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10 cycling New Year’s resolutions (and how to stick to them)

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As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, we often reflect on the past year and what we want to change about our lives in the new year. For many of us, that means making some big changes in our lives. Perhaps it’s a new workout routine or a diet change, or perhaps we just want to start riding a bike again. Whatever the resolution, it’s important to keep the momentum going.

I’ve been cycling for many years now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the next 12 months will play out. The biggest issue for me at the moment, though, is my current level of commitment. The past few years have seen a trend towards shorter, more intense training blocks with the period of rest that usually comes in between these blocks becoming shorter and shorter. This is a problem, not only because it’s not sustainable, but also because it’s actually causing me to lose my ability to go out on longer rides.

Now that the New Year’s resolutions are out of the way, what should you do with all that extra time? Perhaps you want to start riding your bike more, and even ride to work on a daily basis. But before you do, you need to make some resolutions and perhaps, just perhaps, you should begin with a few “small” goals that will help you get in that saddle you want to ride.

With the year 2021 approaching, the pressure is on to make a New Year’s resolution that you can keep. You could, of course, skip the entire thing, but where’s the fun in that?

Setting one or more goals offers you a framework to organize your year around, something to strive towards, and the opportunity to feel good about yourself at the end of the year. Consider resolutions to be a set of objectives that will help you make the most of the following 12 months of riding. They’re only a place to start.

Setting a goal that is both attainable and inspiring enough to get you out of bed on a chilly and rainy morning is a tricky balance. If you get this balance incorrect, you’ll be less inclined to stick with it.

So, here’s some expert advise to help you figure out what sorts of objectives to establish for yourself in 2021, as well as how to achieve them.

I’m not sure how many New Year’s resolutions I should make.

This question has no correct answer. It depends on what they are and what you are capable of achieving practically.

If you’re doing anything big, like racing the Transcontinental, one year is usually plenty. If you don’t want to commit to anything as large, you might set a series of smaller objectives throughout the year. If you’re looking for some ideas, consider the following three options.

In the next 12 months, I want to achieve 12 modest objectives.

Choose 12 modest objectives to achieve, one for each month of the year. This would be ideal if you want to enhance your performance, compete in particular events, or remain motivated for something that seems a long way off. Monthly objectives will keep things fresh, change things up a little, and let you work towards a bigger goal without even realizing it.

Throughout the year, three major objectives will be pursued.

If it seems like too much, break it down into three manageable objectives, each with a deadline of four months. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare for each of them. If you want to make a big change or accomplish something big next year, this is an excellent strategy to use. Breaking things down into small pieces will keep it within grasp, whether it’s signing up for a major event or reaching specific fitness goals.

There is only one resolution that can govern them all.

Perhaps you just have one goal in mind: you want to race thousands of kilometers across continents, travel across the globe, or accomplish an overnight audax. If you want to do anything big, give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Aim to finish it in the second part of the year, and help yourself out by creating an organized training schedule.

Road cycling in the sunshine

The most successful resolutions are those in which you can see yourself succeeding. Immediate Media Company / Phil Hall

How do you choose your resolutions?

So, you’ve chosen whether to go all-in on one major goal or spread your goals out over the course of the year. Now you must determine precisely what you wish to accomplish. We can’t tell you what to strive for, but we can assist you in the decision-making process.

Think about it and improve it.

A list is the foundation of all excellent things. Make a list of every conceivable objective you can think of, no matter how large or little, attainable or apparently impossible they may appear. Try to limit yourself to a few minutes or quit when the thoughts get stagnant.

Examine your to-do list. How many of those concepts pique your interest? Start shortlisting based on how many resolutions you intend to make. Select the objectives that are meaningful to you, that excite you, and that you can picture yourself achieving.

If you’re making several resolutions, consider how you’ll accomplish them: are they time-bound activities that must be finished by a certain date? Is it necessary to complete one in order to prepare for another?

Also, try to spread them out equally so that you have enough time to prepare. If you’re attracted to a number of activities that are all taking place at the same time, choose one and save the others for next year.

But don’t forget to save your original list. You’ll have more options if you finish your objectives early, or you may use them as a starting point for next year’s resolutions.

How to Stay Committed to Your Cycling Goals

Once you’ve made your goals, you must adhere to them for more than six weeks, since many excellent intentions slip by the wayside.

