10 Top Tips
So you have set your goals for the year, lots of them probably. Popular goals include fat loss and increasing muscle mass and strength with the ultimate aim being a couple of personal bests.
By the end of the month or next when the motivation lessens – you will need a strategy to help you stick to your goals – like the proverbial glue to the inner tube.
In this article I will discuss the challenges you will face along your journey over the next 9 months or so and I will suggest some great techniques, tools and strategies to use to keep your momentum going. You will learn how to stick to your goals, measure your progress and see the results you deserve.
Before we jump into the top tips to help you stick to your goals, I would like to offer a definition of success, my personal favourite. Defining what success looks like at the start of the journey is important so that you are able to tell when you have become a success.
“Success is not reflected in the victory or the score line. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to be the best of which you are capable”
Coach John Wooden
With this in mind, get yourself focused and motivated because without sweat and sacrifice there is no reward. Being out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself is an enjoyable, rewarding and life enhancing pastime.
10 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Goals
1. Tell Other People About Your Goals. Speak to family, friends and work colleagues about your plans. This will allow you to be more accountable for your goals and there is the added benefit of receiving help and support along the way.
2. Find a Training Partner or a Group to Join. Having a training partner can be really helpful in helping you stick to your goals as you both help motivate each other to get to sessions and during the session itself. Group sessions are also good with the added benefit of more people. This means less chance of one person letting you down.
3. Diarise Your Sessions Like Appointments with a Client or Boss & Have Good Routines. Like most appointments in your diary, your training sessions will be non-negotiable if you schedule them in regularly. Having a “military” type routine is often a must for the amateur to ensure that they can fit everything in, from work and family to eating and training. Hourly, daily and weekly routines will save you from straying from the path.
4. Choose Strategies & Activities That You Enjoy. Other than the compulsory miles in the saddle, find activities you enjoy – such as core stability, sports massage or a diet plan which you have had success with before. You will find these easier and this will make you more likely to feel good. Feeling good cannot be underestimated through a long hard riding season.
5. Kicking a Competitors Ass or Improving Your Own PB! Your goals need to be realistic and achieved at the right pace. The five main things you need to be aware of when setting your goals is that all goals need to be “S.M.A.R.T”. This stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed. Being realistic and giving yourself sufficient time are the main aims in achieving your goals. Pace yourself – Some beginners push themselves way too hard, and then abandon their exercise plans when they become injured or sick.
6. Keep Your Eyes on The Prize! When motivation is high it’s easy. If your motivation dips, remind yourself why you are doing this – what is the main event? Try using posters on your bathroom wall of motivational quotes words or photos, maybe one of you in great shape/or terrible shape (it acts as a reminder and a stimulus!). Also try post it notes, screensavers on your PC or welcome note on your phone.
7. Beware of the Saboteur. A saboteur comes in many forms – friends or family, jealous colleagues or even your husband or wife but basically they will pull you off your goal and undermine what you are doing (consciously or subconsciously) with negative words or offers. Why? Jealousy, love or hate I’m not quite sure to be perfectly honest! They may tempt you with bad foods or alcohol or encourage you to miss that early morning session and stay in bed. You have been warned, beware!
8. Keeping Records and Test Yourself. Just like you need to keep track of your bills and the money in your bank account, you need to keep track of the calories, carbohydrates, fat and protein intake, by using – a food diary. You also need to fitness test yourself and keep a training diary. Record all the data and use it to measure your improvement by testing yourself again after 12-16 weeks of training. Types of fitness tests are – a timed bike ride over 30 mins – maximal effort, how many squats, sit ups or press ups you can perform in 60 seconds, body composition, flexibility and a standing broad jump.
9. Have the Gratitude Attitude. Look at what you ARE achieving and how well you are doing; be grateful for as many things in your life as you can. Not just with your training but with family and work life too. This can help when you miss a session through illness or are being too hard on yourself for missing a meal.
10. Plan Ahead to Avoid Problems. Identify possible problems and make arrangements to deal with them. Very often it will be the same issue which disrupts our routine for example weekends can often be a mini obstacle each week, overcoming the desire of a Saturday night bottle of wine and takeaway. Avoid this by planning a healthy (and nice) treat meal for a Saturday night and allow yourself just one glass of red wine. Also have alternative sessions planned and ready that you can do when the goal posts move or when your schedule changes – core stability – circuit training – injury prevention – turbo sessions and flexibility are good examples of things you can do at home, at short notice.
When you start seeing changes in your times and performances then re-test all your parameters. Have you improved? Got less body fat? Is your waist smaller? Done more squats in 60 seconds? Doing your favourite ride faster than ever?
Have fun and reward yourself with a few sessions with a good coach, a new piece of kit or a sports massage when you have reached some of your goals.