It’s that time again. The New Year is just around the corner and it’s time to reflect once again on everything you accomplished in the past 12 months… and in some cases, everything you didn’t.
I had a look back on my old blog to see if I made any 2010 New Year’s resolutions… I’m glad I didn’t find any, because if I wrote out ahead of time everything I accomplished in 2010 it would have looked almost too ambitious and unachievable! I wonder if I would have done everything I did if I made them my New Year’s Resolutions?
My accomplishments in 2010 in fitness and health
1. Improved my half marathon time by 13 minutes (1:59 down to 1:46)
2. Ran my first marathon (Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon 2010)
3. Inspired others to take up running (My friend Ashley, who lost 30 pounds as a result)
4. Ran a total nine races in one year, including five half marathons and one full
5. Ran a half marathon in Maui!
6. Ran my first Gunnar Shaw Cross Country trail race
7. Started to learn how to swim
I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you announce your goals at the beginning of the year, you tend to forget them. You also tend to make lofty, unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds, cutting all carbs and sugar from your diet and exercising at the gym five days a week - goals like these set you up for failure, and when you look back at the end of the year, you’ll most likely be disappointed.
Instead, try making smaller, more specific and attainable goals each week, such as walking for 30 minutes after work, packing a healthy lunch or signing up for a 5 km race if you’ve just started running. Make it easier for yourself by preparing for these goals ahead of time, too: invite a friend to walk with you so you won’t be tempted to just head for the couch, buy healthy foods at the grocery store and prepare your lunches on Sunday, join a running clinic with a goal race in mind.
Although I didn’t write down my goals each week on my blog, I did tweet about them on my Twitter account. By constantly talking about my marathon training, I made myself more accountable and was more likely to stick to my plan, especially since my other runner friends were following my progress and encouraging me along the way.
If your not a blogger or on Twitter or Facebook, make sure you let your family, friends and coworkers know in person about your weekly goals – trust me, it helps!
Besides the above-mentioned advice, here are a few more tips to keep in mind when you’re thinking about your health and fitness goals for the New Year:
- Read nutrition labels and make your diet about 80% whole foods, i.e., fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, unprocessed meat and foods with only a few, natural and pronounceable ingredients on the label
- Join an exercise group or club or get a personal trainer in person or online - they can figure out the rest of your 12-month exercise plan for you and be your motivation
- Sign yourself up for a race or some other sporting event, whether it’s biking, running, waking, swimming, rowing or adventure racing. It’s the best way to keep yourself motivated fitness-wise.