by Terri Rejimbal, RRCA certified coach
It’s already 3 months into the new year, how are your resolutions and training holding up? Let’s be honest, the start of the new year always ignites new zest for making convincing resolutions and training plans. However, unrealistic expectations can often be a big reason why many fail.
According to Strava insight data, January 19th is “Quitter’s Day” that’s the day that most people abandon their new year’s resolutions. Clinical Psychologist Joseph J. Luciani, Ph. D, says most resolutions are sabotaged by a lack of self-discipline.
Why do most people break their new year’s resolutions? Tuck Taylor, Clearwater’s Beast Athletics owner, Cognitive Performance Specialist, and author of Beast Thinking, believes it can be attributed to your environment. By looking at your environment, you can assess those places, people, habits, or behaviors that prohibit you from achieving your goal. Taylor says, “when we set goals, often times we need to change our environment to elicit the right thoughts and behavior patterns to accomplish them.” Taylor realized this while he was training for his first marathon. His first 3-weeks of training were inconsistent, but once he examined the habits of a marathon runner, he adjusted his environment by putting his shoes by the bed, his music charging on the nightstand, and slept in his running clothes. Once he became consistent in his training, his goal of running the marathon was now achievable.
Let’s look at ways to focus on SUCCESS by changing your mindset and environment!
- Urgency or Short Deadlines can remove the luxury of putting things off like saying “I’ll start tomorrow”. Without a sense of urgency, the goal can become less important over time. You can push back that finish line. Challenge yourself and set a goal that you need to complete by end of month like “I will run X number of days of week”. Don’t give up because the deadline is around the corner! Just change your outlook!
- Micro/Mini Goals created between now and the deadline, will hold you accountable by having to “check-in” along the way. It’s easy to say I’ll put in more effort tomorrow or the next day. Weekly goals that accumulate will hold you answerable. If you fail to meet the week’s micro/mini goal, then you know you need to shape up on the next micro/mini goal to make up for falling short.
- Analyze Your Schedule leading up to your goal. Look at your plan for the next quarter/training cycle. Are there any business trips, family holidays, social events? Write them on the calendar and put together a plan to handle your training around those events. Keep in mind, unexpected social situations and dinners are likely to occur, but having a thought-out plan helps to handle the unexpected. Consider diet/nutrition strategies during travel and events. Think about how you will train to get in the workouts/runs needed to meet your goal. Keep in mind when routines change, failure is more likely. It’s crucial to plan ahead by waking up earlier to get your run or training in; carry your meals; or perhaps go to bed earlier. There’s always a solution available if you are willing to implement it.
- Pay for an Event Now. Financial accountability is a big thing for a lot of people. Booking a race now for a few months’ time ahead should serve as a great incentive to stick to your plan/goal rather than to make excuses, if you should fall short.
- Social Media Official. Social media has many negatives, but it can also provide powerful accountability. Use your SM platform to announce your goal to your followers and keep updating your progress. Making a public statement about your goal is the ultimate way to hold yourself accountable. No one wants to look stupid or fail in front of family and friends or explain that you didn’t have the discipline to follow through. On the positive, imagine the great sense of achievement you’ll experience when you do crush your goal.
- Accountability. People can be easy on themselves when it comes to goals. It’s easy to move the goal posts to justify getting halfway to goal. The truth is that you either succeed or fail, there is no in between. Think Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Don’t concede that talking yourself into believing that taking steps in the right direction is success. Remember that you set a goal, strive wholeheartedly to achieve it. Don’t allow yourself the comfort of creating excuses for why you aren’t sticking to your goal. Learn to catch self-sabotaging remarks and change your narrative.
Don’t throw in the towel just yet on your resolutions or training, there’s still time to accomplish it. Just change your mindset to tackle your environment! Make your goal Specific, Measurable, and Relevant!
Terri Rejimbal is a competitive Masters athlete, 2019 St Pete Runfest half-marathon champion, a 3-time winner and 9-time Masters champion of the Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon, 6-time Disney Masters marathon winner, 7-time Florida USATF Athlete of the Year, and a New Balance product tester. Terri is a RRCA certified running coach and available for consulting or coaching services. Contact Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook/terri.rejimbal, Twitter @trejimbal, or Instagram @bayshorerunner.