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How to Set and Achieve Your New Year’s Running Resolutions

by On Jan 2, 2018

A goal is a dream with a deadline.

How to Set and Achieve Your New Year’s Running Resolutions

December and January are the months where most people make new year’s resolutions. The new year is seen as the fresh start of a new life and the time to make big changes. However, as soon as the festivities and celebrations are over, new year’s resolutions are slowly disappearing from our mind.

Here’s the sad truth: only less than 15% people who make resolutions will achieve what they set out to do. Why do many people not stick to it until the end of the year? These are the possible reasons:

  • Your goals are not specific and measurable.
  • Your resolutions are not based on what you really want. Rather, they are based on what the society deems as desirable.
  • You rely too much on willpower instead of creating new habits.
  • You have no social support that will hold you accountable.
  • You’re not excited enough about your goals. They’re boring and you see them as horrible chores every single day.

So, how to set goals that are true to your heart? And how to be disciplined in pursuing them?

How to Set and Achieve Your New Year’s Running Resolutions

Photo Credit: 123RF

Step 1: Set Your Running or Fitness Resolutions

Choose only goals that have special meaning to you. They are your dreams that keep you awake at night and they’re not based on other people’s expectations. Your goals should provide you with excitement that will push you past any tribulations. If you’re a new runner, setting a goal to complete a half marathon by the end of the year might be more exciting than a goal to run three times a week.

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Your goals need to be specific and measurable. Avoid vague goals, such as: lose weight, improve health, keep fit, exercise more, be stronger, run faster, run a Personal Best (PB), run more often, etc. For example, run half marathon in 2 hours by June is a better goal than simply run a PB.

Once you have decided on your goals, write them down. Lastly, imagine how you will feel when you achieve those goals. Picture yourself having achieved these goals. The more vivid your imagination is, the more likely you will complete these goals.

How to Set and Achieve Your New Year’s Running Resolutions

Photo Credit: 123RF

Step 2: Develop Quarterly Training Plans

Once you have set your goals, it’s time to develop actionable plans. Too often, we skip this important step and rely on our willpower to get us moving. Actually, by doing detailed plans, you save the energy of deciding what to do on each day. Making decisions after a long day at work often tires your brain.

Without concrete plans, we tend to overestimate the amount of time we have; thus, we give ourselves too much slack in the beginning and squeeze too many workouts near the goal’s deadline. By writing down your daily plans for the upcoming quarter, you’ll feel at ease knowing that you’re progressing towards your goals.

It is recommended to write plans for 3 months at a time because things change. Probably you’ll find new training methods that you like, or you have work commitments that require you to change your workout schedule.

Step 3: Record and Monitor

At the end of each workout, spend several minutes to record them. Tick or cross off the workout from your planner or calendar. Write down how well you performed, what went well, what went wrong.

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Consider posting your workouts on social media and tag #RunSociety to keep yourself accountable. The cheers and support from your friends, family or the running community might help propel you to your goals.

How to Set and Achieve Your New Year’s Running Resolutions

Photo Credit: 123RF

Step 4: Conduct Bi-Weekly Reviews

At the end of every two weeks, take a moment to review your plans and progress. Did you complete all the tasks that you have planned? If yes, congratulations. If no, analyse what made you unable to complete them and make the necessary changes to your remaining plans for the quarter.

Step 5: Repeat Step 2 to 5

At the end of the 3 months, it’s time to develop new quarterly plans that will bring you closer to the goals that you have set in Step 1. Repeat step 2 to 5 for the upcoming quarter.

What do you think we can do to increase the likelihood of achieving new year’s resolutions?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of RunSociety.

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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