The thought of doing a blog post about a new year’s resolutions isn’t original, but I still think it’s important. But even more important than setting the goal by January 1st is making a plan to follow through with what you actually want to do. I remember new years eve about four years ago, sitting on the floor in my best friends room and all of my friends just dive into talking about our resolutions and how we planned on tackling them. I’m not sure why this memory is so strong in my mind. But I can still taste the apple cider and hear my friends laughing as I said that my resolution was to drink more water…. Again… just like the year before. I brought this up because at that point, I didn’t know what it meant to plan your follow through. And now I think that part is just as important as the goal in the first place. To better explain this, I’ll give you an example of how I set my 2019 resolutions, how I’m going to check in on those goals, and how I am planning my follow through.
- The Goal
When I go and set goals I try and break them down into sections so that they are slightly easier to digest. This year I broke them down into a fitness goal, a professional goal, and a personal goal. For the sake of this post I am going to focus on the fitness goal. When reflecting on 2018, I realized that I ran a marathon much faster than I thought possible for me. And that was really cool. So I am choosing to focus on that as my goal for 2019. More specifically, I want to get my marathon as close to 4 hours as possible, because in 2018 I ran a 4:32 marathon. I’m going to break this goal into three separate times, one that is a reach, one that is more attainable, and one that is safe. My reach is 4:10, my attainable is 4:22, my safe is 4:29 (Oprah’s time). I wanted to have these goals broken out, because honestly, I will be more than happy with any of these times. A marathon is not an easy task, but looking back on my previous races, I know where my weaknesses are, so I know where I need to improve.
- The Check-In
Now that I’ve set a very specific fitness goal, I need some way to see if I got there. To make this goal more real, I’ve signed up for two marathons in 2019. I am running the San Diego Rock n Roll marathon in June and I am running the Chicago marathon in October. These are hard deadlines for my training to see if I have come as far as I need to to hit the times goals that I’ve set. I’ve given myself two tries at this and have them relatively spread out so I have time to rest and/or correct if I need to. When race day comes, I either put in the work, or I didn’t. I am planning on adding in a few half marathons in between for check-ins, but the races are set.
- The Follow Through
This is the tricky bit, and the most important part. How in the world am I going to make this happen? Having an actual plan on how to get from point A to point B is what is going to make the difference between meeting your goals, and just letting them fade away. I know that I need to work on my speed and that I need to work on my endurance past the half marathon point. I also know that I am pretty good at scheduling in long runs on the weekends, but I am not as great at getting in other runs during the week. To combat this, I have found a running group that meets multiple times a week. I am mostly focused on the track speed workouts and interval workouts that I can do with this group. This will push my speed and keep me accountable to getting these workouts in. Now people will notice when I slack. And it makes it harder for me to skip. The interval workouts will get me to push the pace for a bit longer, so my long runs should get easier, and the second half of the marathon shouldn’t hurt as bad as it has in the past. This is my follow through. This is how I plan on making my goals real. I have a hard plan, already written out in my calendar (if it’s in the calendar, it’s for real). My follow through is just as planned out as the actual goal, and that is how I am going to make 2019 a success.
Happy New Year!