Now that the calendar has closed on 2010, it is time for cliché New Year’s resolutions. Statistics show that less than eight percent of people actually achieve their goals they set out to accomplish to start the year. The flaw that most people encounter is that the only set these goals at the beginning of the year with no real bench marks to track their progress.
To be successful in achieving your resolutions you will require a realistic goal with measurable targets, a time table as to when you want to complete each target (and ultimately your final goal,) and of course, a reward for your hard work when you accomplish your goal. You will have a better chance at being successful if you keep your goals in a visible location such as on your refrigerator or post it on your office door. Having a visual of your goals will keep it fresh on your mind and if your goals are visible by others it will bring additional encouragement. It will also engage conversations on your progress and makes it easier to talk to others if you find yourself hitting a wall.
I don't necessarily set my goals to start on January 1, rather when I complete a previous goal. For example, after completing my first season of XC racing in 2009, my off season goals last year were to 1) increase my bike fitness, 2) finish in the top 10 in the majority of my races, 3) podium in a race, 4) win a race and 5) move from Novice to Sport. I worked diligently on goal 1 during the off season by going to spin class twice a week, riding outdoors once a week and using the MTB Strength Training System. With all of the work put into goal 1, I was able to accomplish all of my other goals. Goal 4 is debatable as I didn't win an ABA race (only won a $5 Tuesday race) but considering how much I was able to improve from 2009 to 2010, I am very satisfied with my results.
After a disappointing performance in my only Sport race (I was upgraded with 1 race remaining in the season) I immediately decided that I would need to put in as much effort this off season as I did last year if I had similar aspirations in Sport for 2011. That really isn't something that I would be able to accomplish this year with other commitments, I decided that I would have to set some less ambitious goals that are attainable yet still challenging.
After reviewing my 2010 race results and comparing average lap times with the Sport field I came up with some targets for 2011. If I can finish in the top 10 in the local races and be mid pack for the remainder of the schedule, I think I would be doing well. Once again this year I will be trying to peak for the Edmonton Canada Cup, my favourite race on the ABA schedule. This race suits my strengths and my course knowledge gives me a considerable advantage over the out of town racers.
To achieve these results I will need to go to spin class at least once a week, ride outdoors once a week and get back on the MTB Strength Training System. I will try to get some other activities in for some cross training this season such as XC skiing and hockey when my schedule permits. I was a bit burned out by the close of the 2010 XC race season so hopefully being on the bike twice a week rather than three days a week over the winter will reduce that feeling for 2011.
I would like to wish all of my readers the best of luck in achieving your goals in 2011 and I encourage you to share your goals to help improve your chances of success.