Making a New Year’s resolution is the easy bit, we’ve all got a dream or a goal we want to achieve or reach but making that resolution stick is another matter altogether. Whilst we can make plenty of suggestions as to what we think your New Year’s cycling resolutions could be, we reckon that it’d be far more helpful to help you stay on track with that chosen promise to yourself. So, here’s some tip that we think would have helped us in the past as we crack on with 2020 resolutions!
Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, from a classic weight loss or getting fit theme, to resolutions made to broaden horizons such as a wish to ride in a far-flung country or to take part in a race. Goals also extend right across to resolutions such as conquering personal problems or making a difference to your life that maybe is only visible to you. Here in the off-road.cc office we’ve counted more resolutions made and broken than we care to remember, and that’s before we ask our roadie neighbours over at road.cc. We’ve come up with what we think are the best ways to make sure you stay on track with your chosen goal and see it through to the end.
So, you’ve come up with that one thing that you really want to do, something that is super important to you, something you have a passion for or a goal that you really want to achieve. Whether this thing is big or small, personal or shared, outrageous or simple, as long as it matters to you that’s all that is important, it’s your resolutions after all. Once you have decided on that one thing, and we think one big thing supplemented by some smaller goals is a good idea, it's time to get cracking with keeping it.
Is it attainable?
Well is it? Have you set yourself a goal that you can realistically achieve? If you goal begins with needing to win the lottery or with gaining an astonishing amount of fitness that just isn’t going to be viable with home/work/kids, then the answer is probably no. Now, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a walk in the park, a certain amount of pain, suffering and trouble are a given when goal planning, after all, life isn’t supposed to be easy, right? But be realistic – can you see what sacrifices you need to make to succeed and can you plan ways to deal with these to help you with your resolution?
Several smaller resolutions will also help you steer your way towards dealing with the big one or the bigger picture. Smaller goals building up to one big event also help give you milestones along the way, adding to the sense of achievement – it’s not cheating, think of it as a mental boost, staying on track with New Year’s Resolutions is often a mental battle rather than a physical one.
Learning to ride on flats is a good skill related resolution
Write it down
We’re talking old fashioned pen and paper here, write down your resolution and stick it up somewhere you are going to look at it every day. Good places are the fridge door, inside the front door to your house, wall of the toilet, somewhere that you have time to think about the resolution as you look at it is great. Use it as a time to think about your resolutions, remind yourself what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Tell people about it
Tell everyone what you are up too! Chances are they will be genuinely interested and in being so they will also help keep you on track throughout the year as you can give regular updates. Get it all out in the open, tell your family, friends and social media if you are that way inclined. If it takes your fancy, writing a blog is a great way to make a record of your progress and achievement. It’s free and as well as documenting your journey, will also be on the internet into the future to inspire others on a similar journey.
Once you are up and running, committed to your resolution there are a few things you can do to make sure you stay with the programme throughout the duration!
Set a reminder
Setting reminders on your calendar is a great way to make sure you are on track to reach your goal. We think a monthly check-up with yourself will be enough to consider where you are with your challenge and to review it to see if you need to change or amend your processes so you achieve the end goal. You can use your calendar to set significant waypoints or mini-goals at the beginning of the year, we reckon planning this way ensures you will be more likely to stay motivated. It combines splitting the overall resolution into smaller more manageable chunks with writing your goals down, both good ways to plan out how exactly you will be attacking the goal.
Don’t beat yourself up
If things don’t exactly go to plan then don’t whatever you do beat yourself up about it! Getting down on yourself if you take a wrong turn won’t help you reach that goal, figure out what went wrong and learn from it. If you have periodically reviewed your processes or then you will be able to see where you went wrong and make amendments so it doesn’t happen again. Take a look at how much you have already achieved and use the mental boost to get going again!
Find similar people
Finding similar people making the same resolutions can be a great support network for you. Whether this is joining a club to find like-minded people or convincing a friend they should set a similar resolution to you, both will enable you to find people to either ride with, work out with or just generally help hold you accountable to your goal! We’ve found in the past we don’t want to let ourselves down, but even more than that we don’t want to let others down so promising a friend a ride on a wet winters night in the lead up to a race, for example, will mean you are less likely to back out and therefore stick to your resolution
Maybe we should have said this at the start but it’s equally as applicable at the end here - make sure your resolution has a clear endpoint so you know when you have achieved our goal, simply ‘get fitter’ isn’t good enough, you need to be able to quantify that so the resolution should include ‘get fitter so I can ride (insert miles here) in (insert hours here) hours’. Good resolutions are ones that you can build on year on year, so maybe that will be choosing another epic place to ride, another harder skill to conquer or a bigger race to take part in for next year, phew thinking about 2021 already……
And finally - good luck!
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