HIT THE GROUND RUNNING: Goals. Resolutions. Changes. Wishes. Promises.

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What is it about a new year that makes us feel like we can take on the world?

I’ll be honest. I often fall into the hope of a new year as well, thinking of dreams and goals I want to attain and habits I want to break in an effort to live my “best life”. 

But if roughly 80% of New Year’s resolutions are broken, according to The New York Times, how can I stand a fighting chance of being in that 20%? 

My close friends and I had this conversation just the other day. The group text thread later in the evening was full of the end results we were hoping to achieve: to lose 10 pounds, to stop eating sugar, to drink more water, to cook healthy meals for our families, to work out more regularly, to increase positive thoughts and decrease the negative ones. 

Our wishes weren’t far off from what we have said in the past or what others across the country might be saying.

The hard part was finding a place to start. 

How can we end up with the results we want to see?

The biggest thing was setting attainable and sustainable goals. 

For me, I want to improve my nutrition – not to say good-bye completely to my favorite Sour Patch Kids or Coke Zero, but to have them on special occasions, instead of as a daily habit.  

I want to drink more water, make more time for my mental health, and nurture those relationships that have grown distant in the past two years. 

We decided to band together for accountability and support. 

Aren’t things always better with your best friends? 

The text messages and check-ins with each other over the past three days have been continuous: 

“How are you girls doing today?” 

“Confession: Jan. 2nd has been harder than New Year’s Day.”

“I’m at 60 oz of water already today!”

“I didn’t have any candy today.”

Progress, that’s what we are striving for, not perfection.

Having done and broken many resolutions over my 40+ years, I know the goal should really be consistency – to aim for short-term goals that are attainable and build on one another.

I also know that I don’t have to do it all on my own. 

I can ask for help. 

I can also help someone I care about, knowing that I will stay on track to motivate them too. 

In addition to better nutrition, I always make a running goal for the year. 

In 2021, I wanted to continue the Run Streak I began in June 2020 and also run my 12th full marathon. Because of the running streak, I found consistency with this much easier than I have in the past. I have created a healthy, long-term habit that helps me stay focused and craving more miles. 

The Streak will continue in 2022 – it’s more than 570 days long, so I’m not stopping yet. For the last few weeks, I have been looking for races to run. This has been the goal that I have been having a hard time putting words to and completely committing myself to.

I love the challenge and satisfaction of training for and running a full marathon, but with the unknown of winter weather in Pennsylvania and some other scheduling factors to keep in mind, I have decided to train for a half marathon in the Spring with the hope of running my next full marathon in the Fall. 

Even though I have had the Spring distance picked for a while, I just couldn’t commit officially – that is until my run on Sunday morning.

I was out for easy recovery miles when I ran into one of my students from last year. She excitedly told me she is running her first half marathon in May. Since she lives in a nearby neighborhood, I told her that I would love to run with her sometime. 

When I got home, I realized that the half marathon she is planning to run with her father is one I have always loved. 

I reached out to her family to encourage them in their training, and her mom told me about the reason they are running this race – a reason that hit my heart as well. 

And just like that, my running goal found me. Stay tuned. 

As you embark on your own goals for 2022, find your tribe and if you can’t seem to find that network, reach out to me. I would love to help.

If you haven’t yet decided on your goal for this year, don’t worry. 

Take a little time, allow for some silence, and your heart will let you know. 

Emily Dickey is a Waynesboro native who run for fun and always looks for an opportunity to spread the sunshine.