How to make the BEST New Year’s Resolutions and Become a Better Cyclist!

We are all guilty of it! A few beers, glasses of wine or whisky or even all 3 and we start telling ourself and even random strangers how we are going to start the New Year with resolutions that are going transform us into the super lean and fast cyclist we always imagine we are capable of being. You know the rest eh! Well, what if it was the way your were creating your resolutions/goals or even the language you use that was preventing you achieving the change you want and not actually your motivation! Being that faster, leaner, more powerful cyclist etc is actually less about cycling and more about yourself! At kinetic cycle coaching we use these 5 easy to follow tips. Have a read and turn 2018 into your best year ever.

  1. Don’t set goals that use NEGATIVE language: Far too many people want to stop eating badly, stop drinking booze, stop stop stop………This is a sure way to fail. Think of your training and imagine what would happen if you started tomorrow by increasing your weekly 5-6 hours to 12-15 hours. The extra demands on all aspects of your fitness, recovery, family, work ………… would implode by February or earlier. So start by reducing the bad habits that you want to finally eliminate gradually BUT remember that by denying yourself all of the things that you enjoy is sometimes far too demanding on your mental and emotional capacity. I always suggest to folks to look at their New Year goals and compare them to a personal profile list. This is just a list of what your strengths are on one side and what are the areas you want to improve on the other. Balance the list with 3 -5 points. This doesn’t mean sitting like a teenager and wanting a smaller or even bigger nose, more friends or a date with that person in the office! Be sensible about the list and then get someone to read it! I’ll mention your ‘core team’ later but someone your trust! A friend, brother, sister or if you are lucky maybe even your wife! From this list create your goals and remove the term ‘I will stop’ with more positive phrases such as ‘I will start to reduce……..’, ‘I will aim to increase …….This subtle change can force a personal nature to the goal. Ownership is key. Then consider using the things you are aiming to reduce by adding them in as rewards at key points in your journey! This can be very powerful is used wisely.
  2. Remove NEGATIVE people from your life: Makes sense eh? Why aim to be more positive if you are surrounded by negative people. No one is born a miserable git, it takes time to master the craft and some are better than others at the craft! I am not asking you to cut yourself off from all those members of your family that have driven you up the wall over the holidays but start by looking at your circle of associates or work colleagues. Some can look at social media and start to seriously look at why they hit that friend request at 1am after a Saturday night out! You may not have many negative folks around you so start looking to link yourself with very positive people. No matter what life throws at them they seem to rise up and keep moving forward. As you move through 2018 you should aim to surround yourself more and more with positive movers and shakers and reduce the negative energy sappers.
  3. Goals should include Emotional as well as Physical outcomes: Yes that makes it harder to measure but see point 5 of how to improve feedback. This is not about being all hippy etc but emotional strength is fundamental to improving all aspects of any improvements that you seek. Creating physical goals of riding 100, 200 or more miles comes hand in hand with emotional development obviously. However, start out from the onset of how to understand your emotional strengths and how you support them. Begin with what I term your ‘core team’. These are the people who are closest to you. Probably the same people you shared your personal profile list with. These people are essential to your success. Share your goals and then discuss how you are going to achieve them with time frames etc. I call this the power of negotiation. This can be very powerful and the shared responsibility of the goals will supercharge motivation. Don’t be embarrassed by your goals. Remember, they are personal to you and by sharing them with your core team offers a greater insight into what makes you tick. This all adds up to a better success rate in achieving them!
  4. Keep a diary and record key metrics (out with the main physical parameters that your physical training captures). This should be a quick process to complete so create a unique set of areas that you aim to measure based on your goals and use a number system to score. You can add in comments if you want but keep it short and to the point. So no need to be Adrian Mole (younger folk can Google him!) This diary is very powerful as you move through the year. I have seen athletes keep a record of their sleeping patterns, number of days with a cold and even number of days they feel upbeat etc. It’s well worth doing and looking at patterns that arise during your training etc.
  5. Finally revisit, reinvest and reinvigorate goals regularly. Bigger mouthful than a protein bar but you get the point. Some athletes will look at themselves weekly some monthly. The process has to include your inner core. Review, discuss and focus on the next step forward. What has already happened is finished so don’t fall into the trap of using negative terms! ‘If only….’ etc etc. Remember point 1 – be positive and use positive language. You will get the cold, you will be busier at work, you will have periods of low motivation, you will be knackered! So be prepared and don’t abandon your journey just because you have a rough patch. It is these moments that usually separate winners and losers! So get yourself some extra stimulus that helps you with your goals. Rocky pins up a picture of Drago (who killed his buddy Apollo – really sad!) in Rocky IV! Great motivation for his goal of knocking his lights out! I am not asking you to pin up a picture of that ‘friend’ who always drops you on the ‘social’ ride (you can, but make sure you tell the other half!). However pictures help as do words and phrases. Pin the goals up in focal parts of the house so guests can see them. This increases the emotional support and potentially adds to your ‘core team’. Share and grow as a person and a cyclist.

So there you go! 5 easy steps to get your goals focused and challenged into an easy package to make 2018 a successful year. Now you just need to get your training organised and stay consistent day by day and week by week. Expect highs and lows but be excited about how much more productive you are going to be as a husband, wife, father, mother, boss, worker, brother, sister etc etc with your specific and smart goals in place! Becoming a better cyclist is the easy bit once you stick to the goals. At kineticcyclecoaching.co.uk we look at the complete athlete. All training impacts on more than just the physical demands. Without this understanding and sensitivity the chances of success are very limited!

Happy New Year! Get planning and get ready to have a great year!

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