Goal setting can help you real new milestones in your cycling, and now is a great time to get started.
Brainstorm – Go back to your “Bucket List” or create one, think about what brings you joy, what energizes you, makes you excited about life. Think about what obstacles are out there that you would like to conquer – either physical, experiential, relational, or otherwise.
Research – Find out what opportunities are coming up this year in terms of local events, travel opportunities, volunteering, hobby groups, etc., and what resources are out there to help you in achieving your goal.
Ask Around – Ask a few close friends and family what they have always thought you should do or try, or learn about their own goals for the coming year.
Dig Deep – Tie your goal to your overall dream and purpose in life. This will help you remember the deeper meaning and reasons for your plan and activities, which is essential in accomplishing anything BIG and worthwhile. Remember this and think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goal, and you will be unstoppable!
Write it down (NOW) – Taking the time to put your goals and plan down on paper (or document it electronically) is a must to make sure you capture and commit to a specific goal and do the mental work to assess the goal and plan for accomplishing it. The connection that is made in your mind when creating an idea, owning it, and putting it down on paper in detail is invaluable in solidifying your commitment to your goal!
Be specific – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail – SMART goals and a plan are KEY!!!
- Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Try going from a general goal such as “I will get in shape,” to a specific goal of “I will ride my bike or run 3 days per week for at least 30 minutes each day to build my cardiovascular endurance, and will sign up with my personal trainer to do resistance training 2 times per week to build lean muscle. Doing both of these will increase my overall fitness and enable me to have more energy throughout my day and for my family.”
- Measurable: Make sure your goal is measurable. This way you will be able to track how you are doing against a measurable element or number. This will allow you to set your mileposts and checkpoints and you will benefit from being able to see the results of your hard work pay off as you measure your progress!
- Achievable: You can accomplish just about anything you set your mind to, but most goals worth reaching for require at least a slight if not radical change in attitude and outlook that is critical to achieving what you have set out to do. If you believe it, you can achieve it – you must believe you are worthy of accomplishing your goal and the benefits you will gain from making it REAL!
- Realistic: To be realistic, your goal must be something you are willing and able to commit to. Minimize any obstacles that are out of your control in accomplishing your goal or create a plan to handle them as part of your specific definition and strategy and make sure your goal is something that you have a high motivation level to accomplish. Setting goals that are too “easy” often have low motivational factors and therefore are easy to let drop off the list of priorities. Pick something that gets you excited and you will be much more likely to make it happen!
- Time-sensitive: Anchor your goal with a specific timeline and date that you will accomplish it by. There must be an end to the tunnel to be able to see the light!
Plan rewards and checkpoints – having milestones and little rewards along the way will help keep you motivated and make sure you are keeping track of your progress and your hard work is recognized and rewarded!
GO!!! Get started on making your goals a reality today! Don’t delay, there will always be an excuse to put off anything another day, week, month, but the time is now, you have done the work to set yourself up for success, and your journey starts today.
Get support – Join a group, enlist friends/family, or at least let the people close to you know what your goals are so they can support you and cheer you on in your journey. We can accomplish so much more together than we can do alone and there will likely come a time along your path towards reaching your goal that you will feel discouraged or tempted to throw in the towel and you will need healthy supportive people and resources around you to push past those road-bumps. Happy growing!!!
If your goals involve being more active in general, doing your first bike race, or hitting a new PR in a competitive even this year, the resources below are a great place to start for picking a bike race, event, or group to get your goals in gear!