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