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Making SMART Goals For Next Year

To continue on the theme of my last post, the end of the year can be SUPER stressful. But it can also be super exciting. For me, as a chorus director/Spanish teacher/blogger/mom/wife/ADULT IN GENERAL, this is the absolute-most-anxiety inducing time of the year with THREE, read THREE concerts to do in the next seven days, piano accompaniments to learn, blogposts to write, Spanish papers to grade, blah, blah, blah…

I could sit here and wallow in self-pity and loathing, overwhelming myself with being overwhelmed (which I basically did all last week). Or I can start thinking about next year and how exciting it will be.

Do you create resolutions? Do you set goals for the upcoming year? The end of the year is my favorite time to reset my fitness goals, reflect on what I achieved during the previous 11 months and prepare myself for what will hopefully be the best year in fitness ever.

I call BS on all of the naysayers that don’t even want you to create resolutions. I personally think goals and resolutions are one in the same and they should be treated as such. Without goals and resolutions for the year, you wallow in self pity (here it is again) and park yourself on a virtual couch. We’re not doing that this year, because we’re going to have a PLAN.

I’m gonna get all teacherly on you and suggest that when you set goals and resolutions, you make them SMART.

SMART goals are SPECIFIC, MEANINGFUL, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, TIMEBOUND.

You still with me?

For example, you have this idea of completing your first half marathon. What a noble goal! What a worthy cause—the cause being your own personal fitness. Maybe you have never even completed a 5k, but you’ve been running fairly consistently for the past few months or years. Maybe you’re a brand new runner and want to dive in head-first into this intriguing sport dominated by the likes of Kara Goucher, Sanya Richards-Ross, or Desiree Linden.

How can you turn your dream of doing your first half marathon into a SMART goal and then more importantly, a reality?

Let’s explore!

You’ll need to be SPECIFIC with your goal.
Which half am I registering for and what do I want to accomplish? Will it be a trail half? A road half? A hellishly difficult mountain half at altitude like Pike’s Peak that’s all uphill all the time?

Your goal will have to be MEASURABLE and MEANINGFUL.
How will I know if I’m ready to do this? How will I track my progress? What smaller distances can I do that will show progress? What implications does this have in my real life? What can I learn from this? Will this type of training give me more ME time and allow me to breathe more? Will this make me a badass? (YES IT WILL.)

Is your goal ATTAINABLE and REALISTIC?
Can I put in the 12-16 weeks of training that I’ll need to do in order to complete the half? Can I actually do this? (The answer is ABSOLUTELY. YES. YOU. CAN) Find a training plan that will work for you and commit yourself to attaining your goal with its guidance.

Make sure your resolution or goal is RELEVANT to your life.
Is this goal worthwhile? Am I aiming for a new PR in time or distance? Will this make my life better? In my completely UNBIASED opinion…OF COURSE it’s worthwhile. Anything that makes you a better runner and causes you to have a more consistent fitness routine in general simply makes you a better human being.

And finally, your goal should be TIMELY.
Make sure to actually register for an event, put it on your calendar, and get to training. Why not start NOW? (See my previous post!)

The point is, make some goals and then crush them. Laugh in the face of everyone who tells you not to make them, and then make some more. You see? It becomes an unbreakable habit and you become an unbreakable, unflappable badass.

Share your goals with us!

More from Fat Girl Running
How Running Can Keep You Sane During The Holidays
Why Recovering From A Race Is Harder Than Tapering

Fat Girl Running

My name is Mirna Valerio, aka @TheMirnavator. I am a native of Brooklyn and current resident of northeast Georgia. I'm a Spanish teacher, diversity educator, cross-country coach, marathoner, ultrarunner and blogger, writing about all things running and living life to its fullest while being a larger gal on my blog, Fatgirlrunning. I have a son who is 12 and a hubby who travels a lot, mostly in West Africa. I try to live by example. We only have one body and one life. We must love our bodies and ultimately our entire selves in order to be whole people, in order to live our lives to the fullest. The road to self-acceptance and self-love is a long one, and one that requires a commitment to loving yourself (and spreading that love to others) no matter how you perceive yourself that moment, day, or year. Get out there and be. And run all the roads and trails.