With the new year upon us, it seems everyone is setting goals or New Year’s resolutions. How often do we start off the year with the best of the intentions only to let our goals slip away as the weeks go by?
When it comes to running goals, this time of year adds additional challenges with the cold weather and short days. While we may set ambitious running goals on January 1st, it’s easy to put them off when the conditions are less than ideal. Rather than lose momentum, try some of these tips to stay focused and achieve your running goals this year.
1. Start a Journal
This can be as simple has a notebook, or you can purchase a training journal, or even set up an electronic tracking system. Whatever will work for you. The idea is to have a place to write down your workouts and how you felt. Writing things down will help to keep you accountable and also allow you to look back on your progress.
2. Find what motivates you
I recently read this blog post about motivation. It talks about Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies related to personal motivation. This makes a lot of sense, as some people are motivated more by internal factors and others by external ones. You can take this quiz to see which category you fall into. Once you know how you are best motivated, then use that information to plan how you will reach your goals.
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3. Regular check-ins
A year is a really long time, so plan some times to check in on your goals. Maybe once a month, or at the end of each week, or even every day if that works for you. Look at what is going well or what is not working, and make adjustments accordingly.
4. Have a plan
How are you going to reach your running goals? A plan is key to making this happen. Try to break it down into small steps so you know exactly what you will need to do to reach your goal. Also, be willing to adjust your plan as needed throughout the year.
5. Reward yourself
Focus on any small accomplishments you make and reward yourself for them. For example, if your goal is to run 1,000 miles in 2018 then you can plan to treat yourself to a pedicure every 100 miles or a massage every 300 miles. If your goal is to set a marathon PR you can celebrate completing a month of your training plan by going out for drinks with running friends. Acknowledging these smaller accomplishments will help you to stay focused and feel like your hard work is paying off.
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Getting Organized to Achieve Your Goals
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What goals are you working towards in 2018?
What helps you to stay motivated?
What is your favorite way to reward yourself?