If you’re already planning on setting yourself some well-intentioned but potentially hard to achieve goals on the first day of the year read on. 

That pesky feeling of shame when you’ve over indulged, and the onslaught of “New Year, New You” messages everywhere you look mean it’s easy to get sucked into setting yourself a punishing New Year’s Resolution.

The festive season is meant to be fun so give yourself a break. Most people who set themselves an unrealistic goal in January ditch the good intentions in less than two weeks. This New Year be kinder to yourself if you want to see results. Take the pressure off, set realistic long term goals and ease yourself into a sustainable routine you can maintain year-round. According to Strava, 92% of people who set themselves the goal of an event are still active 10 months later.

Running 13.1 miles sounds like something that would be a near impossible test for someone who is just starting out, but John Western managed to complete his first ever event at the age of 75!

Not only is John, from Bingley, a pensioner but he is also registered blind. Despite this, he joined thousands of runners taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run in October.

John decided to sign up to run the half marathon to set himself a new goal in 2018 after being inspired by his children to try out new and exciting challenges.

Following the death of his wife Lesley to cancer, John began to lose his sight due to stress. He decided to take up running to give him something small and positive to focus on, step by step.

He set up a treadmill in his home to help him focus on his running, despite his disability and gradually increased his distance with the support of his daughter Nicky.

John said: “I have crazy children who do crazy things and they convinced me to give it a go this year. “My daughter is always up for some challenge or other. I’m not trying to win any medals of break any records, I just wanted to keep a steady pace.

“For me, it’s all about putting one front of the other until you get to the finish line.”

John saw the event as a huge challenge and embarked on a long-term training programme to aim towards his first-ever half marathon.

He added: “I played squash and football many years ago and I’ve always tried to keep myself fit but I’d never done anything like a half marathon before.

“My eyesight started to disappear when my wife was dying and it hasn’t got any better over the last few years.

“I decided to just build myself up over several months to improve myself physically and mentally.”

New Year, no pressure. We’re in it for the long run. Enter the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k or the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run at: Greatrun.org/Birmingham