The Secret is Setting Goals

Whether learning to ride for the first time or elevating performance on a road bike, the secret to getting there is setting goals.

Fortunately, goals come in many forms.  You can set a goal to ride three days a week for a season or you can set a goal to achieve a certain average speed on a certain route.  You can even set a goal to pull your buddies for an entire ride.  No matter what the goal, there is a path to achieving it.

Unfortunately, like many good intentioned New Year’s Resolutions, goals can easily fall away.  If you want to achieve a goal in biking, you need to consider the following:date

  • Build an action plan to achieving the goal.  This might include taking out a calendar  and mapping out the mini-goals or objectives along the way.
  • Tell everyone about the goal.  Several will ask you how you’re progressing.  Who likes telling their friends/family they gave up?
  • Tie your goal to an event:
    • For some, riding is about weight loss.  Try setting a goal to be achieved around the time of a high school reunion or bathing suite season.
    • For others, riding is about speed or distance.  Try setting a goal to work up to an average speed/distance in time for one of your favorite annual, organized rides.  And beat that speed/distance during the ride!
    • Some cyclists are all about climbing hills.  Schedule a trip to Colorado (or the Alps) with your buddies.  You’ll train hard for that, or will suffer the consequences.
  • Make sure your goal is realistic.  Talk to those who have achieved similar goals.  Burning yourself out (or over-training) in the process can easily lead to putting the bike in the corner of the garage for a long, long time.
  • Prioritize and be flexible.  You might have to get up earlier or adjust your schedule to make time for training.  If the goal is truly important to you, maybe a little less TV time is a small sacrifice.
  • Think about a reward for achieving the goal.  Is there something you’d like to do or receive if you hit the mark?  For some, achieving the goal is reward enough.

Many have good intentions about developing good habits around biking.  Start off on the right foot, and the likelihood of achieving the goal improves dramatically.  And keep in mind,  the goal should be exciting so you have fun getting closer and closer and then ACHIEVING your goal!  Which leads to one final point. 

Maintain a good attitude about the process.  There will be set-backs, but in most cases, this leads to a leap forward.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”


3 Responses to “The Secret is Setting Goals”

  1. 1 Gini Dietrich July 31, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    You wrote this for me, didn’t you?!?


    Let it be known! Next year Jeff and I are riding cross-country with Trek. I’ll begin training and raising money in October. Be ready!

  2. 2 Mike D. Merrill September 25, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Great post. Losing weight was my primary motivation to completing my first Sprint Tri in April and my first Century at the Hotter Than Hell. I need to recommit to a goal. I will be signing up for a half marathon taking place in December.

    Thanks to Jeff Lipschultz for sharing your post with me.


  1. 1 Setting Goals: Do It or Get Passed « Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog Trackback on July 31, 2009 at 12:45 am

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