4 Simple Tips for Reaching Your New Year Goals

Set yourself up for success by making a plan and taking action

Brian Metzler— January is considered a month for resolve, renewal and rejuvenation. But it can also bring lot of subtle pressure if you have life-changing objectives you’re planning to put in motion this month. Instead of daunting, unrealistic or too-easily-broken resolutions, focus on reasonable goals, take action to achieve them and put yourself on a path for an epic year.

Plan Your Year
Make a long-term plan for what you want to accomplish in the spring, summer or fall—whether that means getting fit for a half marathon, running your fastest marathon, tackling an obstacle-course race, running for a charity or completing an Ironman—and then set out the steps it will take to get you there.

Announce Your Goals
No matter what your goals are for 2014, announce them to the world this week—to your friends and family members around the holidays, while you’re chatting in the company break room or on Facebook. Whatever. The motivation of keeping ahead of your self-induced call for accountability will work wonders for you. And you just might inspire others around you to join in on the fun.

Take Action
Start this week! Commit to those goals. Register for your big goal race. Download a training program and start following it today. Join a weekly running group. Hire a coach. Go to fitness classes regularly. Buy new running shoes. Do 100 extra sit-ups every morning as soon as you wake up. Take a 30-day challenge. Just start doing it today!

Be Consistent
Work, school, family and everyday tasks can get in the way, but only if you allow them to. Plan your week around specific daily workout times and make it happen. An hour a day (or sometimes even less) will go a long way in achieving your goals,  maintaining good health and keeping you balanced. Make time for what is important to you. Life’s too short not to pursue what you love to do every single day.

Set big goals, take small steps and be relentless in your pursuit this year.

A version of this story was published in the January 2014 issue of Competitor.