As we approach the end of 2014 and the beginning of a new year, I have been thinking about goals. I love goal setting and think it is such an important thing to do regularly. However, I believe that when it comes to many things, including running, it’s smart to look at where you’ve been before you think about where you want to go. As you pull out the planners and think about your 2015 running goals, here are some tips that I use to help me create targets that I will actually be excited about:
- What did I love about running this past year? For me, I loved running with friends. This was the first year that I had regular running buddies. I ran with a friend during 85% of my runs and I loved that. That is something that I want to continue in the new year.
- What did I not love about running this year? Hmmm, this is a hard one to answer. I think my least favorite aspect of running this year was the extremely cold temperatures during the polar vortex. I did not love that – and for that reason, I’m not training for a spring marathon. I’m keeping my winter runs to a reasonable distance!
- What did I learn? I learned that I can do incredible things that I would’ve never thought possible, like conquer back to back marathons and live to tell the tale. I am more determined than ever to continue to set strong goals to keep challenging myself. Which leads to the next question…
- What new challenges do I want to take on? I want to really focus on a fall marathon. I haven’t decided yet which one, but I want to take four months and really knock it out of the park. It’s scary to me to really go for it, but that’s kind of the point.
After answering those questions, I usually have a pretty good sense of what I want to focus on for the upcoming year. I will be aiming for a great marathon in the fall of 2015. I’ll also be aiming for lots of smaller races before and after. Of course, things change and fluidity is always key, but it’s nice to have an idea of where you want to go and why. Reviewing your year can help you plan the next one with clarity and ease.