It’s almost New Year which means that we all get a chance to start again. It is the hope that goes with restarts and getting things right that makes this a special time of the year. However, there is also a sense of suspicion that many carry at this time of the year. The reason for this is that many have made New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of this year that never materialised. So, how do we go about things this time round?
Your goals will fall into two broad categories.
1 Things you want to give up
2 Things you want to do.
Things you want to give up.
These could include smoking, overeating, too much sugar e.t.c.
The successful ones all seem to have the following in common; they made a decision to stop completely. Cutting down is not stopping.
Secondly, they made their intentions clear to a group of people around them so as to be held accountable.
Some were warned by a doctor that their habits were killing them. The more reasons you can find to motivate, whether positive or negative, the bigger the lever becomes, and so you are able to break the power of the habit.
Some helped break the pattern by setting a goal such as a specific race. These goals help people to begin to form new identities and mental images of themselves.
Things you want to do.
These include studying, getting fit e.t.c. The key to these is that they all take time and so you need to find the time before you commit to the challenge. Finding time comes down to priorities. The person who manages to run a marathon was training while others were sleeping, it’s as simple as that.
Work out how much time you need and then work out what you are prepared to sacrifice. Your heart might be in the right place but until your schedule is reworked it won’t happen.
So with this in mind, where do you go from here?
- Track your progress. Find a space in your diary or on a spread sheet to track how you are doing. In a week you might be able to boast of 7 successes. In a month you might be able to boast of 28 successes. This is all about taking one step at a time. One of the most valuable lessons that endurance sport teaches is that you never focus on the whole race. You split it up into section by section and thus chalk up a whole series of victories.
- Reward yourself regularly. You become a powerful force when you encourage yourself. I have found that at times I have got tired whilst pursuing a goal. One of the best ways out of that is to realise what you have that enables you to pursue the next step. People studying have got the finances to buy courses, the intellect to study, the opportunity of doing the applicable course. Tired runners need the most amazing amounts of health just get out and do a simple jog. Feet, legs, muscles, circulation, lungs; the list is endless of what physically needs to happen for you to just shuffle down the street.
- Find someone else to help. I had one of my worst runs ever during the Slow Mag Marathon. At 32km’s I not only hit the wall, the wall collapsed on me. A runner spotted me and drew alongside and got me through the next 5 k’s by instructing me when to run and when to walk. After 5 k’s he cramped badly and it was now my turn to instruct him through the remaining part of the race. The ability to help someone else, even in a small way reach their goal will in turn help you.
- Make a vision wall or page. We all keep photos of memorable experiences. Looking at those photos bring back good memories. In the same way you should have a series of pictures that depict your ideal future. This is one of the most powerful things you can do. If you want to get a degree, get a picture of your certificate you want to get. If you want to do an event, get a copy of what the medal looks like and focus on the picture of the medal until it’s yours.
Hope you have a wonderful New Year.