Goals - no goals?

adventures Cycling training

Winter countryside

It’s the start of the New Year, which, after 2020, is really exciting because at last we have hope back again in the shape of a wonder vaccine.  But, forgive me if I am not really that excited since it’s been a bit of a grim start already for a multitude of reasons – so we need to look for reasons to be excited again and for reasons to look forwards.

I had a think about what excites me at this time of year, and I’m sure my reasons will be a bit different to your reasons, so this is really a helpful exercise for all of us. 

For me:

Snow – I simply adore snow! I live in an area of the UK which rarely gets a good dumping and any hint of the white stuff pleases me, so this year already we’ve had a few days’ worth of ‘big snow’ and I’m happy!

Turbo trainers – I have a love/hate relationship with the turbo, being thoroughly an outdoors girl, but having joined Zwift and being able to connect with others in a virtual world, I’m finding that it’s actually been quite useful because connections with others are so much more important now that we’re back in Lockdown.

My locality – I’m lucky enough to live in a beautiful village and Lockdown is providing me with the opportunity to go out for walks which I would never normally do (largely because of time, but also because in normal life I never needed to escape the house).  Getting the school kids out of the house for some daily exercise is turning into quite a fun ramble around the village, no matter the weather.

Winter Wonderland – funnily enough, I’ve always loved winter! I know that sounds mad and but it’s true.  I love the cold when you’re wrapped up properly and don’t feel the chill; I love the cosiness of coming back indoors and lighting the fire; I love the neatness of bare trees displaying the beauty of their branch networks; I love the soft and gentle pinks, purples, pale blue and grey colours of the winter sky; I love the sight of a properly iced countryside following a hoar frost.

Getting out on my bike – well, actually, I’m going to be honest here… this isn’t really on my list, is it on yours?  Whilst I find the coldness on my face exhilarating, I’m also beginning to skip rides because grim weather often makes for a grim ride.  I’m not afraid of slippery riding conditions but I am really struggling with motivation… which leads me to goals. 

Given the difficulty to find motivation to ride in January, and given the difficulty we currently have with planning ahead, it’s really hard to both set goals for this year and to begin to work towards them.  Isn’t it easy to say ‘it won’t matter if I skip this ride’?  I might not be saying that in September though when I’m lined up on the start line in a Cyclocross race!  It’s also hard to pick events to train for since we don’t know if they’ll go ahead or not, so we need to think of something that is ‘future-proof’ whatever happens this year, that is flexible enough to adapt to changing ‘rules’ and that will add value to you.

So, my Top Tips for a bit of goal setting and motivation in 2021:

Pick a goal that is definitely doable no matter what Covid circumstances come our way.  I’m thinking something like average mileage per month, total mileage for the year, number of activities…the sort of thing that Strava tells you at the end of the year and you didn’t ever know that you were aiming for!  So, go ahead and make one of those a goal.

Pick a goal that is out of your comfort zone but still within the locality.  I’d love to do some bike-packing this year but we don’t know how far we’ll eventually be able to travel so I’m thinking something like I’d like to spend more than 1 night on the trot sleeping under the stars.  I could do this near my house if I have to (or even in the garden if I’m desperate), but really I’d like to do this in Scotland, as planned with the Pritygrity Ambassadors.

Pick a goal that adds something new to what you already do.  I’m thinking something like morning Yoga, a Joe Wicks workout, buy a gravel bike and start off-road riding, try running – whatever suits you.  The key here is to add it to your daily or weekly routine and make it a new habit. 

Get all that ticked off and, as my teenage children would say, that’s goals!  What's on your list?  Share your good ideas and send us your photos.

So here’s to a great year that’s ‘goals!’

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