January 4, 2014
My Marathon Resolution
With the New Year beginning, we have all heard about New Year’s Resolutions. Among one of the most popular resolutions is, of course, to lose weight or get into shape. This is among one of my goals for 2014 as well, however, I have a more specific goal in mind. One of the main reasons that keeping a resolution like this will fail is that it is not something that is attainable. “Losing weight” or “getting into shape” or “eating healthy” is very vague, and it is the lack of specificity that causes us to fail.
So this year my resolution is more specific: Complete a half-marathon. I am going to sign up to run the Bear-a-thon, which happens at the end of March. This is a goal that is defined and therefore more achievable. It is more than trying to reach a number on the scale or a specific body mass index. Not only is it more specific, but completing this goal will inevitably lead to the other vague goals being achieved. I will lose weight (or gain the good kind) from running regularly. I will be forced to eat healthy so that my body can sustain the physical activity. I will be more “in shape” with a better cardiovascular health and more confident in myself after completing such a goal.
I believe that this is a great strategy to help anyone complete those health goals. Depending on your level you could do a half-marathon like me, a 10K or even a 5K. Also, basically every race has different levels from runners and joggers to walkers.
Last year one of my friend’s grandmothers (in her late 60s) completed the Crescent City Classic (10K) in New Orleans by walking. So no matter your level this is definitely an option. Running and walking are a great form of exercise that targets all areas of the body. Everyone could benefit from getting off the couch and moving more. They say a body in motion stays in motion, so it is always a good idea to get some exercise.
Creating a specific goal is one of the better ways to ensure that you follow through with the resolutions that you are making, however, here are some other tips to help you out.
- Share your goals with others
- Make a plan
- Don’t obsess over slip-ups
- Reward yourself
Sharing your goals not only makes you more accountable to them because you told someone that you were going to do it, but it also may help you find a support system. Perhaps when you tell a friend that you want to do a race in your area, they will want to do it with you, or they will just be there to support you when you are struggling and remind you of why you wanted to do this in the first place.
Having a plan of action is very important. You wouldn’t travel across the country without a map. Likewise, you shouldn’t blindly attempt to make a change in your life. If you want to run a race like me then I have found a lot of good resources about training schedules and advice on the internet. Below I have attached one of my favorite training schedules for a half-marathon.
We are all human, and therefore, we all make mistakes. If life gets in the way of you enacting your plan one week, then stay positive. Get back on your horse and continue on. If necessary you can alter your plan to get back on track. There is no shame in taking longer to complete your goals, but giving up should not be an option.
Finally, everyone deserves a little reward for their achievement. If you achieve a fitness goal like mine, then you get reward from completing that goal. Perhaps you have lost a lot of weight in the process of reaching your New Year’s Resolution, but now you can go out and get some new clothes too to dress the new and improved you!
Image Credit: Thinkstock