Don’t call this a New Year’s Resolution

It’s that time of year when people all over the world think about committing themselves to some kind of goal or challenge for the year ahead. Lose weight, give up smoking, get a new job, run a marathon. It all sounds good at the time, only for those goals to fall by the wayside as the crushing weight of real life sucks all the living motivation out of you. I should know – I’ve been there, done that and bought the gym membership.

New Years Resolution
New Years Resolutions - a load of bollocks even back in 1915

I’ve come to regard New Year’s Resolutions as a ritual that is pre-disposed to failure – because the motivating factor can be that it’s the ‘New Year’, rather than the goal itself. With that in mind I wanted to share a novel thought with you – if you want to start something new, give up a bad habit, or simply decide you want to be better at something you are already doing, then what is wrong with starting RIGHT NOW, TODAY?

I’m passionate about this because for many years I’ve been that guy. I’ve been the ‘this is the year I’m going to get fit’ guy, and I can only dream of the fantastic vacations I could have taken with the money I’ve spent helping the gym owners of the world pay their rent from the comfort of my sofa.

Bottom line – there is no time like the present. Thinking of losing weight but don’t want to start until the New Year because of all those holiday parties? Start now – worst case you’ll at least think about what you are putting in your mouth and you may surprise yourself with your powers of self-control. Going to do a marathon next year, but want to wait until it warms up a bit before you start training?  Get yourself to the gym and use the treadmill you wimp. No time right now to do whatever it is you are going to commit to do next year? Well why will it be any different on Jan 1st?

I still don’t get this right all the time, but I’m conscious of it, and, in the spirit of running the talk and putting my money where my mouth is, I thought I’d share my running (and related) commitments that I’m working on now.

1. A minimum of 2 full marathons in the 2011 season, with a goal of reducing my PR from 3:57 to 3:45

2. A minimum of 2 half marathons in the 2011 season, with a goal of reducing my PR from 1:48 to 1:39.

3. Learn to swim front crawl as preparation for a Triathlon in 2012. This starts with rehab on my rotator cuff (now), followed by lesson in the pool from April.

4. Reduce weight to below 160lbs by May 2011 (seriously, this is my toughest goal).

5. Coach and support my wife to run her first half marathon (lets see how long it takes for her to see this!).

6. Run Beat the Bridge with my daughter Natalie and improve our time from last year.

7. Run at least one 10k with my daughters Isabelle and Natalie.

These are my commitments. What do you think and what are you working on?

Whatever you are thinking about, don’t wait for Jan 1st, and don’t wait for that other thing to happen first before you can start thinking about that goal you really want to attack.

Just do it.


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