A Month of Running #SpringForward

At the start of April I was challenged by The Institute of Inertia, in partnership with Comparethemarket.com, to set myself a spring goal, resurrecting a resolution that failed at the start of the year and using the brighter, longer days to give myself a chance at success.

I decided to focus on doing something for me and set myself the goal of running three times a week throughout April. Running is something I have done on and off for quite a while now but wanted to really try and make it part of my routine and the challenge was a great opportunity to do this.

The Institute of Inertia gave me advice at the start of the challenge and it was definitely a great help. For example, rather than setting yourself the task of losing a huge amount of weight like a stone or more, try and break it down to one or two pounds a week. When you succeed in the first week you should not only be motivated to keep going but your end goal may feel more achievable.

Throughout April I have kept this advice in mind and it has definitely been a great time for me to try and achieve my running goal. The longer days have given me more hours of daylight to get outside. The weather has been generally warmer and nicer and really my whole outlook has just been brighter.

I also made sure I knew exactly when I was going to go out for a run, adding it to my calendar and organising other activities and plans around it. In the past it has been so easy to just not go for a run and do something else instead - like sit on the sofa for an extra hour... But having my runs laid out on the calendar made me accountable and made it fact - things on the calendar will happen.

Lastly, I didn't think past the next run. If it was Monday evening and I was going running on Wednesday I wouldn't think about that run until just before, and didn't think about Friday or Saturday's run either - just the next one. At the start of April it would have been overwhelming to think of 12 runs in front of me so instead I worked through them, one by one and then one week at a time.

Over this month I have run more consistently and more regularly than I have since I started running. Spring has given me the boost I needed to make running a habit and cement it into my routine. Through the rest of the year it has been easy to let bad weather and dark evenings stop me from getting out but spring holds less excuses.

I have loved taking part in this challenge and it has really made me rethink the goals I set myself and when I set them too. Dr Thomas Webb, social psychologist and Chair of the Institute of Inertia said:

“In January people have a tendency to jump on the ‘new year, new you’ bandwagon. Many of us follow the crowd and get swept up in the enthusiasm around making New Year’s resolutions. However, often the goals that we set are unrealistic, are not supported by a clear plan of action or an understanding of the task at hand – in short, it’s a recipe for failure.”

I cannot help but agree. In future I will be saving my resolutions for spring and in doing so I hope they will be less destined to fail. 

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