Fancy making 2017 the year you learn to ride a bike, swap four wheels for two on the daily commute or complete a road race? Then prepare yourself for successfully completing those New Year cycling goals with these tips on how to stick to them:
Set Yourself Up to Succeed
Don’t just set yourself a random challenge, choose something that’s meaningful and give yourself the best chance of success. What’s your motivation for doing this?
Whether you want improve your fitness, save money or broaden your cycling horizons by taking on a new terrain, your cycling goals should be built on something that will inspire you to get out there, not just for the first few weeks in January but for all the weeks and months that follow.
And – if you set a short-term goal and complete it, set yourself another challenge, a lot can be achieved in 12 months!
Come Up with a Plan
Once you’ve got a good idea of what you want to achieve in 2017 you’ll need a proper, well-thought out plan that makes reaching your goals possible.
If you want to complete a triathlon, you’ll need a weekly training schedule, a budget for buying any competitive racewear or equipment and information about the dates, times and entry requirements of upcoming race events.
If you want to get off the beaten track and explore some new terrain, you’ll need an appropriate bicycle and some safety accessories.
This is a great time of year to look out for things like mountain bike sale offers or ask your loved ones for Christmas gifts that will help you work towards your goal, so start planning and getting everything you need together now.
This might mean getting a friend to take part in a cycling challenge with you or simply telling someone about your goals so that they can ask, tease and bully you (nicely, of course!) into sticking to them.
When it comes to taking on and sticking to a new challenge, peer pressure can be a very positive thing.
Manage Your Expectations
Choosing goals, making plans and getting support will all help you achieve great things in 2017 but a big part of your success lies in the way you think about your efforts and your progress.
Even the most organised and motivated individuals will face set-backs so accept now that things may not pan out exactly how you want them to and make peace with it.
You might only cycle to work three days a week instead of your targeted five. You might only lose 10lbs instead of 14, but if things don’t go to plan, for whatever reason, be kind to yourself and recognise any and all efforts and achievements that you do make.
Pat Your Own Back (or Get a Treat!)
Lots of people think about how their life could be better but very few get up, go out and take action to make it happen so when you do, give yourself a pat on the back and get a little reward for your efforts.
If you stick to a training programme for a month, treat yourself to a cycling fitness tracker so you can monitor your progress. If you cycle to work every day for a week, take yourself out for lunch using the money you would have spent on petrol or public transport.
The odd reward here and there can be a real motivator so indulge yourself, you’ve earned it!
Remember to Enjoy it
If you only take one piece of advice from this article, let this be it: remember to enjoy it.
As soon as your goals start to feel like chores, the chances of fulfilling your ambitions starts to decline so any time it feels too challenging, take a breather. Take a day off, go off plan or change your goal altogether if necessary.
Regardless of what you set out to achieve, enjoying every cycling adventure that you embark on is what really matters.
If you need a new bike, cycling accessories or just some general advice or ideas for challenges that you can take on in 2017, get in touch with the friendly and knowledgeable team at Formby Cycles.