The beginning of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on the past cycling season and to contemplate the beginning of the season ahead. Did you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish, or did the year end in disappointment? What do you want to achieve this year?
Whether your resolutions include riding your first century or completing a double charity ride in the same day, if you want to be successful you'll have to have a plan. In order to take your cycling to the next level, follow these tried-and-true steps to accomplish all of your goals in the year ahead.
The first step in goal setting should involve a brainstorming stage. Write down everything you would like to accomplish, whether it's simply losing weight or competing at the World Championships.
Next, decide what on your list is far-fetched and what's achievable. If your goals aren't realistic, you're setting yourself up for failure.
Review your list when it's complete and remove all goals that you cannot make an action plan for.
Decide What's Important
Answer the question: "Why is this goal important to me?" Motivation: The Need to Achieve by John F. Eliot states, "We are driven by the need to feel pleasure, acceptance and competence. We are naturally motivated by activities that reward us with such feelings."
How will accomplishing your goal make you feel? What is the reward? Whether you just want to be happy when you look in the mirror or feel satisfaction when you beat your buddy across the finish line, you need a reason to be motivated. Goals take time and effort, and force you to change your current habits. If you want to achieve your goals, make sure you have a good reason for all of the effort it's going to take.
Share Your Ambitions
Before you commit to a goal, discuss it with your loved ones. At a Level 1 coaching clinic a few weeks ago, I spoke with several other coaches that said when they sit down with a new client, they request a family member as well. Why? Because everyone needs a supporter in his or her corner in order to be successful.
A spouse that brings home cookies when you're trying to lose weight isn't helping your cause—and it might not be his or her fault. That's why it's important to include those around you in every step of the process, so that they know exactly what you're going through and how important it is.
Your family members will also be your biggest cheerleaders and help you to get through tough spots in your training.