If there’s one week of the year where it seems that everyone on the face of the earth has committed to a new fitness routine, it’s the first week of January. The first days of the new calendar year see increased numbers of folks in the gym and new runners on the roads. Understandably, starting the year off on a good note is something many of us aim to do. Creating goals to start – and stick to – on New Year’s Day may not be the best way to go though. 

RELATED: 10 running resolutions to keep in 2018

One alternative method: use January as a practice month for the resolutions you plan to put into practice for the beginning of February. Coming off the holiday season, most people’s routines are out of whack so it’s wise to take the month to get back into the swing of things before evaluating areas in which to improve. As mental skills consultant Kim Dawson suggested to us in a past story, getting back into your life, your routine and your habits is a smart idea which can lead to being better able to identify what needs changing for the new year. According to Huff Post, only eight per cent of people end up keeping their resolutions and a Business Insider article states that about 80 per cent of resolutions flop by the time February rolls around. 

By taking this different approach though, runners could be increasing the likelihood of their goals panning out in the long run. Say, for example, the resolution is to get back into running (or take it up for the first time). By using January as a practice month for a concrete challenge starting in February, it will become easier to recognize ways to set yourself up for success. Factors like preferred time of day, distances that feel best, gear that needs to be obtained and ideal routes or gym times are examples of details that can be worked out in January so as to set a realistic goal based off of an established routine come February. 

Looks like we just took the pressure off for another four weeks…

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