Whether your New Year’s resolution is to get fitter, cycle more or further or even just buy a bike and start cycling – it’s one thing to make a resolution for the new Year, it’s quite another thing to make it stick. Can you even remember the resolution you made at the start of 2016? We bet you can’t.
Let’s make 2017 the year that you actually keep your New Year’s resolutions
1. Make more than one resolution
You’re probably thinking – what?! I can’t even stick to one resolution and now you want me to make more!? Setting multiple unrelated goals will set you up for failure, instead set multiple small goals to achieve throughout the year that lead to one big goal. For example, say you want to be able to ride 100km by the end of the year, these are the smaller goals you should set:
Small Goal 1: Ensure I have all the necessary equipment to start cycling more
Small Goal 2: Ride 20km
Small Goal 3: Ride 50km
Small Goal 3: Ride 50km
Small Goal 4: Ride 80km
Big goal: Ride 100km by the end of the year
2. Now turn these resolutions into SMART goals
Resolutions can be a bit vague and ultimately don’t really guide you on how close you are to your main goal. SMART goals give you specific, measureable achievements that keep you on track. Instead of waiting to only be rewarded when you reach your ultimate goal, you can attain little rewards along the way that will better keep you motivated. If you don’t feel like you are achieving you can lose motivation pretty quickly. See some examples of SMART goals below:
SMART Goal 1: Make a list of all necessary cycling equipment and ensure I have everything I need by January 30th 2017
SMART GOAL 2: By the Feb 25th 2017, I will ride along my favourite cycling route for a total of 20km round trip
SMART Big Goal: By completing incremental rides as set out by my smaller goals, by Dec 1st 2017 I will have completed at least one 100km ride
3. Write these goals down and display in a prominent place
Now that you’ve got all your goals ready to go write them down in order and display somewhere you’ll see them every day. On the fridge, next to your bed or even on the back of the toilet door! Grab a calendar and mark the dates when each goal needs to be achieved by. These constant visual reminders will keep you on track!
Failure to plan is planning to fail
Motivation can be a finite resource, you can’t expect to be push, push, pushing 365 days a year. But by setting goals you are setting yourself up for success. Even if you fall off the horse around mid-June, or lose sight of the end goal in August, you can always reference your plan to get yourself back on track. Miss a deadline you set for yourself? Get back on the bike and adjust. Don’t beat yourself up, just keep cycling and you’ll be surprised that you CAN actually make a New Year’s resolution stick.
If your New Year’s resolution is to simply START cycling, here is a list of bikes that are great for the beginner: entry-level, reliable and comfortable to ride: