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Use events to stay motivated for your New Year's resolution


Posted by Cags R under General on 5 January 2013 at 12:00 AM

Four days have now passed since you uttered those fateful words - 'I am never drinking AGAIN!' and for many of us, the first Friday back to work will have been celebrated with a cheeky beer. But what can we do to stick to resolutions that really mean something to us?

Ask any sports person and they will tell you that a great motivator for successful and focused training is having an event to train for. This doesn't have to a marathon or Ironman, it could be a grudge match against your rival football team or a special occasion for which that extra bit of weight loss would make you feel amazing. Events are also an easy way to set yourself a time scale to reach your goal.

In it for the long run image

This is all an important part of S.M.A.R.T training:

  • Specific - What do you want to accomplish?

  • Measureable - How are you going to measure how successful your training is?

  • Attainable - Your goal should be realistic - that's not to say you should sell yourself short, but creating realistic goals will be more beneficial for your fitness progression. Think about your level, beginners start with slower monthly or weekly goals, and for the more experienced sports person look to 2-3 month goals.

  • Relevant - Are you training in a way that will make your end goal achieveable?

  • Time - Setting a goal like 'I want to run a 5k' is not very motivating. There is no time limit and so the goal has no strict end date. Setting the goal 'I will run the Finsbury Park 5k on the 2nd February' creates a sense of urgency that your training must prepare you for a 5k by the 2nd February.

With this sense of urgency, your training will have to be focused, it will need to be efficient and most importantly it will need to be measured. Measuring your progress towards your goal once a month will give your training time to take affect - if it's an effective program then your results will show it! By breaking your annual resolution down into small monthly targets, you are more likely to stick to it and not get bored.

One thing which many of us are guilty of is to quit once we slip up once: 'I ate one chocolate so I'd better finish the box' or 'I missed one run and so I failed' - anyone can have set backs, just keep at your training and you will achieve your goal.

Once you've signed up and paid for an event, you'll find it hard not to train! This is particularly true if you are raising money for a charity and have people pledge more money for faster times or better results.

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.



    Here is an abridged version of my response to another discussion on what keeps you motivated...If I have gone to the trouble to research, enter and pay for a race, there is extra incentive to train hard. I love the way I feel after a hard workout, conversely, I hate the way I feel if I miss one. I feel like I have cheated myself; I feel guilty and unhappy. I love the way I look as I train longer, harder and more often, attempting to defy or forestall age and gravity!

    encouraged this.


    Great blog Cags! Since I am not setting any "events" as goals and am concentrating on weight loss and toning, I have set my date with my reward for myself in a timeframe.

    Andy D and Tycho H encouraged this.


    Excellent advice! My biggest vice is Chocolate & so that I'm not tempted too much I have a goal of some every other week for the first 2 months then once a month after an event (series of events booked this year) until I no longer crave! gradual built up!

    Andy D encouraged this.


    Great post! I have a vague "I want to run a 5k" goal so I really need to make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal. My current goal is to train and test for my Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon-Do on Monday January 28th.

    Cags R encouraged this.


    i qualified for the nyc marathon 2013 by doing the qualifying 9+1 races. since the race is still 11 months away, i continue to participate in the same races and longer ones . i started this sat with a 10k race. also intend to do other types (endurance competitions like tough mudder and urbanathlon) and a sprint triathon


    I love SMART goals, they always keep me going, if I do flag one month, I'm reminded by an event looming that I have to keep going and off I go again, all enthused. Timely article Cags :)


    Yep, this is exactly what I do! A friend and I planned out our races for 2013, and we've paid up on ones going through at least October so far. :)


    I love having an event to look forward and it definately keeps me motivated and focused.


    Glad I've seen this! I was thinking about S.M.A.R.T goals but I couldn't remember what thay all stood for.

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