As surprising as it may be to some - not everyone loves running.
While there are plenty of people in this world who embrace the joys of running happily, with a love for pounding the pavement in their calf compression sleeves radiating from their every pore - there are also those who regard running to be little more than a boring, painful activity.
Unfortunately, you can't get all of the amazing benefits that come with running, if you're unwilling to strap on your shoes and get out onto the track. So how do you make a running plan that not only keeps you pushing forward when the going gets tough, but ensures you don't end up ditching your resolutions a week into training?
Make Big Changes by Starting Small
When it comes to creating a running plan that you'll actually stick to, there's one major step that you're going to have to take, and that's setting a goal. While it's tempting to pick out your ambitions from an epic list of things you'd love to be able to accomplish "at some point", the truth is that if you choose an unrealistic goal, you're likely to lose heart pretty quickly, and find yourself curling up on the sofa again in no time.
On the other hand, selecting a small goal that you can actually see yourself achieving in a relatively short period of time gives you something more attainable to work towards. Instead of trying to lose forty pounds, tell yourself that you're going to lose four. If you're sick of an inactive lifestyle and want to go for runs every day, try committing yourself to a jog every other day instead.
Make it More Fun
As wonderful and beneficial running can be for your mind and body - it's rarely an exciting experience. Pounding the pavement as you stare at the same sidewalk day in, day out, is bound to leave you looking for excuses to avoid your next run. That means if you want to figure out how to stick to your running plan, you first need to figure out how to make the activity more interesting.
Set up your own playlist of motivational songs, start changing up your routes so that you can explore different places - or even grab an app on your phone like Pokémon Go that will allow you to gamify your efforts. It's up to you how you choose to entertain yourself, but if you can actually enjoy your running, then you're more likely to stick to it.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Finally, remember that having an ambition to start running and stick to it is one thing, but figuring out how to stick to your running plan in reality is a whole new ball game. One of the best ways to stay motivated and disciplined when you're putting on your running shoes each morning - is to hold yourself accountable. Make a list of goals you want to achieve and mark points off on your calendar when you reach a milestone.
At the same time, consider getting other people to hold you accountable too, by telling your friends and family about your efforts and asking for their support.