Ah the resolution. When the bells of Big Ben chime to indicate a new year is upon us we are more positive than we ever are. We are going to change. We are all going to improve.
As a personal trainer I see this more than anyone. The gym increases its numbers and more people are determined as ever to get into shape. But how does this become a habit? And for those of you who are already in the habit how do you push on from there? Whatever position you are in the most important and practical advice I can give is to set goals. But how do you set a goal? Lets break it up:
Short term goals
Whether you are a seasoned marathoner or you can’t run a mile you need a realistic goal in the short term. Short term goals are the best way to improve because you see success straight away. Your long term aim may be to improve your marathon time by an hour, or, if you are a beginner, to run a marathon but these aren’t going to happen over night. Set short term goals (up to 3 months) which are achievable and will make you feel positive. It may be to be able to run one mile without stopping. Or perhaps increasing your mileage by 20%. Make sure you write them down and celebrate when you have ticked them off!
Medium term goals
This is a half way house to your long term goal. It is in the back of your mind as you rattle through your short term targets. In football terms it’s the half time oranges. If you are aiming to run a big PB in a marathon your medium term goal could be to improve your half marathon time. Or you could aim at increasing your training times by 25% from the previous year. Whatever you think will help you on your journey. But make sure the medium term goal is challenging enough to give you the opportunity to hit your long term goal…
Long term goals
The ultimate destination. Your very own holy grail. Whatever you choose as your long term goal should be challenging. But using a short term and medium term approach you can get there as you will be constantly achieving and therefore staying uber positive on the journey. The long term goal maybe a sub 3hour marathon or your first marathon, whatever it is when you reach that point and cross that line all of the feelings of the journey will pour out of you and I promise it will be the greatest experience you could have.
So please share with us your long term goals, write it down and declare it to the world. Be positive but train smart. Stay in a short term mentality but have the long term aim in the back of your mind always. And when you finish the journey and hit that big goal, there is always another challenge waiting around the corner and the process can start again…