So a new year is here, which means that almost every single one of us have set some kind of fitness related goal as our resolution (I’ll admit it, I have too!). Yeah right now committing to those 5AM alarms sounds easy, but how does it sound 6 months from now when you’re neck-deep in deadlines and the only running you’re doing is errands? Yeah, not so fun anymore, huh?
What if I told you that training doesn’t have to be a chore that leaves you feeling drained, and more importantly that goal you set for yourself in 2016 is actually achievable? Here’s a list of suggestions on how you can turn 2016 into the year that you actually completed your New Year’s resolution:
1) Come back to reality:
Start off by setting aside 30 – 40min and grabbing a cup of coffee before huddling down in a quiet space with a pen and paper. Now reflect back on your last year, focusing on both the positives and negatives that the year threw at you. Out of the entire year, write down your 5 most positive sporting moments and 5 moments/ areas of your life that you feel need improvement.
Now, answer the following questions on yourself:
- How do I feel about the past year (emotions/feelings)?
- Did I break any personal records this past year?
- Did I suffer any major injuries or illness this past year?
- Did I train as much as I wanted too?
- Was I consistent in my training year-round?
- How well did I adapt to life’s curveball’s?
- Did I listen to my body and respect what it demanded (rest, sleep, etc.)?
- Did I maintain a healthy, balanced diet all year-round?
- Did I give the other important things in my life (family, friends, work, etc.) the deserved attention?
2) Set new goals:
Now that you remember what 2015 was like, let’s flip the page over and turn our focus onto the new year!
Start out by writing down your long-term goal. Maybe it’s to run a marathon by the end of next year, or even run your first ever 5K for that matter – just make sure that there’s an exact date attached to that goal!
3) Be realistic:
Now that we know where you want to end up, let’s start working backwards and planning out how you’re going to get there. For example, if you planning on running a sub-45 10 kay before the end of November, you should be able to run at least a sub-55 10 kay come June. With that in mind, set yourself some mini progress goals along the way, like completing a 5K in a sub-25 in 2 months’ time.
4) Schedule it:
Act like a professional athlete and schedule your training sessions into your diary as you would with an important meeting. This helps to hold you responsible to your new goal even when things get hectic.
5) Make a routine of it:
Now that it’s scheduled, stick to it! If it means waking-up 30 minutes earlier each day to squeeze a training session in before work, then do it! Agreed, it’ll suck in the begining, but remember it takes just 23 days to form a habit, after that it you’ll feel even worse for hitting the snooze button!
6) Face it:
Write yourself a reminder that’ll stare you in the face every morning. For this one, I personally like to use a white board marker and write my long-term goal on the mirror (I know this one sounds a little cheesy, but believe me it works!).
7) Go viral:
Be that person that all your friends are jealous of! There’s nothing more satisfying then having someone compliment you on your achievements without you saying a word about it. Use app’s like Strava or Nike+ Running to do some silent bragging by sharing stats and photos from your run’s on Facebook or Instagram – you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll grow a community of support!
8) Have fun with it:
This has to be the most important part of it all, and if you’re not having fun with it then you’re definitely doing something wrong! Running should never be a painful, unpleasant struggle, and if it is then I suggest you go back to the drawing board because something is lacking in your program. Your life should never have to go on hold in order for you to complete a new goal. Rather accept that as the year pans out, things change. So have a chat to your coach and figure out how many sessions you can realistically commit to getting done in a week and work around that. A good coach should be able to adapt your program into making your sessions more intensely focused on the “really important” stuff, leaving the “not so important” stuff as flexible sessions that can be squeezed into days that have more free time than others.
So there it is, your guide to actually sticking to your new year’s resolution! Now let’s hear it, what are your goals for 2016?