1. Make them awesome.

FAB stands for Feasible, Actually Measurable, and Blinkingly Motivated. To put it another way, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you realistically accomplish this objective given your current time, resources, and abilities?
  • What steps do you need to take to get there? What is the criterion for success?
  • How much do you want it?

2. If you wish to, you may share them.

Only you may decide whether to share or not to share. On the one hand, publishing your goals holds you responsible, and you’ll get all the support and encouragement you need from your friends and family. What’s more, what could be more motivating than quitter’s guilt?

But don’t be discouraged. It’s also OK if you want to keep your resolutions to yourself.

3. Check in on your resolutions throughout the year.

If your objectives are spaced out throughout the year, you should check in once a month or so. Examine if you’re making the improvement you need to remain on schedule, or whether you need to tweak your training (or your goals) a bit.

It doesn’t have to be the end if you fall off the wagon. Recognize where you are now, regroup, adjust your strategy, and keep going. Overcoming obstacles adds to the sweetness of victory.

Cycling resolutions to get you started in the new year

If you’re still looking for ideas, here are a few suggestions to get you started on your list. They’ll offer you motivation, assist you in focusing your training, or just help you get through the year in a zen-like state of mind.

1st resolution: get in shape / shed weight

The book’s earliest resolutions. They are, nevertheless, worthwhile goals to pursue if addressed with a positive mindset. The issue is that they’re terribly ambiguous.

When you lose weight, for example, you’re shedding fat, not muscle mass or water. Losing weight has many advantages, including quicker climbing, reduced drag at high speeds, and improved overall health.

Do not, however, fall prey to fad diets; there is no fast fix or silver bullet. The goal is to make a long-term change in your lifestyle: eat more fruits and vegetables, limit processed foods and sweets, and get out on your bike.

This objective should also be specific: how much weight do you wish to lose? What is your goal? Is it possible for you to achieve it with your body type?

You should strive to drop two pounds (approximately a kg) each week to reduce weight while improving your fitness in a long-term manner.

The same may be said of fitness: what does it mean to “become in shape”? When you accomplish that objective, how will you evaluate its success? Set a specific goal for yourself, such as completing a certain event, climbing a specific hill in a given amount of time, or exceeding your best daily mileage by a certain percentage.

Also, consider how you want to improve your fitness. You may be tempted to enroll in every gym class and bike six days a week, but is it realistic? By the second week, you’ll most likely be exhausted.

Make a strategy for your workouts and stick to it. When it comes to keeping on track, having an event or race in mind is a wonderful incentive.

And don’t forget to have a good time! Setting a goal is one thing, and although some suffering is necessary for progress, you should be riding your bike because you love it. Do not make it a hassle. You’ll be more inclined to continue riding if you mix up your training rides with those that are just enjoyable.

2nd resolution: learn to unwind

Life is demanding. Allow yourself to unwind.

Self-care is difficult for many cyclists, but it is essential for staying in the saddle (and happy to be there). If you’re not sure where to begin, do some research to find the best strategy for you. It might be a local meditation or breathing methods course, a yoga class, or something completely different.

Make time throughout the year to go on rides when the goal isn’t to achieve a certain cadence, distance, or heart rate, but rather to enjoy the feeling of riding, the whirr of the wheels, the wind in your hair, and the scenery rushing by.

3rd resolution: maintain a healthy balance

A less common resolve, but one that is nonetheless essential – especially if you have family obligations or a non-cycling spouse. Cycling goals take time and dedication; the expense isn’t only monetary; it also takes time away from your family.

If you want to accomplish your objectives in 2021, you’ll need to have a nice, open conversation with your family and friends. It’s a great place to write down your goals for the year and how you’ll still be there for them if they need you.

It’s critical to establish clear guidelines: how many weekends can you commit? How much money do you have to spend? Doing this early in the year allows you to set out a clear strategy and prevent later problems.

Finally, if you’re planning the next year with a partner, be sure you’re on the same page. Whether they cycle or not, they should share duties and leisure time. They may have their own set of goals to achieve.

Of course, if your spouse, friends, or family members do not bike, expose them to the joys of riding. Which brings us neatly to…

Cyclists riding together

Cycling alone is enjoyable, but cycling with a buddy is much more enjoyable. Immediate Media / Ben Delaney

4th resolution: encourage someone else to take up riding.

You’ve come because you like riding. You already know how beneficial it is to the body and psyche. Why wouldn’t you want to tell your closest friends about it?

