3 Tips to Conquer Your New Year's Resolution

According to a study conducted at the University of Scranton, only eight percent of people who make New Year's resolutions achieve their goals. Chances are, that at one time or another, you were part of the other 92 percent that had a goal that was forgotten by the end of the year.

So why do so many people fail to reach their goals, and how can you be part of the eight percent that sticks to the plan?

In order to conquer your New Year's resolution, it's important to set realistic and measurable goals, have intermediate goals that are easier to reach and make yourself accountable for each goal you set. Follow these tips to start your year off on the right foot.

More: 5 Tips to Consider When Setting Goals

Set Realistic Goals

Many cyclists set goals that are doomed to fail. Most of the time, resolutions fall short because they aren't realistic, are impossible to measure and aren't specific enough to be useful. Simply saying that I want to be a more competitive cyclist is a goal that will be hard to work towards as the year progresses.

To avoid frustration and set a more achievable goal, pick a resolution that's just within your reach and write it down. "My goal for the New Year is to improve my 10K time trial by 10 percent." This goal is specific and can be measured easily.

When setting new goals, it's also important to be honest with yourself about your current state of fitness. Evaluate how much time you'll have to dedicate towards your goal and the resources you'll need to accomplish it. After you've figured this out, setting a realistic goal will be easier to manage.

More: 10 Training Fundamentals for Cyclists

The Importance of Intermediate Goals

If you have a goal set for this year that's going to take awhile to accomplish, such as improving your 10K time trial, it will be vital to set intermediate goals to reach along the way. Intermediate goals will keep you committed to your long-term goal and keep you from becoming frustrated.

In the example of a 10K time trial, a good intermediate goal would be to improve bike-handling skills and make the halfway turnaround point faster and smoother in one month. Once this intermediate goal is accomplished, set another small goal that's still aimed at improving your 10K time trial by 10 percent. By breaking your big goal down into smaller parts, it makes it easier to see progress and will help to keep you motivated to stay the course.

More: 7 Reasons to Set Cycling Goals Early

Make Yourself Accountable

There are several ways to become more accountable this year. Whether it's hiring a coach, joining a cycling club to train with people who have similar interests or simply writing your goals down on a piece of paper (long and short term), your goals will become more concrete once you let others know about them. Being accountable to someone else can also be a great motivator.

If you follow these three tips, you'll put yourself in a better position to reach your goals and become part of the eight percent that stick with their New Year's resolution. Set your goals, make sure they're realistic and measurable, set intermediate goals to help you get where you want to be and make yourself accountable for every goal you set. Success is right in front of you.

More: 10 New Year's Resolutions for Cyclists

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