10 tips to help make your new year resolutions stick

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And how to make sure you get the best out of the #Run1000Miles challenge

Now is the time of year when many of you are looking forward to putting those new year resolutions into practice. However, stats show that 80% of them will be broken by February, so how can you make sure you make some positive changes in 2019?

At Trail Running, we are of course pushing the #Run1000Miles challenge as a great way to make a change for the better in 2019, but whatever your goals, some basic principles regarding goal-setting will hold you in good stead. Here are 10 tips that will help you get the most out of your targets - whether you meet them or not.

1) Focus on one resolution
Most people come up with a long list when asked about what they’d like to change about themselves in the coming year. However, by focusing on one resolution, you are more likely to meet with success. Why not make it #Run1000Miles?

2) Be realistic
You need to be reasonable with any targets you set. If you’re a total couch potato and do not a run at all then winning a marathon is probably not the best aspiration. Set something more achievable, something you can sustain, and you are more likely to be inspired not just in 2019 but in the longer term rather than disappoint yourself.

#Run1000Miles is achievable for many. It’s just 2.74 miles per day. You get the support of a great Facebook group too. However, if you’re a complete beginner then it’s important not to go overboard and get injured. Follow our training plans in the February/March edition of Trail Running.

If 19 miles per week is too big a step up for you, then no one is going to look down on you if just go for 500 miles. You can still be a member of the Facebook group.

3) Be specific
If you already run more than 1000 miles in a year, you can still gain from being a part of the #Run1000Miles challenge. Many in the group set their own personal goals, such as completing 2000 miles in a year. You might have in mind completing your first marathon or ultra in the coming 12 months.

The point is that just running 1000 miles next year might not be a specific enough goal for everyone.

4) Start small
If you’re fairly new to running and don’t do much mileage at present, setting out to #Run1000Miles in 2019 by running 19 miles in your first seven days is not the best idea.

Take your average mileage over the past two months and build up gradually from there. Don’t increase the mileage by more than 10% per week. It might mean your are below target for most of the year, but this is a marathon not a sprint - take it slowly and you’re less likely to land up injured, demotivated and unable to add to your training log.

5) Get your goal written down
It’s been shown that getting your targets down on paper is one way of increasing your chances of keeping to your resolutions.

If you’re joining #Run1000Miles, as well as signing up on the TR website, after which you will receive periodic email encouragement from us, we encourage you to get hold over a copy of the February/March edition pf Trail Running, where you will find a copy of the #Run1000Miles pledge. Sign it and upload to social media a photo of yourself holding it, remembering to use the #Run1000Miles hashtag.

6) List your achievements
In the case of #Run1000Miles, this can include recording your mileage. The February/March edition of Trail Running contains a mileage log which you fill in to keep track of your progress.

7) Discuss your goal
It’s always a great move to talk about your new year resolutions with others. You’re less likely to quit if others know about your goal. So join the Facebook group and experience the support of thousands of others who are trying to reach the same target.

8) Create sub-goals
Break down your targets into something over a shorter time-frame. For example, if you’re going for #Run1000Miles, you might aim to complete 250 miles by the end of March - or perhaps much less if you’re new to running.

9) Reward yourself
When you reach your sub-goals, make a celebration of it. Have you reached your sub-goal of running every day in January? Make the last run of the month memorable by getting into the car to explore a new area. It will make you more likely to reach your next mini-target. A bar of chocolate, a day off running to spend it with the family, treating yourself to some new running kit - they’re all great ways to inspire you on to the next step.

10) Remind yourself of all of the benefits
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, our goals can seem like mountains. When it comes to running 1000 miles over the year, injury or illness can be issues that are out of our control that can put a real spoke in the wheels.

Failing to meet your target doesn’t always mean failure. Increasing your running mileage by being part of #Run1000Miles, for example, will leave you feeling fitter both physically and mentally and you’re sure to make many friends online via the Facebook group.

If you’re attempting to run 1000 miles by losing weight, it’s important to remind yourself of the success you’re having, so when it gets tough you have the motivation to come out on top.

Some who are part of the group have signed up to battle mental health issues. If you’re among them, listing the positive benefits you’re experiencing can help you stay on track.