The idea of a New Year’s resolution has always scared me. How could I possibly stick to one specific goal for 365 days without altering it or failing? I love new challenges and big surprises. I want flexibility to turn that 180 without guilt. Having a way of life that allows room to grow is a much better fit for me.

With that in mind, let’s explore some mini-resolutions. This is a “Hopes and Wishes List” rather than rigid deadlines. Try these suggestions for a whole new you in the new year:

  1. RUN A NEW RACE – Find a race in a category that you haven’t explored. If you only run road races, hit the trails. Are you a 5K lover? Then look for a 10K. Maybe you run the same races every year. Consider races in different locations this new year. It’s easy to find ones in all distances across the country. Just look online for ideas.
  2. DONATE YOUR RUNNING SHOES – Many schools and organizations would love to have running shoes.
  3. RUN FREE – Turn off technology when you run. Forget the Garmin and the playlist. Simply feel your run.
  4. BE A SPECTATOR – Attend a running event as cheerleader instead of runner. Be at the finish line of a race or school track meet. Here’s an opportunity to give back the boost you receive during your races.
  5. SHOP LOCAL– You’ve probably already discovered your local running store. Employees know that you love strawberry chews and that you prefer medium T-shirts but small singlets. This new year, find a diner that serves the perfect oatmeal for breakfast after your run or the crafter who designs amazing headbands for runners.
  6. SPONSOR A RUNNER – Check with your local middle school or high school. There may be a student who is a talented runner but cannot afford some of the gear that would make his running career easier. Find out the shoe size and send a new pair. Purchase some cold weather items, like gloves or hats. You could do this anonymously or get to know your runner and even run with him during practice some days.
  7. TURN SOMEONE ON – Many of your friends probably say that they can’t run. Maybe the new year is the perfect time to prove them wrong. Help them with training plans and pace them for their first race.
  8. JOIN A CLASS – Try something new and different to enhance your running and your overall fitness. Gyms offer everything from yoga to strength training to Zumba. Have some fun, learn new skills and meet some friends!
  9. PRACTICE KINDNESS – It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Wave at other runners as you pass. Offer to set up water stops for training runs. Stay at the finish line to cheer for finishers as they come in at races. Post shoutouts on social media for good luck before races and praise for finishing.

Keep it simple and you’ll be able to accomplish any of these and more in the new year! What’s on your Hopes and Wishes List for 2015?


By Nichols