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4 ways to succeed at your fitness resolutions

Posted on Jan. 3, 2018 ( comments)

The New Year. A fresh start.

What are your resolutions for 2018? If you’re like many, one of them is likely around health and fitness. This is the year you’ll get fit.

But how can you set yourself up to actually succeed this year?

1. Think positive

First, it’s important to frame your motivation. You can either set goals motivated by positive outcomes — or motivated by avoiding negative outcomes.

A goal motivated by fear is likely to fail. These goals are called “avoidance goals” and include losing weight, avoiding heart disease and so on. They start in the negative. That kind of motivation is proven to lead to procrastination, lower satisfaction and even reduced self-esteem.

On the other hand, positive motivation such as training to complete a 5k or being active daily lead to higher success rates, satisfaction and self-esteem. Basically you’ll succeed and you’ll feel better about your success.

2. Be specific

With your outlook and motivation firmly positive, it’s time to really make your goal. You might be thinking, but I already did — it’s to “get fit,” “exercise more,” or “start running.”

But to give yourself the best chance to succeed, you need to get more specific. Instead of “start running,” write down a specific goal such as “complete a 12k” and give it a deadline. (Nudge, nudge: Sound to Narrows is June 9 and offers both 5k and 12k race distances.)

Register for Sound to Narrows

3. Support your goal

Now you have a specific goal with a deadline and positive motivation. But it’s not a one-giant-step process. Time to line up your supporting goals.

In order to complete a 12k in June, maybe you start with a couch to 5k program in January, increase to running 30 minutes four times a week in February, 30–60 minutes five times a week in March and so on. Rough out the full plan and adapt as needed.

Also be sure to set up a few road races on your schedule between now and your big goal race. Register for them and pay ahead of time to keep yourself accountable. Even better, register with a friend — double accountability and bonus possible training partner.

4. Keep going

Your motivation is positive, the goal is set, the plan is in place … go! Right?

One last “but”: How will you make sure you actually follow through? How do you keep yourself excited and accountable day after day?

Physically record and publicly disclose. Find what works for you (training journal, calendar by the door, Google Doc), and then write the weekly plan and fill out what you do each day.

Review weekly to see where you did great and where you can improve, assess roadblocks and make a plan around them, then plan the next week. Planning is key. No one finds time — you make time. Rinse and repeat.

Publicly disclosing your goals can be as public as you want, but whether it’s shouting from your Instagram account or telling your family in person, it should give you a sense of accountability and motivation. Not only will put you on the hook to do what you said you would, but most likely you’ll find you have a network of cheerleaders who will push you on days you feel unmotivated. Maybe you’ll even motivate a few of your peers to join in.

Let’s make 2018 the year we beat that lousy 8 percent resolution success rate together! This really is the year you get fit … for life.

Registration for Sound to Narrows now open

Sound to Narrows is June 9. That’s 5 months, or 22 weeks, from now.  Registration is open.

Training plans begin at nine weeks out, and there are great running groups to join. South Sound Running meets every Monday and Wednesday at 6pm at their Ruston location. Three- and 6-mile loops at all paces are available.

Use promo code S2NRESOLUTIONS for $5 off registration through Jan. 10.

Register for Sound to Narrows

About The Author

Sarah Robinson Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson is a runner, mom, brand storyteller and writer living and training in Tacoma. She has been running and racing for over 20 years and was a 2016 Olympic Trials qualifier in the marathon with a PR of 2:42:36. She has raced and won Sound to Narrows once, and remembers it as one of the toughest (and most fun) courses she’s raced.

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