The thing about New Year’s resolutions is that people have awesome intentions, but, by the end of the month, they’ve already failed at it. I can think of a handful of resolutions I’ve made that sort of worked out, but it seems like the reason they failed is that I set the goal with no actual plan.
Interestingly, I prefer somewhat of a no-goal-no-plan approach to running and racing. Read on to find out why…
Why all of this now? Over the past year I’ve had to take a serious look at my physical and mental health, especially considering the huge recent life changes, like new job, new state. My goals for this year focus on just that — feeling good inside and out, treating myself better, and building sustainable, healthy habits. To put a totally corporate spin on it, I’m calling it Routine in ’15! If you’re in the same boat as me, I hope you can borrow some of these ideas; I expect to have some setbacks and challenges, so if you’re already good at these skills, I’d love if you’d share your success stories and tips in the comments!
Check out my goals and plans — I chose some activities that were easier than others by design, for room to celebrate little milestone accomplishments. Big success comes in small steps, right?! Cue Pinterest-able motivational quote…
Routine in ’15!
1) TOP Priority: Reduce the amount of stress in my life.
Fact: last year, I had three ulcers. THREE! And one major contributor was stress. Stress is a killer, you guys. Many visits to the GI doc later, I have to work a lot harder for them not to return again. Short term, when I’m stressed, I barely sleep, I eat mindlessly, I’m grumpy, and then I stress about other things. It’s a vicious cycle.
Note: On running and stress, I get anxious about upcoming races just as much as the next person. One of the things that’s worked well for me is basic: don’t plan. Since switching to a Maffetone-style training method, I’ve been able to drastically cut down on the stress and worry about workouts, training, and everything leading up to a race. This type of training still allows me to keep a pretty high fitness level, so if I can, I’ll sign up for races as late as possible, or the week of, to keep my sanity. Totally works for me, but may not work for everyone.
- Use the employee wellness programs at work (one-on-one coaching, online courses).
- Get more sleep (more on this in a sec).
- Delegate more or even better, simply decline. I could probably make “say no” a whole goal in itself!
- Let it go………. don’t sweat it. (It = time, money) It’s already history.
2) Get more sleep.
It’s too easy to underestimate sleep, but it’s a big factor in how fresh and energetic I feel when I run and recover. The more tired I am, the more likely I am to also pound sugary things (which turns into another vicious energy depletion roller coaster). I need to establish for myself that ample sleep, for running performance, is just as critical as having the right shoes or a safe place to run.
- Take a look sleep habits & conditions. Too hot, too cold, too bright… that stuff.
- Aim for 10pm every night, or have a VERY good reason for staying up late.
- Be conscious of when I’m wasting time. That means you, 1am me! There is NOTHING on Pinterest that could be worth wasting myself for tomorrow!
- “Earn” the run/be ok with missing a run. If I don’t sleep enough, running isn’t an option… caveat: neither is being lazy!
3) Lurk less.
Once, when I described my social media habits to a friend, he replied, “Oh…. you’re a lurker.” I’ll never be a serial over-sharer, but since the world is powered by the internet and social media, it’d be fun to play an active part in it. This is more important to me as a way to connect now that we live so much farther away from friends and family.
- Monthly-ish blog posts. About anything! Remember that if it takes me a week to write, it’s not worth it (see Goal #1). I have so many recipes, posts about Maffetone/run training, race reports, etc… but they’re all in my head! “Lurk less,” in a way, is the reason Bartleysrun.com was created to begin with!
- Comment, like, and share more. (Shameless plug for Bartleysrun on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook)
4) Read more.
I used to read ALL the time when I was a kid… I’ve been trying to read “Quiet” by Susan Cain for at least 5 months on my iPad, and haven’t scratched halfway. Am I old school? I can’t seem to make the e-reader idea work for me… I like print books and magazines. Goal: read 3 books this year. About anything.
- Visit the library. I’ve never been and I’ve been meaning to anyway, just to know what it’s like.
- Pick a book. And then another. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but I honestly don’t know how to go about this. Ideas?
- Replace computer/tv time with reading time before bed (some research findings in support of Get More Sleep).
These are some of the big life changes I need to be healthier inside and out, and I’ll check in occasionally with what I learn and go through to achieve it. Do you make resolutions or set goals? How are you trying to be healthier in 2015?
PS — Exciting news…. If you didn’t get what you wanted over the holidays, The BodyDisc is offering 20% off for our amazing friends and fans with promo code “bartleysrun” until February 20th! Injury-free is also another great way to start off the year!