Happy New Year! I feel like the holiday season was a bit of a blur. A good blur, like looking at my fuzzy Christmas tree lights without my glasses in the morning as I sip coffee. But with two kiddos set free of school work, it was full of busybodies. The 11 year old’s obsessive sugar cookie making combined with the 14 year old’s determination to hangout with every single friend he has over the break, gave it a bit of a whirlwind-ish vibe.
Things also got bigger.
My heart got bigger from spending time with friends and family, my stockpile of goodies got bigger from gifts, my tummy got bigger from all the enjoyment of said gifts (Thanks for the Sees Candy, dad!).
But bigger is indeed better sometimes. I’m all about celebrating you, right? Well, at this time of year, I’m shakin’ even bigger pom-poms at you. Why? Because now is a perfect time to take stock of all your running, fitness, and other healthy shenanigans! Noticing your strengths and giving yourself a big ol’ thumbs up will help launch you into in the new year with purpose.
Corney? Yup, but stick with me…
Here’s my lucky number 7 tips for nailing the new year without a resolution
1. Celebrate YOU. First of all, take a minute or ten to give yourself a big pat on the back for all the workouts you’ve done this past year, all the schedule juggling to fit in your runs, all the times you pulled yourself out of bed in the wee hours to get it done! Dude, you did a bunch of stuff! Take a little run down memory lane (which counts toward weekly mileage), and take stock of your awesomeness.
2. Use momentum. Use the energy you’ve built with your running and fitness this past year to run into the next. No matter your level of fitness, look how brilliant you’ve been for figuring out how to do it. Stay with it. Grab your hubby, your partner, your support crew and be creative about your running schedule. In a recent Runner’s World poll, 42% said they run early in the morning. There’s a reason for this – it’s called get it done! Whatever your running schedule, use that momentum you’ve made to keep things going.
3. Redefine “treats”. This is a big one! The word “treat” is often associated with, say, buttery scones, mountains of cheese–ahem–inactivity, grand expenditures, time away or just plain skipping things that are healthy. The media doesn’t help. Ads constantly tell us (and our kids!) what you should have “when you’re good” and what you “deserve.” Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pile of onion rings, stinky cheese, and a couch nap as much as the next gal, but I’m working on defining “treat” as something healthy. If I have a great run, I’ll treat myself to a super healthy smoothie, to a 1/2 hour earlier bedtime, to a quick yoga session in my bedroom, to 15 minutes with my Trail Runner magazine. Take a wee peek at how you “treat” yourself and pick a few that celebrate that runner’s body that keeps you moving.
4. Let the gifts keep giving. Gift yourself a race registration, a mileage bench-mark, trying 3 new routes, or something that will keep your eye on running in the next few months.
5. Make it fun! Use the new year vibe to check in with running friends. Buoy each other, keep the laughs going. Running mates help me shoo away the post-holiday blues that sometimes creep in. Rekindle the simple, sweet and fun!
6. Remember, everything is connected. When I workout, I eat better. My mind is clearer to make better choices about food and my health in general. I actually floss more when I’m on a strong running streak. I know, crazy, but true. Simply sticking to a basic “get out there” plan has a wonderful ripple effect.
7. Warm up slowly, finish on top. When the weather is still cold, like it is here in Oregon, I tend to start out more slowly. I use these first steps of the morning to think about how lucky I am to be able to run and appreciate nature along the way. My tight muscles and chilly lungs thanked me by giving me warming me up, eventually, so I can finish strong. If you’re getting back into building a longer run after the holidays, finish when you’re feeling good. Your body remembers that and gets excited about your next workout.
With the days so short, the mornings so cold, and the excitement of the holidays behind us, take some time to celebrate the workouts you’ve accomplished. Use that momentum to keep that ball rolling and “treat” yourself to continued fitness. Whether you’re a beginning runner, a long-time pavement pounder, or a trail junkie, I’m celebrating you!
What is one thing you can celebrate about your last year’s running?