New Year New Goals December 30 2015

British author Neil Gaiman writes:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.  Because if you are making, mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing your world.  You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
Now, what will that “something” be?
The New Year is prime time for making resolutions, and setting goals focused on fitness are perennial favorites.  Now, making resolutions is one thing; keeping them is another.  A recent study shows that 98% of people who resolve to do something do not follow through.  Let’s be part of the 2%.
Here are some tips on how to make goals that stick:
Pick what you want to do, not what you, or others, think you should do
Commitment is the key to getting things done.  In January 2006, I, a novice athlete at best, decided to complete a marathon.  I began what I call my “Couch to 26.2 mile” program motivated by the want to help find and fund a cure for the cancer my friend was battling.  Whenever I found myself tired (which was often) or overwhelmed (again, often), I remembered why I had set this goal, and the thought of Marybeth, her husband and young son got me up and moving. 
In the battle between “want to” and “have to”, the former should always win.  Without commitment, you are more apt to push the goal aside and decide to wait until next year.  So, make goals that your heart is truly behind. 
Surround yourself with supporters
Accountability is a key to success.  When I started on my cancer curing quest, I told everybody I could find – my family, friends, drive-thru bank tellers…  By saying my goal out loud and to others, it made it real.  People were supporting me – in my fundraising and training – and I did not want to let them down.
The positive people in your life are ones who make you want to reach further, run farther and try harder.  They will be the first to help you when you’re down and celebrate when you finish.
Make a plan and mark milestones
In 2006, when I set out to do the marathon, I truly had no clue how to go about actually doing it.  Lucky for me, I signed up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and they provided me with a training plan.  The day-by-day, mile-by-mile guide made this 26.2 mile goal more attainable.
The first step in achieving your goals is to make a plan.  List the steps you will need to take to reach your finish line.  Taking it one day, one action, at a time will be considerably less overwhelming.
And don’t forget to mark your milestones and celebrate your progress!  The morale and momentum you build, for yourself and others will lead you along your next steps.
Believe in yourself and cut yourself some slack
My mantra – the words I repeated to myself throughout my training and nearly all of the 26.2 miles of my race – was “I said I would, so I will.”  Trust me when I say I did not always believe I could, but I was determined not to let my doubts get the better of me.  And the times I was too tired and cut my training short, or worked too late and didn’t train at all, I learned to cut myself some slack – I stopped harping on what I had not accomplished and focused on the accomplishments to come.
Don’t beat yourself up on what you may not be doing – that added pressure doesn’t add anything worthwhile.  Speak to yourself in kind words and remember that tomorrow is another day to achieve.