With the new year just around the corner many people will be making resolutions. A new year and a fresh start: Isn't it a beautiful thing? I don't know this for sure, but it seems that making resolutions to lose weight and/or get in better shape are the most popular among Americans. I'm only making this guess based upon the sharp and sudden increase of sweaty bodies vying for the treadmills and ellipticals at my local gym around January 1. Now, I'm no expert, but I've noticed that the hoards of eager, flabby bodies tend to thin out (and by "thin" I mean dissipate... not lose weight!) after a few weeks. What happened to the determination? Where is the enthusiasm they felt as the new year began?
I know some of you who visit Marathon Mommies have no problem sticking to your resolve to get out and run and stay in shape. Maybe you're one of these people, but maybe you aren't. Maybe you know someone who wants to make a New Year's Resolution to stick to an exercise routine and make it a habit in their life throughout the year. Of course there are plenty of options besides running to lose weight or get in shape, but here at Marathon Mommies we're a little biased. I can just hear you thinking: "What? There are other ways to exercise besides running?!" Not that I would know personally, but that's what I have heard. I have some advice for you New-Years-Resolution-makers out there. I'm going to stick with what I know and focus on running as the exercise of choice.
1. Set a date for a race or fun run. Register for it now. Look for a race at www.racecenter.com or Google races in your area. Spend the money now to race in a few months and you'll be sure to stick to your goal!
2. Don't set unrealistic expectations. Start small. Build from there. If you are new to running, don't set a goal to go out and run 3 miles on January 1! Set a goal to jog for 1 minute and walk for 3. Increase your minutes running and decrease your minutes walking as the days and weeks pass.
3. Be accountable to someone - a real person - not just a piece of paper or a blog. :) Tell someone you can trust about your goal and encourage them to ask you about your goal frequently.
4. Run with someone! For me this is absolutely the most important thing to assure my success. If you know someone is waiting for you at a designated time and place, you won't want to let them down.
5. Set a time to run - preferrably in the early morning. If you keep telling yourself throughout your day that you'll do it later it will be a negative weight on your mind and not a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment like it would be if you had done it first thing in the morning.
6. Lay out your clothes the night before. I know this may seem silly, but this eliminates the best excuse you can come up with in your sleep-induced stupor in the early morning hours: "I don't even know where my shoes are!"
7. Pick a training schedule so you know exactly what you will be doing each day ahead of time. Hal Higdon is a well-known, knowledgeable and respected coach who has made many of his training programs available online for free. Check them out - I'm sure you'll find one that is just right for you.
8. Pick a route ahead of time. Whether you like to run the same route everyday or mix it up, there is a better chance that you'll stick to your goal if you know where you will be running ahead of time. Don't know where to run? Try a site like mapmyrun.com to see where other runners in your area like to run.
9. Give yourself a day off every week. Fatigue is a sure-fire way to give up on a resolution to run!
10. Don't beat yourself up for missing a day. Life happens and sometimes that means you'll miss a run here or there. Don't give up on yourself or your goals just because you aren't perfect! If you were perfect you wouldn't need to make resolutions in the first place!
Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone else find success in their running goals. Email a link to this post to anyone you think would benefit from this advice. Come back to Marathon Mommies often and let us know how you are fairing. We are here to cheer for you and give you the help, advice and encouragement we all need. I hope these pointers will help you or someone you know be successful in setting a New Years Resolution this year.
Comment here to let us know what YOUR New Years Running Resolution will be! Join our New Years Resolution Running Contest starting January 1st here at Marathon Mommies. Stay tuned for details.