How to set fitness resolutions and stick to them
Posted by Tia Patel | 30-Dec-2020
I don't call them 'New Year's Resolutions'. I prefer the term casual obligations to myself that I am under not legal obligation to fulfill 🗓️🖊️
After a pretty tough year for all of us, we're looking forward to 2021 - a new year full of new opportunities. To prepare ourselves, we’ve got everything you need to know to make New Year’s resolutions for fitness fanatics, we’ll show you how you can set your personal goals for the year ahead, 21 running resolutions for 2021, to keep you motivated and what’s even better, we’re going to share our secrets on how to make a resolution that sticks. 😲
How to set fitness and running resolutions
Make your goals SMART:
Specific – Instead of picking a broad goal, such running faster, pick something you can really focus on, like I want to take two minutes off my 10k time.
Measurable – To make your goal measurable, work out how you’re going to track it. If your goal is to knock time off your 10k PB, keep a note of the pace of your runs so you can monitor your improvement.
Achievable – Be honest, your goal needs to be challenging but attainable. There’s no point setting the goal of running a three hour marathon in spring if it currently takes you five hours; this will only lead to disappointment in yourself and you will be less likely to achieve your resolution.
Relevant – Make your goal relevant to you to keep it interesting. Just because everyone else is running ultras doesn’t mean that has to be your goal. You might want to set a goal that’s unrelated to distance or pace, such as stretching after each run or lowering your resting heart rate instead.
Time based– Give yourself a deadline to meet your target. For example, you might want to PB at a certain race or be able to run 5km by a particular date. That sense of urgency can be motivating and you also have a time frame to plan your training within.
Sign a contract
Writing your running resolutions down and seeing them in black and white can be a good motivator. Perhaps stick them on your fridge or mirror so you get a daily reminder of what you’re working towards. Stickk.com works by asking users to define their goal (whatever it may be), acknowledge what it’ll take to accomplish it, and leverage the power of putting money on the line to turn that goal into a reality. Ultimately, you're signing a contract of accountability with yourself to help achieve your fitness goals, whatever that may be.
Share your goals
Sharing your goals with friends and family means you’re cementing your commitment, but pick who you tell wisely. If you’re part of a running group, create a shared New Year's resolutions for fitness fanatics. A study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found those who shared their goals with someone whose opinion they respected, such as a spouse, close friend or coach, were more likely to accomplish them than those who told their goals to someone they thought of as lower status. According to researchers, this is because you want the person you tell to view you positively for working towards your goal and sticking to your commitments.
21 running resolutions for 2021 to keep you motivated
- Run 2021km or 2021 miles in 2021
- Hit 20.21 miles once a month for 12 months
- Start a streak running 1 mile every day in 2021
- Shave 20.21 seconds off your pb (whether its a 5k or marathon)
- Lower your resting heart rate by summer
- Incorporate strength work twice a week
- Run somewhere you’ve never run before every month
- Join a running club
- Volunteer at a race
- Raise £2021 running for charity
- Run 10-20% more miles than you did in 2021
- Run a race distance you’ve never run before (automatic PB!)
- Run 12 races – one each month
- Run a race without your watch, we dare you
- Set a new mile PB
- Foam roll three times a week
- Be consistent, run at least three times a week every week
- Find your perfect race running gear
- Complete an obstacle or themed race
- Cross train twice a week
- Run a full marathon or even an ultra, if you’re brave enough!
Here's 7 steps for making 2021 the year your New Year's resolutions stick
- Dream Big for New year’s resolutions 2021 - Want to compete in a marathon or triathlon? An ambitious aim often inspires others around you. Many will cheer you on. Some will be happy to help in practical ways, such as by training with you or taking on tasks you normally handle in order to free up your time. Commit to a race and get it booked!
- Break big dreams into small-enough steps to accomplish your running resolutions - Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal. Book smaller races in the build up to your main event. This will help you to plan your strategy and recognise how you feel under race conditions. It’s the little races that make the big races!
- Understand why you shouldn't make a change - Until you grasp why you're sticking to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy and will to take a hard left toward change. So, when you're considering a change, take time to think it through. You boost your chance of success when the balance of pluses and minuses tips enough to make adopting a new behaviour more attractive than standing in place.
- Commit yourself - Make yourself accountable through a written or verbal promise to people you don't want to let down. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots.
- Give yourself a medal - Don't wait to call yourself a winner until you've pounded through The last mile of your big dream marathon or lost every unwanted ounce. Make sure you reward yourself for your efforts too! Buy yourself that new running jacket you were eying up or have that piece of cake, you’ve earned it! 🙌
- Learn from the past - Any time you fail to make a change, consider it a step toward your goal. Why? Because each sincere attempt represents a lesson learned. When you hit a snag, take a moment to think about what did and didn't work.
- Give thanks for what you do - Set your sights on finishing that marathon, not on running it. If you compete to complete, you'll be a winner even if you end up walking as much as you run. Any activity is always better than none.
Hopefully we'll be able to get in a race or two but until then we'll continue working on our goals to prepare us for our great big comebacks.