I always create new years resolutions for myself. They range from health, wellness, travel, financial, and professional goals. They all depend on what I hope to accomplish that year, and beyond. Now, do I always accomplish them all? Truthfully, no. It took me many years to realize that the reason I could not reach them was because, I was creating some unrealistic goals for my caliber of resources.
Before I begin, I want to state that you should always reach for your goals and dreams, but be practical and honest with yourself. That my friend, was my issue. For example, having a goal to get my passport stamped once a year: practical. Winning a marathon race, when you haven’t run a marathon before: impractical. I am not saying it’s impossible, but better to start with something more realistic.
I believe New Years resolutions are important, so I’m going to share some of mine, and offer tips to ensure that you reach your resolution goals.
Why is it important to have New Years Resolutions:
- To organize your thoughts, goals, and roles: We constantly neglect our wants, needs, and health. By taking some time to write these down, you have a place that you can go to remind yourself why.
- Hold yourself accountable: Even as adults, we are disorganized! Aside from battling through life, we also have personal battles with ourselves. We can either be our harshest critic, or our biggest supporter. We have the choice to do that, and we can do that by having these resolutions and holding ourselves to them.
- Live with purpose!: Rather than just going through the motions, life is more fulfilling when we live with purpose and intention. What is life, if we aren’t trying to be our best self and reach our fullest potential?!
Some of my New Years Resolution:
- Run a mile without stopping, under 7 minutes. Currently my fastest mile has been 8:25. Given my history of tearing my ACL three times, I have struggled in speed. However, I am determined, I am strong, and above all: I am capable.
- Run in at least 5 races this year. They must be longer than a 15k, and I want to run them all with an average below 10 minute a mile. This includes marathons as well!
- Eat a highly focused plant-based diet. That is not to say I won’t be eating meat or dairy, but I want more than half of my daily intake will be from fruits and vegetables only. I will be fueled by healthy nutrition, and not processed junk food.
Tips to ensure you reach your goals:
To be successful, we have to set ourselves up to succeed. As the saying goes: “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. In order for us to ensure we hit our goals we need a plan with milestones! Let’s use one of my fitness goals for example.
Run at least 5 races this year that are longer than a 15k (9.6 miles), and run them all below a 10 minute mile average.
I know my body is capable. I fell in love with running and use it to not only stay healthy and fit; it also gives me important time to myself.
- Register: These races cost money to participate in, so I will be budgeting accordingly, even if it means skipping that meal out or movies. These races are my priority. Registering also sets up timelines for my goals.
- Set up a goal cadence: I have a goal to run 15 miles a week. That averages out to about 2 miles a day, or if I don’t run everyday, I try to do at least a 5K (3.1 miles). Every two weeks, I time my speed to shave time off my mile. Every month, I plan to do a longer run of at least 15K, at my race pace for that time period.
- Accountability: I let my friends, family and online community know what my goals are and how I’m working toward them. This keeps me accountable, but also motivated when people are encouraging and joining in.
It sounds like a lot of work, but I think this method puts goal setting into perspective. I remember myself 3.5 years ago when I first decided to run my first marathon. I was so lost, I had no idea how to start, what to do, and I almost gave up. In 2017, I made a New Years Resolution and I wanted to stick to it. I knew I was capable and by having this goal, I had something to look forward to everyday.
We need milestones and encouragement reminders. Please reach for the stars and dream big. You are more capable than you think. Be honest and truthful with yourself, and set yourself up for success.