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A New Year: Planning for Success
There are just a few days before the start of the marathon that are our goals for our New Year’s resolutions.
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There are just a few days before the start of the marathon that are our goals for our New Year’s resolutions.  Even Ashton Kutcher has already started his plans to make his New Year’s goals a reality.  We can’t expect to just wake up on January 1st ready to drop all our less than stellar habits or run that 10K after sitting on the couch all winter. If we are going to succeed (and we will!), we must first come up with a plan.

Start small, by setting weekly goals.  If you’re working on getting into shape, plan on walking for thirty minutes three days of the first week.  On the second week, you might bump that up to five days. By the end of the month, aim for a full 45-minute walk or choose a distance you want to complete.   If you are working on eating healthier, plan on purging your cabinets of unhealthy foods and add fruit as a snack to your diet for your first week’s goal.  Work up to including more fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoiding sugary snacks.   As I work towards preparing for my four day adventure race, I will start by mountain biking a flat terrain for the first month, with my goal to do it faster each time.

Now that we have our mini goals set, we should talk about setbacks. Let’s face it….we are only human, and sometimes the chaos that is life will distract us. I can already see me wanting to curl up with a book on Sunday instead of sweating around a dirt course. But I will be strong if you’re strong.  Even with the inevitable hiccups along the way, don’t give up.  It is one day in a very long year.   Studies show that it takes the average person 66 days to turn a behavior into a habit. Be patient with yourself as you start to form new habits.  There will be pitfalls, keep it all in perspective. We are in the midst of a marathon and even experienced runners have to walk sometimes. 

There are a number of apps and tools to keep us on target.  If you are working on getting healthy or losing weight, explore some of the great mobile apps for nutrition analysis, food diaries and exercise plans.  You can use sites like Healthy Dining Finder before eating out at restaurants to keep your health goals in check.  Maybe your plans are to keep your finances in order, and of course, there are apps to help you there, as well.  I have yet to find an app to help me get through four long days of mountain biking, trail running, and kayaking, but I think if I piece a few of these other sources together, I’ll be in good shape.

This year, we will all meet our New Year’s resolutions if we remember to develop a plan. If we know ahead of time how to meet our goals, we are much more likely to succeed. Do you have helpful tips for staying on track?  Be sure to leave comments below and don’t forget to follow back next week when we see how our first week is going.