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At the beginning of every year, people all around the globe come up with fresh resolutions. Many of them include losing weight and working out more than they had the year before.

For me, I typically stay away from resolutions. And this year will be no different. However, I work on making adjustments throughout the year by continuing on with things that are working and making tweaks to things that are not as successful.

This year, I will be making a larger commitment to running and making changes as needed.

Whether you are making any New Year resolutions or adjusting to things you are already doing, your goals need to be meaningful, realistic and do-able.

Be Realistic

Make sure your goals are challenging, but realistic. If a goal seems overwhelming, you probably won’t accomplish it. The good thing about running is that it’s an inclusive sport. Your height, weight, age, background and education don’t matter. You can still run. There are very few people who will be able to run in the Olympics or win a marathon, but there are still many running goals to accomplish.

If you’ll be running your first marathon, don’t try to qualify for Boston the first time. That’s simply not an attainable goal for most runners and will lead to discouragement. The goal of your first marathon should be to cross the finish line strong and be happy with your achievement whether it took you four hours or six. When setting running goals think big, but you also need to evaluate whether you have the time and motivation to accomplish the goal.

Evaluate

Before you can set and achieve goals, you need to evaluate what you really want. Don’t let your desires and goals be dictated by others. Yes, it may sound grand to set your sights on a half or full marathon because you’ve seen it on The Biggest Loser. But, do you have the time and commitment? Or would it be more realistic to start smaller with a 5K or 10K?

Take Action

All the dreams in the world aren’t worth anything without action. There is a time to prepare and there is a time to take action.

Your goals should also be specific and measurable. For example, I will run a half marathon in June 2012. I will start training on February 1 using a specific training plan.

You need to surround yourself with the right information and supportive poeple. We all need encouragement and positive feedback. Interact with the Black Girls Run! Columbia Facebook page and join the movement.

For me, I have found that I am running more consistently as a part of Black Girls Run! Columbia than when I ran alone. I am now meeting various women four times a week to get in about 16 miles a week and have been doing that since about early September. However, I have noticed that I am sort of at a plateau. So, my action will be to add more mileage weekly as well as adding hills and speed work.

Perseverance

There is always going to be something that tests your resolve. It’s important to not be controlled by the moment. Everything worth doing is going to be hard at times. In order to achieve the long term benefits that you want, you have to hang in there, even when the going gets tough. Look at where you want to be in the long term and make your decisions based on these goals.

In order to achieve your goals, you’ll need to have the mental toughness and learn to block out mental sabotage.

Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? Or are you making adjustments to something that is already a part of your life?

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