Adverting feature in association with Holland & Barrett
Whether you cycle as a tool for weight loss management, to keep fit and push your body to new levels, or just simply for fun, setting yourself goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated. But just how should you be setting these goals?
#1: Be Realistic
As much as a goal needs to be a challenging target you strive to work towards, it also needs to be attainable. If you’ve never cycled seriously before, don’t aim to be up to Tour de France standard this year. It’s also really important at this stage to find out what excites, motivates and pushes you to pedal. This will definitely influence your goal – if it’s being out on two wheels near the coast on a blissfully sunny day, then a summer coast to coast race sounds right up your street. If it’s being out with your family, then why not set a goal to take part in one of the many ‘family challenges’ that take place all over the UK. Maybe you just want to ride and race? All these factors will influence your goal.
#2: They are malleable
The goal you’ve set in February might well change come the summer months, and that’s fine. If you keep up working towards a particular time, you might find that it’s getting easier. It is, but only because you’re getting better. So, if you find yourself ahead of your fitness programme, up your fitness goal. The same can be said if you’re hit by a setback – work, family life and illness can all affect your progress, so don’t be put off.
#3: Share your goals
For the same reasons as goal tip #1, your goals need to be for you and you alone. But this in no way means you can’t share this with other people – tell your family, friends and colleagues your goals for the forthcoming few months / year. It will act as a motivator for you to keep up your hard work; it’s a lot harder to break your goals once you’ve gone public. You never know, it could spur a friend to begin training with you. Fitness buddies are great – not only do they add a touch of healthy competition; they’ll pick you up and encourage you on down days.
#4: Go Long! (and short)
Ok, so you’ve tasked yourself with competing in a race this summer. But what about the year after? And the year after that? Setting long term goals is not only great for your general weight management, but are also good at motivating you in the short term. Choose your final goal aspiration for say, three years time. Then work backwards with bi-annual targets that work their way up to your final goal. This way you should find it becomes more easily integrated into your daily routine. Setting yourself short term goals with a long term implication is one of the best ways to succeed.
Finally, have fun! This is your goal, after all.