running

Why We Run: Resolving

Forty-eight hours into a brand new year and I can already feel the motivation slipping.

I set a thousand and one goals as the hours ticked down on last year: eat better, run often, write boldly, worry less, post clean, capture moments, and dig deeper. Resolutions writ bravely upon a fresh new calendar, and all of them seeming abruptly ambitious now that the hours press into days and soon into weeks.

The very first thing I did on the morning of January first, however, was the same thing I’ve done every January first for a decade: I’ve run a five klick race.

I woke up, drank coffee, pulled on my shoes, and driven to the annual Resolution Run. We traipse into the cold of the new year, be it minus forty or a balmy barely-sub-zero as this year. We linger at the start. The anthem is sung. The other new years clock counts down to the 11 am and we run the first run of the year.

Five klicks through icy, oatmeal, mashed-potato’d streets and cold. A new year and a new resolve, and over a pancake breakfast on the floor of a small recreation centre gymnasium we ponder our distance totals from last year and our grand ambitions for this new one.

After a depressing December of too much food and dwindling motivation, we dash into just another day with a kind of renewed appraisal of this sport, and resolving to set grand goals in the blur of it all.

How to Goal Set (using your head)

  1. Set simple, manageable goals. Y’know… things that you can actually accomplish. Sure, there’s glory in shooting for the moon, but very few people actually get there.
  2. Make yourself accountable to someone (besides yourself).
  3. Write stuff down. Measure. Track. Record. Make a spreadsheet or keep a journal. Take photos of your ass in the mirror. Something. Your brain is fickle and will convince you of failure unless you can present it with hard evidence of success and change.
  4. Don’t wait for a special day to start. Go live today.
  5. Remember that incremental change (and success) is worth celebrating.