Baby Steps

Every year, at various times in the year, I take time to reflect on where I am at accomplishing my New Year’s Resolutions. To me, New Year’s Resolutions are a BIG deal. They are not something I take lightly. A few things that I do to hold myself accountable for reaching them each year are:

  •  I write them down – EVERY year, without fail
  • I tell people – Accountability partners!
  • Routinely, I check-in with myself in order to gauge my progress against the amount of time remaining in the year

Well, obviously we are approaching New Year’s, but certainly not there yet, so, WHY am I writing about this now?  I am so glad you asked!

Resolutions, or goals, are very powerful things. But the problem with a goal is it is generally unattainable – if it was easily attainable, I am assuming it would not be on your list. Often times, this resolution sounds like a wonderful idea and then a few months in, is a frustration. So, how, do you reach these resolutions?

Baby Steps. I certainly hope that you are picturing the movie “What About Bob” when I say Baby Steps. If you are not, maybe this picture will help!


Every year, I take my resolution, segment it into measurable “chunks” and work each segment individually. For example, last year my goal was to run a marathon. At the time, I could probably run four miles or so. So, in order to achieve my goal,  I divided up the goal into smaller, measurable outcomes including: run a 10k, run a half marathon, join a marathon training group, run a marathon. The goal of running a 10k when I could already run five miles was MUCH more attainable than setting out to run a marathon. I really think this general rule applies to many things. If you have fallen off of the wagon recently, to focus on how much weight you have gained, or how unhealthy you’re eating has become, is much more tough to deal with than setting a small, attainable goal. Instead of focusing on the big, just eat 100 calories less today, or get in a brisk lunch time walk – small steps that can result in a big change.

Once you have a few successes under your belt, by all means, make the goal a bit more far-fetched. For me, the jump from a half marathon to a full marathon was a big jump. However, instead of just looking at what a large jump in miles it was, I focused on accomplishing a 15 mile run, and then a 20 mile run. I segmented my training program, with awards built in (hello, lululemon!), in order to make the end goal within reach.

So today, think about a New Year’s Resolution that you set in January of 2013. Where are you in accomplishing that goal? Have you progressed? Has your progress slowed or stopped altogether? Any ideas for what a resolution could be for 2014?


One thought on “Baby Steps

  1. You got it Katie–baby steps. Fitness goals are always part of my New Year’s resolution. A guy at work talked me into climbing Mt. St. Helens a few years ago and it wasn’t in my resolution but the opportunity presented itself and I went for it. Climbing mountains is a little different than running as you have that elevation gain and the steps get so much harder as you near the summit. I would have never made it if I had not done baby steps and so the next year it was part of my resolution.

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