How I Handle Goals Throughout the Year, It’s Not Just for January!

It’s THAT time of year again – the time of year that everyone likes to ask, “What are your goals for the
new year?” Goals ARE important, but it’s also important to remember that your goals may change
during the course of the year. Ideally, you’ll be constantly monitoring and updating your goals
throughout the entire year – not just on January 1.

That said, it’s nice to think of January as a fresh start. It’s an ideal time to review your past year and
think about what you would like to accomplish during the upcoming year. Personally, my overall health
and fitness goals are stable from year to year: I want to be strong and healthy; I want to feel good in my
clothes; I want to maintain healthy friendships; and I want to continue to live an active life without
physical limitations. My yearly SMART goals are much more specific and require thought and planning.
For example, I am considering:

– a return to marathon running
– maintaining a weight that is about 5 pounds less than my current weight
– incorporating more active time with a number of my “running friends.”

While these goals are not too divergent from my current lifestyle, they do require a new level of
commitment. I recognize the benefit of each of these goals, know how to achieve them and see that
they are related to one another. Still, I am a bit reluctant to commit to them.
Oddly enough, one of my favorite activities is the hardest for me to commit to this year. I love being a
runner and have completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons (including a 100-mile race) in
the past, but I am not sure that I have the time or the motivation to train for and complete a full
marathon this year.

I haven’t been running much – only about a few miles several times per week. Because of this, running
is hard and not particularly enjoyable for me right now. In addition, I am not sure that I have the
amount of time available to devote to the volume of daily/weekly running that is necessary to achieve
this goal. These are my challenges (some might call them “cons”). I recognize that these challenges can
be overcome – I’m just not sure that I want to direct my time and effort into overcoming them.
I am lucky to be in good health and have a good baseline level of fitness. I also have access to a good
treadmill for bad weather days AND I have discovered that treadmill time is a great time to listen to
audio books! These are my “pros” or encouragements.

It may seem like I am procrastinating in making my 2023 goals. January IS over, after all. I believe
that goals made with caution are more likely to be achieved than those made in haste. I know that, if I
commit to these, I will have made a real commitment to them, and will be more likely to achieve them.
I would encourage each of you to take your time in making your goals and commitments for the year.
When you take the time to truly evaluate each of them, you are so much more likely to achieve them!
Let’s all beat the odds this year. Research shows that only about 8% of people actually keep their New
Year’s resolutions – but with thought and planning, we can definitely beat THAT statistic!