It has been proven to enhance mental and physical health, as well as offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly mode of transportation. It’s something that children, adults, families, friends, and couples can do together.

There are relatively few disadvantages in our opinion, so why not introduce someone to cycling this year? You may make a new riding friend, and they might find a potentially life-changing passion. You could even collaborate on some of those objectives.

Attempt a new discipline as a fifth resolution.

Isn’t it true that variety is the spice of life?

Whether you’re a roadie checking out the trails or a mountain biker taking on the asphalt, it’s always a good idea to change things up.

Putting in road kilometers and hill repetitions will improve mountain bikers’ fitness, while road cyclists’ bike handling abilities will improve after they’ve mastered bends or negotiating uneven terrain.

Why stop there when you can try your hand at gravel, cyclocross, or BMX for a solid core workout? Take to the pump track to hone your abilities at pumping energy from trails without having to pedal.

If you’re a road cyclist, you should check into time trials or audax cycling if you haven’t previously. The first will help you push your boundaries by improving your fitness and skill at a fast but sustainable pace, while audax riding will give your legs some real miles and increase your endurance capacity.

Can gravel bikers and mountain bikers be friends

Can mountain bikers and gravel bikers get along? / Immediate Media

6th Resolution: Maintain your bicycle.

Your new year’s goal may be as easy as remembering to maintain your bike clean and in good working order throughout the year. To keep your components happy, give it a sponge-down after especially muddy rides, have it serviced at your local bike shop, or service it yourself.

Even if you’re not a natural mechanic, simple things like keeping your chain lubed and tyres aired may make a big impact. 

7th resolution: go on a long bike ride

Do you have any idea how far you can bike in one sitting? Or over the course of a few days in a row? Long-distance bike rides, whether on a road cycle, a mountain bike, a touring bike, or your trusty commuting bike, may be life-changing.

Test your boundaries, discover how far you can go on your own power, and learn to be self-sufficient.

We don’t recommend cycling the length of South America, but Land’s End to John O’Groats is a popular route for UK cyclists, or simply choose your own route and go on an adventure.

8th resolution: organize an event

Add a race or event to your bucket list if you’ve never done one before. It will offer you a goal to work for, a deadline to meet, and, if you get some people to join you, training partners.

There are a plethora of options available, including ultra-long audax events and multi-day mountain bike races for endurance enthusiasts, criterium or cross-country races for those who enjoy the adrenaline rush of racing in close proximity to other riders, and charity and social rides for those who prefer something less competitive.

You’ll also discover a wealth of information and advice on anything from training programs and nutrition guidelines to the finest bikes and what to wear on the internet.

Yoga stretching

Stretching is a simple and fast method to improve your overall health and fitness. Getty Images / Tom Dunkley

Stretch it out (resolution 9)

This is a simple resolve that, if followed, will have a significant effect on your riding.

Cycling may cause repetitive strain injuries (RSI), therefore stretching those muscles is essential. A few excellent sessions one or twice a week, whether you stretch it out yourself or attend a yoga class, may help you develop greater flexibility and suffer fewer niggles, aches, and pains.

Volunteer at (or contribute to) a bicycle charity (Resolution 10)

Consider volunteering with a bicycle charity this year to give back a bit. You may give yourself a warm glow, get in a nice ride, and assist others all at the same time by giving old bicycles, repairing bikes while learning maintenance skills, or spending time leading social rides.

If you can’t volunteer with a charity, consider selling some of your old gear on eBay and giving the profits to a charity like World Bicycle Relief.

Every year, people hit the gym with new resolutions, and every year they fail. Most people give up even before they start, and many never even set a new goal in the first place. So how do you make sure you don’t fall into the same trap? New Year’s resolutions are just that: goals to make in the new year, just like setting goals for the workplace, personal life, and even your relationships. But unlike with those other goals, you don’t want to break your New Year’s resolution by breaking your leg, your heart, or your wallet. So how do you make sure you stick to your New Year’s resolution?. Read more about cycling benefits and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stick to New Years resolutions?

I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.

How do you set realistic New Years resolutions?

I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.

How do psychologists keep New Year resolutions?

Psychologists usually make New Year resolutions to change their behavior and improve their lives. They also try to find ways to keep themselves accountable for these resolutions.

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This article broadly covered the following related topics:

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