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My New Year's Resolution

Updated: January 3, 2016

For those of you that read the original blog below and have been following my progress, I am happy to say that I completed working out 365 days in a row and actually achieved 368 days in a row. I will be taking the next three days completely off, before starting a new set of goals. The criteria for a workout was a minimum of 3 miles or 30 minutes cardio (running, elliptical) with optional weight training. During 2015, I achieved the following:

Total miles: 1,571.83

Days: 365

Avg. per day: 4.31

Days weight training: 278

Total days in a row: 368

While there were some tough days in the first 100 (see orginal blog below), I have to say there were much less in the final 265. It truly became a habit and proved to me that age is just a number! I actually posted my strongest month ever in December (144.11 miles) beating October 2000, the month I ran the Columbus Marathon (143 miles).

My sincere thanks to all of you who called and sent emails of support! It really helped make a difference!

MIke Jacoutot

Original Blog

On December 31st, I, like so many others made a resolution. My resolution was to workout 100 consecutive days until my 56th birthday on April 10th. To qualify for a “workout,” I needed to run/elliptical for at least 3 miles or 30 minutes or weight train for 30 minutes. My family cautioned me that at my age, my body needed to rest at least 1-2 days a week and that I would get hurt. They asked me to set a more realistic goal like a month or 56 days—one day for each year of my life. Of course, 100 was the magic number for me. I have to say, there were some tough days early on:

  • January 11th, my legs felt like my shoes were made of cinder blocks

  • January 20th, I had to get on the treadmill at 9 PM after a client dinner with two glasses of wine in me. After running the first mile quite wobbly, I was able to settle in and stay on the treadmill

  • February 9th, I had to wake up at 3:30 AM to ensure I would do it before a day of traveling, sales calls and a client dinner

  • On March 5th, I injured my hamstring and had to shift to the elliptical for ten days

Truth be told, psychologically, I really needed this!

While the Butler Street business was flourishing, I was in a rut physically and was coming off of a very poor December (45 miles). I needed to get fired up about something again! I needed to set a big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG). I needed to go public. I needed to prove to myself, I could still “dig deep” when I had to. In our Butler Street training classes we always preach that the difference between the successful person and the unsuccessful person is this: the successful person is in the habit of doing things the unsuccessful person doesn’t do. Those three little words: in the habit. Could I put myself in habit of working out 100 straight days????

For those of you that do not know me, I have been in the habit of recording every one of my workouts since 1991 in a spreadsheet. I know what you are thinking---OCD! Honestly, that is not the case. I am a firm believer in the old adage, if you are not keeping score, you are only practicing. Since that time, I have averaged approximately 80 miles per month and have weight trained on average 15 days per month. I think, by most people’s standards-- very solid numbers.

On the date of this newsletter, I have worked out 200 straight days, accumulating 855.78 miles (4.28/day) and 158 weight training days-- setting a record over my collegiate days as an All-American wrestler. By contrast, 2014 was one of my lowest mileage outputs in the last ten years coming in at 793.66 miles and 138 weight training days. Get the picture?

Since going public with my goal I have been joined by several others who are in the habit:

Randy Oloffson, Vice President, Northeast for Hospitality Staffing Solutions has set a goal of 10,000 steps a day and is currently at 51 days—moving to running October 1st

Kevin Walzak, a 1981 teammate of mine set a goal to do 100 straight push-ups in a row, it took six months but at 56, he completed his goal and sent me a video to prove it!

Mary Ann McLaughlin, Butler Street Managing Partner is currently training for her fourth marathon (Chicago in October) and has set a goal to qualify for Boston this time after coming up one minute short in a prior attempt

These are all great goals and their habits are worthy of recognition.

Why write about such a goal? Why didn’t I stop on day 100? It is real simple: I am in the habit! I am trying to live what we teach. So, I decided to go “public” with the goal to let everyone in their fifties know that the late, great Satchel Page had it right when he was asked how old he was, he responded:

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?”

Age is just a number. My revised goal was 200 days—mission accomplished! The New Goal: 365 days or one full year.

That is one of the key things with goal setting. Tell everyone you know what your goal is so that they can help you achieve your goal through “public accountability.” It takes a village. It is the same thing in business. You put your Big Hairy Audacious Goal out there, make it visible and measure it daily. You develop the habits (planning, recording, reviewing) to ensure you will hit the goal. Will I hit the new BHAG? I hope so. Injury and illness are my biggest fears:

2004: While training for a race at about 5:30 AM, I was running down a hill, tripped and fell face first into a curb.

2005: While wrestling with my son Michael, I caught my foot in between mats and broke it.

2013: While running on a drizzly October day, I slipped on some wet leaves and broke my ankle two miles from the gym. Needless to say, it was a tough road back!

There is still a long way to go and a lot can happen. I am 100% committed to achieving the goal that I set. To let you know how I am doing, I will put a link on our weekly newsletter to show my results. If, for some reason I miss a day and the streak is broken, I will let you know.

Whether a company, a department or an individual, goal setting is the foundation of success. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too old or that it won’t make a difference. Achievement of any goal, be it big or small, always makes a difference! They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. I am in a great rhythm and going “public” was the final phase of my plan to achieve 365 straight days!

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