6 Tips for Setting 2019 Running Goals

Have you begun to circle race dates on your calendar for next year already? Maybe even counted back the weeks and circled another date for when you’ll start training for your goal race? Or, perhaps you’re thinking a bit broader with more generalized New Year’s Resolutions. Something less specific like – run more, complete a marathon, or sign up to volunteer at a race. I’ll share with you my personal strategies for setting New Year’s “resolutions” and goals.

Resolutions vs. Goals

I’ve evolved over the years in my thought process on what a resolution is vs. what a goal is. A resolution for me seems more like an ideal for betterment but also seems a bit arbitrary and non-specific on how to achieve. A few examples of some my previous resolutions were even in more of a mantra like form; invest in yourself, earn your own self respect, live simply and minimally, value quality and NOT quantity, be mindful and intentional, read more. Resolutions to me seem like they’re more aimed at lifestyle choices that reflect my overall well-being.

However when I set my yearly goals, they are much more specific. I believe you should take into account several key aspects when deciding on each goal to set. Key aspects include;

  1. Is the goal specific?
  2. Is it realistic and attainable?
  3. Is it measurable?
  4. Does it require a timeline?
  5. What are the action item in order to achieve the goal?
  6. Will it require involvement of others and not just myself?

6 Tips on How to Nail those Goals

Let’s break the key aspects down a bit more. The first aspect of asking “Is the goal specific?” will help give you definition to the goal itself and help you give aim or detail a desired result. For example if your goal is to complete your first marathon in 2019, you know that means running a race of 26.2 miles, some significant training, and perhaps some logistics to get to the race. Which leads me to the next key aspect.

The second tip I have for you is to be very completely and brutally honest with yourself on how realistic or attainable your goal is. If your goal is to run a marathon for the first time it might not be realistic to say that you want to win the marathon you’re going to run. Or you might want to ask yourself how attainable your goal is if you aren’t willing to commit to training and building your mileage up safely because you have a demanding job. Is your goal still attainable if your job requires that you travel a lot? Is it realistic if you’ve never run a step in your entire life? Not saying that it it’s completely impossible for a person to work heavily, travel a great deal, and not have any running history and achieve a goal of winning the first marathon they ever run. But is YOUR goal realistic and attainable for YOU?

The third aspect of goal setting is to ask yourself if your goal is measurable? Meaning, does it have a result with which you can achieve? This could be construed as a grey area with importance to goal setting. Some people prefer not to be results driven because it can correlate negative pressure or mindset. But perhaps a better consideration is how are we defining result? Does it mean a measure or relation to something written in black and white. If the example of running your first marathon is your goal, does that even mean it needs to be ran within an organized race? Maybe you just want to be able to physically accomplish running all the miles in one run. Regardless, most likely if your goal is specific it will have some way to be measurable as well. HOW you define your goals measure is up to you.

Fourth tip on setting your 2019 running goals kind of overlaps into the fifth aspect, “Does it require a timeline?” and “What are the action items in order to achieve the goal?”. Establishing a begin and end date to a specific goal, will help give you structure in knowing when you will implement your action items in order to achieve it which is also key aspect number five. It also helps to support the aspect of the goal being measurable. I’ve found that if the goal fails to be measurable or have a timeline, then it can kinda just starts to feel like an arbitrary statement or wishful thinking. Plus, it has been proven that when you map out how and when you’d like to achieve your goal, you’re much more invested and likely to commit to it fully.

The last thing I think any decent human being will ask themself when they’re thinking about going after any goal (not just running), is whether or not your goal will require involvement from others. Forms of involvement can include physical, emotional, time, and financial. I can guarantee you that unless you are a nomad that lives off the grid in solitary, your goals will affect someone around you. I encourage you to share your goals with your friends and family so that when (not ‘if’ cause lets be real) the going gets rough, you’ve got people to help support you. Not to mention, shared joy is the best kind of joy, assuming you reach your goal.

Take Action!

We’ve discussed some differences in resolutions or just kinda dreaming about change, and how you can turn those dreams into realistic goals for yourself. The only thing that’s left is to TAKE ACTION!!

Write your goals down and keep them in sight. Plan out small benchmarks within your process so that you can feel reward along the way. Think about how you might reward yourself, celebrate or at the very lest acknowledge achieving your goal. Because after all, if you decide that your goal is worthy, than it deserves acknowledgement and reinforcement.

Happy 2019 goal setting! Would love to be tagged in your social media posts with your pictures of putting in the work towards your goals, what your goals are, or highlight pics of your goals when you achieve them. =)