At the start of each new year, it is common to see gyms packed with the ‘resolution crowd’ – those individuals driven by the idea that THIS will be the year they get fit. While it is certainly a step in the right direction, their intentions often fall by the wayside for a myriad of reasons: lack of motivation, no support from family or friends or simply, the absence of a clear-cut goal.
The trouble with most resolutions is simple: they’re not SMART. No, I am not saying that the people making these resolutions are devoid of intelligence, but their approach is just not a sustainable one! To truly make lasting change, goal-setting needs to be:
With these components in mind, let’s look at a resolution / outcome statement and how it can be improved with the “SMART” criteria:
“I want to run a marathon.”
Okay, great goal – I mean, really, I love long distance running and would encourage most healthy people to try a 26.2 distance race in their lifetime. However, this statement lacks the OOMPH that’s needed to turn a dream to reality…here’s a revised resolution:
“I will complete the Richmond Marathon in November 2013.”
With this goal, it’s evident that more thought has been put forth – it’s specific, (the Richmond Marathon) measurable, (the marathon is 26.2 miles and you’ve stated your intention of finishing the entire thing) attainable, (you’ve given yourself 10 months to get ready) realistic (if you’re thinking it, you can likely do it – and positive speak – “will” vs. “want”) and timely (there’s no arguing with calendar dates).
Now, this is not to say that everyone needs to strap on running shoes and jump into a marathon! Your SMART goals could be as simple as stating your intention to run three times a week, resolving to try three new types of cross-training throughout 2013 or even achieving a mileage goal (“I will run 2,013 miles in 2013″).
Resolutions are personal to everyone and you should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about them! In fact, support and accountability often run hand in hand, so once you’ve got some goals in mind, share them! This could be as simply as discussing them with a friend or family member, a running coach, a virtual community or on your own blog or social media sites. You might be surprised how many others share your same goals.
Have you ever had any running resolutions in the past? Did you meet your goals last year? What are your running resolutions for 2013? Please share in the comment section below.