Promises, promises – making (and breaking) New Year’s resolutions.

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Tomorrow we welcome 2017. How did that happen?! 2016 seems to have flown by and we’re now sitting on the edge of the start of the new year. The time of year when most people have resolutions on their mind. Resolutions that over 90% of people fail to achieve.

I did some indepth research (by indepth research I do of course mean Google) and found that the top 5 resolutions made at this time of year are:

  • Lose weight
  • Go to the gym
  • Go on a diet/Eat healthier
  • GIve up smoking
  • Save money/Get out of debt

The order varies from site to site but these five are almost always at the top, even coming above spending more time with family and friends!

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For most, the pattern is the same every year. We make a resolution in late December, wake up on January the 1st full of resolve to see it through but, by the end of January, it’s been forgotten. One of my friends said that, ‘If people really wanted to get fit/lose weight they would just do it then and there rather than waiting a month for the calendar to say 1/1/17. New years resolutions seem like a waste of time and energy really as they always only last about 2 months max’. Waiting for the calendar to change into the new year before setting out to achieve something lends itself to the ‘I’ll start tomorrow mindset’.

So, why do we continue to make them? The new year brings a clean slate and a chance to start again. Making a resolution is about hoping that the new year will be different. That the new year will be YOUR year. It’s that simple.

As someone who never fails to make a resolution (even when I tell people I haven’t made any!) I think the problem lies in how big or generic those resolutions are. Lose weight? Lose a few pounds in January and you’ve achieved it. Go to the gym? Go to the gym once in January and again you’ve achieved your resolution.

I asked my Facebook friends to let me know what their ‘positive’ new years resolutions are and I was surprised by the answers.

Chelle says she wants to run a 5k. She’ll walk parts of it if she has too but the 5k distance would be a big achievement for her. Tom (the book of knowledge who gave me the statistic about the percentage of people who fail to reach their resolution) wants to learn a new skill, as does my sister who wants to start a French language course. Carla’s resolution is to say ‘no’ more often. Not because she’s negative or doesn’t like saying yes but because she wants to spend more time looking after herself.

Along with a bit more running, seeing friends more and reading more, one of my friends told me that they want to do more time trials on their bike. Not because being on the bike will help with weight management of muscle gain. They just love cycling. That’s it.

Hannah who writes her blog at It’s okay, right? Right! said that the start of the new year is her reminder to make the most of life as you never know what’s going to happen. This year she’s putting a bit of a focus on self-care both physically and mentally.

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And me? Well, I’m setting goals this year rather than making resolutions. I’d like a sub 6 hour time in the London Marathon. Achievable considering I ran 6:05 in Brighton in 2015. I want to discover different blogs and write regulary on my own. And, perhaps most important, I want to reconnct with Crossfit. Since starting to concentrate on my running I’ve been in the box less and less and I want to get back to it and the people who were so awesome when I organised the charity Crossfit competition.

If you’re still going to make a new year’s resolution why not make it goal instead? If you were going to vow to lose weight why don’t you set a goal to start resistance training instead. Instead of going to the gym set a goal to try a new form of exercise. Don’t insist on doing some thing you hate. Don’t start eating kale if you don’t like kale. Don’t tell yourself to start running if that’s the last exercise you want to do. Instead of telling yourself to stop stressing out, book onto a meditation or mindfulness course! Tell your friends and family what your goals are and get their support in actually achiving them.

Whatever goal you choose, make it for you. Truely make 2017 YOUR year.

Happy new year, C x

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Published by Claire's Marathon Musings

I love running! I'm attempting to run all six of the World Marathon Majors but I'm a wannabe triathlete as well.

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