Now that we're firmly settled into 2018, it's time to toss any crumbs of peppermint bark or dregs of champagne you might have left and devote some time to setting realistic, attainable goals for the glorious 363 days we have left of this year.
And if the word goals feels too close to the word resolutions, which deflate before February begins, you can think of them as athletic priorities. Gentle enough to allow for flexibility, but important enough to give them serious, sustained consideration.
We've got three steps below. Step One requires the least amount of time, while Steps Two and Three will enhance your reasoning and focus.
STEP ONE: MONTH-AT-A-GLANCE
Taking ten minutes to fill out this one-pager will help you sort through your 2018 athletic priorities in relation to your other commitments, both running- and life-wise.
First, fill out your athletic priorities. You can have anywhere between one and three for 2018.
Run my first marathon.
PR in a 10k.
Lose xx pounds.
Build hip + glute strength so I stop getting injured.
Become a better swimmer.
Run xxx total miles in 2018.
Learn to run confidently on trails.
Here's the catch: You can't double-dip or multi-task on any single priority; in other words, the words and and as and similar conjunctions are not allowed in your priorities
You can PR in a Half-Ironman.
You can PR in a half-marathon.
But you can't PR in a half-marathon and a Half-Ironman; having them share a priority doesn't allow each the space, respect and effort it deserves.
You can lose 15 pounds.
You can run your first marathon.
But you can't lose 15 pounds as you run a marathon; as this AMR podcast reminds you, training intensely as you try to lose weight is a tough BOGO.
Having just three (or fewer) priorities for your athletic year brings a clarity and crispness to your decision-making. When you are not sure of how you'll get through another double-digit training run or wondering if you should help your friend run a half-marathon in the thick of your marathon training, you can go back to your priorities and decide accordingly.
Then pick a theme word(s) for your 2018. Could be smash it, rebuild, maintain, be present, find joy...whatever theme seems to be bouncing around your brain as you consider your upcoming year.
Finally, mentally go through 2018 month-by-month, briefly noting your priorities you'll have. You may focus on athletic priorities, or you can throw in other known commitments as well (graduations, weddings, conferences, trips, etc.). Even if your week-long work trip to a conference center in Omaha isn't a priority, it will influence your athletic priorities.
A little confused? Don't worry; tomorrow, we will showcase three examples of these filled out.
Once you are done, email it to us; we are going to feature four of these—and the #motherrunners behind them—on the upcoming Mondays in January.
Regardless of whether or not you share it, put it some place you'll see it regularly. (Read: not in the stack of random field trip permission forms and coupons you swear you'll use one day.)
STEP TWO: 2018 YEAR IN PREVIEW
If you have more time, we recommend diving into this worksheet. Created by Coach MK, it also features the Year in Preview, but includes expanded instructions on how to maximize your race schedule and recommendations like having a regular physical therapist programmed into your phone.
STEP THREE: TUNE IN
In Mid-December, the Train Like a Mother Club held introduction/ask-the-coaches/goal-setting sessions, in case you'd like to eavesdrop:
(Note: We had tech issues with the Ultra Webinar, so this link goes to the previous one; some of the specific training details might have been tweaked over the course of a year, but the general spirit of the program—and Coach Stephanie's inclusive perspective—is definitely the same.)
All of these are available on the Train Like a Mother podcast, which you can find on Apple, Stitcher and all your favorite podcast delivery apps. (And
Coach Stephanie also introduced the Ultra program on this AMR podcast.)
Plus, we've received some very kind praise and valuable insights about the Another Mother Runner Podcast: Setting Realistic New Year Fitness Resolutions, so definitely tune into that as you sweep up pine needles.
Phew. Thanks for hanging with this post until the end! Remember, we'll have examples tomorrow; see you then!