What Now?

Ok, so January is over. Where do we go from here?

Maybe you set running goals. Maybe you didn’t.

Maybe you started the year off strong and kept up with all your new plans.

Maybe you didn’t.

Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions only to quickly forget about them after a tough period or at the first sign of trouble.

No matter how the first month of the year has gone for you, all that matters now is what you do next.

Either way, you can use January as a building block to have a great year.

Here’s how:

Are Your Goals Still Realistic?

Think about your goals from time to time to determine if they are still realistic.

If they are still attainable, that’s great – you are on the right track! But if you decide that they aren’t attainable anymore, there is nothing wrong with adjusting them.

If you think that your goals are still reasonable, then keep working towards them and make it a point to evaluate how everything is going again at the end of February or some other future point.

Break It down

To keep everything more manageable, break up your goals into smaller goals so that you can see your progress, which will help to motivate you to keep working towards them.

For example, rather than thinking about your marathon a few months away, try to focus instead on the next week of your training plan.

At the beginning of each week (sometimes during my Monday morning run), I think about how far I want to run this week and which days will be best for longer efforts based on the weather and my schedule. Unless I am training for something specific, which will usually require me to have a better laid-out plan.

Seeing that you are making progress by achieving your smaller goals will most likely make you more confident in reaching your bigger goals.

Plan Ahead

Your hectic schedule is one of the most common reasons for missing a workout or a day of running. So, plan ahead!

Day to Day. Week to Week. Month to Month.

However far ahead you want to plan is up to you, but find what works best for you. By planning ahead you’re more likely to make sure that you allow for time in your schedule to get your run or workout in.

Some people like to take it week by week or even day by day. In general, I think about my next week of running and try to have a general plan in my head.

Keep Yourself Accountable but Don’t Beat Yourself Up

I think that the best ways to hold yourself accountable are to share your goals with other people and talk about them. This will help keep you focused on your goals and you might even get some much-needed encouragement along the way.

On the flip side though, if you miss a day or have a bad run or workout, it’s not the end of the world. Think about if it was avoidable or not, learn from it if it was and move on to the next day.

Keep Going!

No matter if it was a good or bad month, the most important thing is that you keep going.

If you were sick or injured or had to take a break for whatever reason, take it easy coming back, but whatever you do keep moving forward.

Every day is a new chance to improve yourself and do something to progress towards your goals.

How was your January? Did you make progress towards any of your goals?

Let me know in the comments!


More From RunPatRun:

  • Next week: With my marathon training cycle kicking off next Monday, I will let you know my mindset and plans as I get things started.
  • If you haven’t set any running goals yet and you are looking for some help, check out Setting Yourself Up For Success which might give you some ideas.
  • Also, as you are evaluating your progress towards your goals, it’s good to remember the characteristics that you rely on to be successful. Here are mine – Pillars of Running Success!

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