Ring in the New Year as a Runner

It's that time of the year again when we write down our goals and hopes for the coming year. From spending more time with family to traveling to a new city to getting in shape, we start the year off more motivated than ever.

In fact, the top New Year's resolution in 2015 was "staying fit and healthy," according to a Nielsen survey. What better way to do so than to become a runner in the New Year?

Here are four steps to hit the ground running in 2016.

1. Set a goal. If this is your first time running, taking on 3.1 miles in a 5K is the perfect distance to get started in this new world. Do you want to finish under a certain time? Write your goals down. Goals don't have to be easy to be achievable, but they do have to be realistic. Are you already accustomed to the 5K distance and are looking to increase your mileage? Consider setting a goal to run a 10K or even a half marathon race in 2016. You can do it!

2. Sign up for a race. You've decided you want to tackle your first race, whatever distance that may be. It's time to find your race! runDisney offers nine races throughout the year on both the East and West Coasts as well as one international race. You can even make a vacation out of your race with a trip to the Disney Parks.

3. Train. You have officially signed up for your race, and now it's time to put the work in to prepare you for the big day. Whether you want to train to complete your race in a specific time or you just want to make it across the finish line, we offer free training programs specific to each of our 10K's, half marathons, challenges and marathon. As the official runDisney training consultant, Olympian Jeff Galloway offers tips for runners of all skill levels. From where to train for your race to proper running form, Jeff provides the direction you need to begin your training and will set you up for success on race day.

4. Finish strong. You've completed your training and you're ready! Now is the easy part—you get to show off all your hard work then celebrate your accomplishment. The feeling of crossing the finish line after you have reached your goal is unlike any other. Let that be your motivation to fly past the finish at whatever speed you can do. You may even surprise yourself by wanting to sign up for another race.

Cheers to 2016 and goals you will meet this year! We hope to see you at the finish line.