During the past week, I have had time to reflect on my past year – the good and the bad – and think about running goals for the spring of 2016. I am not setting a resolution as I have never been a big fan of them. But chasing a dream, setting a goal to achieve it, and becoming better for it: I am all about that.
But, like many others, I go through periods when sticking with those goals is tough. Family life can take over; work might get busy; I might be side-lined with illness or some type of ache/pain. So I have a couple of tricks to help myself stay motivated and work towards becoming better.
a. Make a Commitment to Others: For almost a year, I needed two of my training partners – Kelly-Lynne and Monica – to lure me to the Yoga Studio. Don’t get me wrong; I like yoga, but I don’t love it. I do it because it is good for me. Between the three of us, the texts would fly during the week to figure out who could go to Friday night’s class and who couldn’t, who had to work late and who didn’t. Nine times out of ten, if neither of them could make it, I would find something else to do. But the more I went with one or both of the girls, the more comfortable I became to the point where I now make the effort to go to yoga on my own. And, by the way, my fitness goal for the winter is to strengthen my core so I will definitely be frequenting more often.
b. Put Your Goal in Writing: This works for me and the more people who see it, the better off I am. Write your goal down and post it in a spot where you will see it again and again: on the fridge door, on the bathroom mirror, at the top of your desk at work. The more you see your goal, the more likely it will become a part of you.
c. Register for a Race: If you are a runner and want to run a 10K in the spring, find one now and register for it. By doing that, you have made a formal commitment to yourself and you have put it in writing. My husband talked about running at The Eggnog Jog when I race many, many times until I finally asked him, “Do you want me to register you for it?” Once I did, the talk stopped and the training started. Registering gave him the little bit of motivation that he needed to start running again.
d. Involve Your Family: I cannot stress how important this is – especially if you have young children. When my boys were little, planning the week on Sunday nights also meant writing out the days that I would run and the type of workout that I planned. Then, when I got home from work, they already knew whether or not I was going for a run. That reduced the meltdowns at home and it led to my sons’ encouragement and support in my own fitness goals.
e. Join a Club or a Group: This ties in with making a commitment to a training partner. The advantage of running or working out with a club or a group is that it will always be there and ready for you – even if your friends can’t – and you are likely to make some new friends with the same goals as you. I love training with Lions Valley Athletics. Even though I am the slow one in the group, I am always supported and encouraged by the others in the group, and I have made some great friends. This is a few of us at a training run back in August. And, in case you are wondering, I made some great friends – including my yoga buddies above – through my former club, Toronto Olympic Club, and through Lions Valley Athletics.
As I mentioned above, my goal for 2016 is to build a stronger core. Rather than focussing on it once or twice a week, I am changing my game plan: 20 in 16. In other words, I am going to do 20 minute core workouts over 16 days in the month. I have started a Facebook group – 20 for 16 – which people can join, set their own goal (e.g. 20 minutes of cardio, abs, strengthening, walking….), and we can all support each other on FB or Instagram. You can check out more details on Cynsspace . If you want in, leave a comment below.
Being better than you used to be: that is what resolutions are really about.