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.

Sarah Pinch, a 45-year-old mother, found running provides a respite from her busy schedule.

She started training with the popular This Mum Runs group in 2016 and faced her first Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k in May the following year.

Sarah, from Bristol, she decided to take part in the event after discovering the positive effect that running had on her mental wellbeing.

After having a tough start to the year where she lost her uncle and some of her friends, she wanted to make a small change in her life half-way through the year to have a fresh start. She decided to learn to run by joining This Mum Runs.

Sarah took part in two running courses with them as her ability improved. Half-way through the final course, she decided to set herself the goal of running her first 10k event.

Sarah said: “I’m an older mum and have a number of demanding professional roles. It can sometimes feel as though I have no time at all for myself.

“When I started running, I found it gave me the headspace I need to manage the pressure of my day-to-day responsibilities.

“It was a complete revelation to me when I realised how easily it allowed me tune out of the constant to do list I juggle in my head.

“I’ve appreciated feeling better, feeling fitter. By taking something on gradually, I have come to realise that a strong body helps a stronger mind. Running has really revolutionised my life in a way that I never anticipated.”

Hundreds of people from This Mum Runs are set take part in the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k, when it returns to the city on Sunday 5 May.

Sarah added: “Since completing my very first 10k in 2017, I have run another five. “I completed my training as a This Mum Runs Run Angel, so I now lead other women on our social runs around North Bristol, which is such a privilege.

“I also completed my first triathlon in August and my first half marathon in October.

“2019 is a big year for me, I am challenging myself to complete more 10ks, including Bristol of course, where it all began.

“Running with This Mum Runs has changed my life, I am physically fitter, mentally stronger and much more relaxed; I have to pinch myself, because two years ago I could not run for one minute. If I can do it, anyone can.”

New Year? No pressure. We’re in it for the long run. Enter the 2019 Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10k or the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon at: Greatrun.org/Bristol