As February begins we confront that critical time when New Year’s resolutions have the potential to go big or go bust! The enthusiasm, energy, and novelty of a new you begins to wear off and you’re left with the struggle between your wants and willpower. Not to worry we all experienced it in some form or fashion. For some it’s sticking to a new budget and for others sticking to an exercise program like running. When your goals and drive to accomplish them no longer parallel each other it’s important to avoid common pitfalls and incorporate strategies to bring you back between the navigational beacons.
The all or none fallacy. There is never a rational argument for scrapping your program because you can’t follow it to the T. Some is always better than none and often times the pared down program helps bridge periods of low motivation and time constraints. Living with an all or none philosophy creates a cycle of being on the right road, falling off the wagon, and starting all over again. Keep some portion of your program active so you’ll maintain a much better base and avoid starting back at zero. When I begin to lose motivation I repeat a simple mantra, lace up and head out. If you make that single commitment you’ll be surprised at what you produce once you cross the threshold of getting out the door. It might be 10 minutes, or 10 miles, but it won’t be nothing.
Now that we’ve moved past the all or none problem there are strategies to keep you on track or help you get back on track. I use my training log as a daily visual representation of where I am in the process. If you aren’t logging your workouts you should start. If you have been, make sure you look at it. I record both digitally and on an old school calendar. Digital covers the specifics and my calendar is a monthly visual of my workouts. A large X goes on any day without a workout and I don’t want to see too many Xs during a given period. Even the previously mentioned 10 minute run keeps an X off of the calendar.
Joining a run club is the best way to maintain motivation and enjoy the running process. Spending time with like-minded people, who share similar goals, continuously recharges your motivational batteries. Along with people, places can be another carrot to move you. Change up your run route to avoid boredom. The Palmetto Running Club covers both people and places. It’s easier to lace up for a run when you’re meeting 40+ similarly motivated people and running a diverse lineup of the Lowcountry’s best scenic routes.
Some is better than none, track and hold yourself accountable, and join a group of people who share your passion. Happy running and keep chasing that New Year’s resolution!