How is your New Year’s resolution to “run more” going? We are at a place in the year where the majority of goals die. But you’re not a statistic. You’ve got this!
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve already hit a roadblock. Instead, take the opportunity to assess why you may be struggling and readjust as necessary.
If something is standing in your way, the answer may be to find another way.
You can do this. Minor setbacks are simply that, just setbacks. You can always push forward towards improvement. Make your goals smarter, plan the rewards, celebrate the victories, stay motivated, expect the unexpected, and run more.
If your goal for 2019 was to run more, one way to up the game is to reword and rework your goal.
Define what it means to run more. This goal could be defined as running once a week, running long distances, joining a marathon for the first time, or doing multiple races throughout the year. Simply saying, “I am going to run more in 2019,” is not enough. The goal needs to be specific. It needs definition and mini-goals so you can track and celebrate your achievements.
So how do you define your run goals? How do you take your desire to run more and turn it into an achievement?
Grab a fresh notebook and let’s begin.
Don’t Run More, Run SMART
Have you ever heard of a SMART goal? This is a process where you take a simple task you want to achieve, you map out the details of how to get there, and what it looks like once you arrive.
SMART stands for
Do you have that notebook? Open up to page one, let’s work through these steps together.
S - Specific
Begin by making your commitment to increase your running more specific. Instead of simply saying “run more,” write out what running more actually looks like.
Here are some examples:
- I am going to add another 5 minutes consistently to my regular run every other week.
- I am going to start running 4 days out of the week instead of 3 days.
- I am going to train for my first marathon in November 2019.
Write your specific goals down and then move to the next step.
M - Measurable
A great way to measure your goals is to keep a running log. Using your same notebook, start recording your process. A running journal or log will help you monitor your goals. It also provides a means of monitoring any injuries. In addition to writing down the mileage, time, and frequency of your runs, be sure to make notes for any aches or pains that develop.
Your new running log will hold you accountable. Empty entries will help get you off the couch and back on the pavement. You log will point out your weaknesses and your strengths, in much the same way that a diet journal does.
However, before you can nail down what it looks like to run more in 2019, you need to know where you were at in 2018. Find your 2018 mileage, or your previous running frequency. Write it at the top of your 2019 running log. Right at the top, serving as a great motivator.
A - Achievable
Now that you know where you have been, it will be simpler to adjust your running goals to ones that are achievable and realistic.
Chance are you won’t go from a casual jogger to the Olympics, but we also aren’t telling you not to reach for the stars. Be realistic and prep yourself for success.
You are the best judge of your strengths and limitations. Be honest with yourself. Under your specific goal write out your 2019 achievable goal.
Your notebook should look something like this:
2018 mileage = 200 miles and/or I ran 30 minutes twice a week
I am going to run three times a week and increase my mileage.
In 2019 I will run 300 miles.
R - Relevant
The goal needs to be relevant to your life and location.
Take into account the weather. If you are an outdoor runner, what will a snowstorm or a heat wave do to your run?
Are you prone to injury? Do you know how to both prevent injury and take care of yourself when injuries sideline you? Do you know how to get back on track following setbacks?
Do you travel for work or take long shifts that interfere with a set running schedule?
Have a fluid plan that works regardless of the obstacles. Plan for the known and unknown.
T - Time-Based
Know when your goal is complete. Nail down the date.
If you are training for a specific marathon, the finish line of that marathon becomes the deadline. If your goal is simply for 2019, then December 31, 2019, is the day you will celebrate your achievement.
And you will celebrate!
Don’t just celebrate at the end though. Make smaller time-based goals within your larger one. Celebrate every achievement along the way. Reward yourself for jobs well done.
A year is a long time to reach a goal. By breaking it up into smaller sustainable goals and finding ways to motivate yourself along the way, the chances of success increase.
When you start seeing progress reward yourself. Pick out some new gear. Buy a motivational book on running. Go out with a friend to celebrate. Throw a small victory party with your kids. Announce the achievement on social media. Include others in your celebration. Whatever you do mark the occasion. This is big. You are getting there!
You’ve got this. You are already on the path to making 2019 amazing. End it better than you began!