a lot of people were either talking to the gym’s staffs, filling up some forms or simply chatting. Glimmers of hope were painted on their face. At the workout sections, gym instructors were giving lessons and feedbacks, gym goers were panting and sweating.

We got on treadmill machines that are facing the window, chose our preferred running programme and started running at our own pace, in silence. At the end of the run, I was dripping with sweat, satisfaction, happiness and hope. And here are the reasons why.

The burden of the year is lifted off my shoulders

For me, running on New Year’s Eve was different from any typical day’s run because, on this very last day of the year, there were no pushing myself to accomplish my resolutions, no anxious thoughts about this week’s deadline, no target pace to meet. It’s the year end and there isn’t enough time to achieve any unmet goals anyway, so I didn’t have even the slightest worry.

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For once, running felt liberating for my body and soul.

I feel grateful for what I’ve achieved in 2017

During the treadmill session, I looked back to 2017 with a huge sense of gratitude. I felt grateful for having achieved PB in full marathon and half marathon, having an injury-free year, meeting and making new friends through running, as well as joining tons of awesome races locally and internationally.

Some of the things I achieved this year were intentional, but many weren’t. Regardless, it has been a great year in terms of fitness for me.

I envision my dreams for 2018

Running with a clear mind on New Year’s Eve helped me to envision my hopes and dreams for 2018 with gusto. I pictured myself completing a full marathon by the end of the year with a timing of 4 hours and 45 minutes, a 28-minute improvement from my overseas PB and 63-minute improvement from my local PB.

By the time I arrived home from the gym, I found myself scribbling down my goals and quarterly training plans on my new paper planner.

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Come 1 January 2018, I wasn’t scrambling to make new year’s resolutions. Instead, I felt ready to take on new challenges. I knew what my goals are and how I will achieve it.

On next year’s New Year’s Eve

Seeing how running on New Year’s Eve brought renewed enthusiasm to my life, I will continue the tradition of running on the last day of the year. On 31 December 2018, I hope I will look back at 2018 with a sense of accomplishment and gratitude.

Do you prefer to set goals before or after the new year starts? Why?

Eva Natalia

Eva is a casual runner who has been hooked on marathons since her first race in 2011. She’s content to spend her weekends only on running. She is also a hiking enthusiast and traveling addict. When she’s not doing outdoor activities, she indulges in reading.

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