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 make it 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.

Ronnie Hart, from Glasgow, is a former addict who has used running as a tool to help him towards his recovery.

He feels that the challenge of signing up to last year’s Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run in Glasgow and the peace of mind that he has gained through his training has helped him to turn his life around.

Since the half marathon, he runs regularly and because it makes him feel ‘alive’.

After coming through a traumatic childhood, Ronnie started abusing solvent solutions from under the sink. In his adulthood, this developed into a habit of drug abuse.

His experience has been one of going from where he used drugs to block out his thoughts to one where running helps him see things in a better way.

Ronnie said: "On a Sunday morning, I am getting up and preparing to be the best I can at something.

“After taking part in the half marathon, I was buzzing and I was on a natural high. I did not know you could feel like that without drugs. “Drugs stripped me of everything. They took my self-esteem and my confidence.

“After I discovered I could run, things have completely changed for the better for me. It felt good, I was achieving something which I had never really done before.

“When I am running, it gives me time to think, process information and come up with answers and solutions to whatever is on my mind at the time.”

Ronnie started running while attending a Glasgow rehab centre and has gone from struggling to run one mile to completing a half marathon six months later.

He says that running has become a huge part of his life and has helped him to rediscover his self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.

He added: “Although the drugs took everything from me, running has given it all back.

“I’ve recently joined the Belahouston Road Runners. Not only has my time really improved but joining a club has allowed me to get the best out of my running as well as the social aspect of running together.”

New Year? No pressure. We're in it for the long run. The 2019 Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run will take place on Sunday 29 September. To enter, visit: Greatscottishrun.com