With the New Year upon us, your peers and countless websites are undoubtedly urging you to make resolutions to be a newer and better you. While I think this annual exercise can be a useful one, the changes we pick almost never turn out to work the way we planned—sometimes this is good, sometimes it isn’t.
In this article, my aim is to give you some food for thought that can help you make the most of your critical few resolutions. Here are my top four tips to master the annual resolution process:
More: Turning Resolutions Into Reality
You Are Already Awesome
No, seriously. You are. As a runner you have connected your passion for something and turned it into a physical habit that is good for you. It doesn’t matter if you run to win or run for fun, if you run every day or just a few times a week. Whatever “regular” means for your routine, you have it down.
This simple act places you in—no joke—a ridiculously small percentage of Americans who exercise regularly. And by small, I mean one percent.
When’s the last time you were in the top one percent of something? Think about it.
Of course you have some work to do. Change is hard. New habits don’t just stick. Yes, you will stumble more than once with your goals. But before we start with this year, I wanted to let you know just how far you’ve already come. Nice work!
More: 3 Ways to Stick to Your Running Resolution
All Big Changes Start Small
It’s tempting to pick something pretty epic as a goal: Lose 50 pounds. Travel to Nepal. Learn a foreign language. These are all suitably big as to seem cool and motivating. The issue is that some things are so big — and out of the ordinary — as to defy success from where you stand right now.
Instead of losing 50 pounds; try losing 5. Instead of traveling to Nepal; try determining where you want to go there (read) and how much it will cost (a budget). Instead of learning a foreign language; try to replace your most common daily phrases and/or words with their foreign alternatives (hello, how are you, what’s going on, can you please help me, I don’t know how to, etc.).
Instead of just thinking big, take it one step further and break it down into some very basic goals. The idea here is to create some basic and fundamental momentum, the power of which will help drive you more deeply toward achieving the overall target you set. You’ll be amazed at how powerful this can be.
More: Defining Your Running Goal