3 goal setting lessons from running 365 miles in one year

On December of 2016, I challenged myself with exercising more in 2017. My objective was to run 365 miles by the end of the year.

I got the idea from Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who announced his plan to run 365 miles during 2016.

It’s almost the end of 2017, and I’m happy to report that I’m on track to complete the 365 miles.

runkeeper running goal

If you're not wrapping up any of your 2017 goals by now, there is always room for improvement next year. Here are some suggestions to help you take a goal from just another New Year's resolution that fell flat, to actually meeting your goals in 2018.


Have you ever planned, tracked, and executed a New Year’s year resolution to completion? If not, consider limiting your new resolutions to only one small win.

It's OK to have more than one resolution so worst case scenario; you’ll 100% complete at least one. 


Running 365 miles within a year is only one mile per day. In my case, every time I run, I shoot for three miles. That leaves me with a lot of flexibility to miss some days, without falling too far behind. Flexibility helps you stay motivated even when you get a little off track.

I actually missed several days of running throughout the year from juggling my new responsibilities as a father, to working longer hours to meet work deadlines. But if I never sat down and set a clear plan [1], I probably would have run less than half of what I ran this year.

Design your goals to allow room for flexibility, because there will be days where for one or other reason, you didn’t put the time towards completing your goal.


You can’t manage what you can’t track. In my case, I tracked my progress on a running app called RunKeeper.

Monitoring my progress also inspired me to keep going throughout the year. It reminded me of the collective power of consistency over time.

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Discipline leads to freedom but is a value that takes time to develop. A significant first step to prep yourself for big wins in the future is to commit to only one New Year’s  resolution. It might even help you stick to your other goals for the year as it did for me.

Remember to keep your goals simple, flexible, and trackable.


  1. How to Create an Achievement Plan