I’m still down in the in-laws in Co Clare.
To be honest it has been great to get out of the city for a few days.
There has been no better time for me to sit back and reflect and gain some perspective on what been going on and what I want to go on in 2017.
I’m not a fan of having a set day of change – ‘I’ll start Monday, I’ll start January’.
Dates are arbitrary and mean bugger all, so get your plan of action in order as soon as you can.
Look – if you feel you really need another few days of physical and mental rest fine let’s use New Year’s Day as a starting point, but to succeed you need to do it right.
The new year means tones and tones of people have yet another shot and setting new resolutions and goals.
Have you really ever stuck to a New Year resolution?
Has that New Year resolution ever taken you closer to a goal?
Probably not… if you’re honest.
Identify the barriers
A lot of people just pluck a goal out of the sky and believe by simply doing so – it will be easier to stay on track and maintain a resolution.
Have you tried to maintain this resolution before and failed?
If so as painful as it is, you need to look deeply into the reasons why you didn’t cut the cake the last time.
This believe it or not can be the ticket to maintaining a resolution this time around.
Take a step back and reflect on why you’re not already reaching your goal, for example getting an hour in each day Monday to Friday.
Did you previously bang on that horrible siren alarm clock and struggle to beat yourself out in the mornings before work?
Ever think that maybe you’re not a morning trainer?
Or maybe it’s the opposite and you shouldn’t try and train in the evening after work because the other half will lock you down as soon as you get in the door?
You need to identify these barriers and plan a way around them before you start.
That way, you can make a plan of action to handle those barriers.
Check your resources are adequate
When assessing these barriers that may impact your ability achieve your new year’s resolution, it’s super important to figure out whether you have enough resources in place to keep the show on track.
Ask yourself the following questions…
How much time do I really have?
How much funds do I really have?
Winning that time trial won’t happen on that 10 year old steal TT frame!
Are you in charge of your own time?
Everybody has their ‘boxes’.
That’s life – some can handle more boxes than others.
But the individuals who this this well successfully identify where their priorities lie and plan accordingly.
Boxes included things like family, work, wife, cycling, studying and these other obligations will get in the way of your resolution.
This can make you feel as though you’ve failed, especially early on—but it’s really your environment that’s affecting the results.
It’s pretty easy to fall off the wagon when you have a shit load of stuff on your plate that you didn’t account for.
Is your goal specific enough?
Another mistake in the goal-setting process can be choosing outcomes that aren’t useful.
“Getting strong,” for example, is way to unclear; it’s hard to determine when ‘strength’ has been attained and it’s not objectively measureable.
Avoid vagueness by including specific, numerical benchmarks in your goals.
Rather than get strong, aim to squat 30kg more than I can now by next year, using a specific training plan with many process goals to get you there.
But your New Year’s Resolution shouldn’t be all about the numbers either!
I’ve made this mistake in recent years.
Making numbers your only focus can be detrimental to your motivation.
As you know progress can slow and fluctuate throughout the process and this can drive you mental!
The numbers need to be there, they are the specific and measurable part of the process but don’t make them the only focus!
Remind yourself what you’ll be able to do once you meet that goal—are you losing weight in order to get up that climb in that race quicker than last year ?
Picking a goal that doesn’t lend itself toward a meaningful process
Next time try to think of the immediate goals associated with beginning your new year’s resolution.
Realising you get daily value from pursuing this new resolution—and not just getting there—can keep you motivated on your journey.
For example you could focus on the following; I want to make this change because I feel better when I go uphill.
Now write that shit down and make it known!
Imprint it in your head and stick it to the fridge.
Doing it this way instead of only focusing on, say, your average watts following a ride, you’ll begin to think about how much better you feel and notice the improved sensations following a hard session or race.
Keeping the numerical and measureable process goals in the background as a secondary benefit can decrease anxiety and confirm that you are on the right track.
Let’s all get mindful of the immediate benefits that take place as this can also help make a goal stick and hopefully become a habitual part of your daily routine.
If you’re dreading your new year’s resolution and see it as a chore, it’s not going to last very long lads!
If you’re going to spout the New Year new me bullshit – Do it right and give yourself the best chance of success.
Happy New Year!
Ps. I have more to come on goals this is only the crust!