Set small goals. Achieve small goals.

I’m finally back at home after a nice week with my parents. I’m off work until Thursday (yay!) so I’ve been having a quiet day at home doing housework (I believe in that superstition of getting all the housework done before New Years to greet the new year with a clean house! Cleaning in, around and behind the fridge was an epic task, too.) and taking time to go for a run.

It was hard to motivate myself to get out the door. It’s gray and cold and yucky (36ºF and 15-20mph wind).  I’d been working around the house all day. And I had the inertia of not having done anything since my last run on Christmas. But… I had a little goal.

I was very close to getting to 25 miles this month, which is a mileage I think of as “a good month”. I run more when I’m not lifting and when I’m training for my spring 5k, but 25 miles is something to toot my horn over.  I had 2 more miles to go, and if I didn’t run today I’d have to run tomorrow, and there are Things To Do and who knows what the weather will be like! So my motivation to get to 25 got me out the door, and I finished a nice run of 3.2 miles in 42 minutes and stuck a gold star on my goal.

I find that specific, small and quantifiable goals work best for me.  “Run 25 miles this month” is better than “Run more”.  “Do more yoga” is out; I need to set a number of times per week, or even just commit to stretching properly after workouts. (This is something I really want to work on– lifting has started to make me even more inflexible.) If I’m making goals for myself, I have to pin them down so I can plan out how to achieve them.

Does this count as one of those New Years Resolution posts? I don’t think so. It’s week-to-week, month-to-month.  That’s what works for me– but it’s a great feeling to get to the end of the year and count up the little gold stars.  I’ll have to recap those once the year turns.

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