Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
~Jim Ryun, former Olympic track athlete and U.S. Congressman
Happy New Year. May you be blessed with many scenic miles and personal records this year. You probably noticed your gym was more crowded this last week, but that likely won’t last more than a few more weeks because 40 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, according to Forbes magazine, yet only 8 percent of people who are successful in achieving them. Lists of resolutions, while written with good intentions, simply never become habits.
But you’ll hardly ever hear people make negative comments about goal setting. My favorite athletic wear retailer has a goal-setting program for employees and customers that urges them to write specific and measurable goals in present tense and to add a deadline. Here’s the Lululemon worksheet to help you write your vision and goals.
2014 is the year I eat clean and train dirty. I have set two big, hairy audacious goals. (Yes, I’m applying business school strategy to fitness.)
1. I am a vegetarian. This is a feat I’ve tried several times but caved to fried chicken cravings after a few weeks. This time I’ve weaved a network of vegetarian runners for advice, subscribed to Vegetarian Times and made a reading list of vegetarian-related books. I’m also meal planning and prepping on the weekends and am currently engrossed in The No Meet Athlete. Many of the meals I’ve eaten so far this year are dishes I already love, like eggplant parmesan and falafel salad with hummus and pita, or I’ve used a soy substitute for meat in my favorite recipes, like chili and quiche.
2. I am running 2,014 kilometers in 2014. That’s more than three times as many miles as I ran in 2013. It means I’m running five or six days a week for a weekly mileage of about 24 miles, which is usually my peak for half marathon training. To help with the transition, instead of resting the day after my long runs, I have active recovery with a short and slow run to loosen stiff muscles. And I’ve already created my 2014 race calendar because making the commitment through race registration motivates me to keep moving.
Questions of the Week: What are your fitness goals for 2014? Who or what tools are you using to reach them?