No one starts out amazing, and failure is not a dirty word. Failure is a learning experience. If you go into a new experience expecting to fail sometimes, particularly at the start, then when it DOES happen you won’t be so rattled. You can assess, understand, and refine. But in order to do any of that you have to take the chance and start. Start a new biking routine. Start a new way of thinking. Start a new relationship with yourself and others. Just start, otherwise you haven’t gone anywhere, done anything, seen anywhere, or bonded with anyone.
The view is pretty sweet from the top. Maybe it’s just the top of the hill by your house (prompt side-eye given to the one I live on) or maybe it’s the wrap up to a grand bike-tour. Either way, hills can suck! They’re challenging, they make you question whether you can make it, they make you question life itself. And I’ll be honest, some days you won’t make it up on the bike, you might have to hop off and walk your butt up it before hopping back on. But guess what, if you keep trying, it will get easier. Your body will adapt, your muscles will get stronger, your lungs will get more resilient, and your heart more efficient. Plus, when you get to the top all on your own, you will feel A-MAZ-ING. Double plus – it’s so much fun to go downhill after you kicked your butt on the way up!
Alright folks, new week, new month, new year. If you didn’t meet your goals for last week (I did), last month (I didn’t), or last year (definitely didn’t) then you get a clean slate. Make of it what you will.
Just a little reminder that more stuff does not = more happiness. I’ve unexpectedly started heading down a minimalism path recently, all completely prompted by our upcoming move. You really never realize how much stuff you have and NEVER use until you have to decide whether to pack it or not. So lots of stuff getting donated, sold, or chucked in my house right now. I also watched a great documentary which is a little intro to minimalism, it’s up on Netflix right now, you should check it out: Minimalism, it was made by the two guys that run The Minimalists blog.
All that being said, try to spend less, love more, and pedal longer.
So 2016 is coming to a close, and likely many of you are considering New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Personally, I stopped setting them because it didn’t work for me. It never felt like it was a plan I could follow through on because it was tied to a date versus being tied to what I want out of life. And after the first few weeks the rush was gone because so many other people who had similar resolutions dropped like flies all around me, which became demotivating. And then it became hard, too hard.
So a few years back I tried something out, instead of a New Year’s resolution I opted to start making changes right then, at the time it was November. My thought process was if I start now, by the time NYE rolls around, it should be a habit. And honestly, it worked, but not for the reason I initially thought. I was still thinking new year, new me, but I’ll just get a head start. What was really going on that I couldn’t even see until later was that I identified something I wanted, started right away, set realistic goals and strategies for when things got rough, and most importantly I was doing it for me. Not for a cultural norm of setting a resolution, not for others, it was for me. That was the start of my journey to getting healthy and the start of my 100 lb+ weight loss, more on that another time.
Every time I set goals for myself and things get hard, I remind myself that I have been through worse, harder, more agonizing, more _____. I promise I will write about this at some point, but I remind myself that I learned how to walk again when doctors told me that I should get used to being in a wheelchair. That event in my life has had such a profound impact on me in ways I’m sure I have yet to fully understand. But what I do understand is that almost nothing worth having will be easy and laid out for you. You have to work for it.
Now I’m not saying you need to have as profound a moment as that. What I am saying is if you’re planning on making a resolution for 2017, why not start now? It won’t be any easier 2 weeks from now, but if it’s something you want, why wait? Setting goals shouldn’t be a resolution, it should just be SMART.
- Specific: Just answer the 5 Ws here – what is it I want to change/do, who will be involved, where will this happen, when will I make time for it, and why do I want this?
- Measurable: Have a way to see your progress with something that can be evaluated (miles ridden, time spent riding in one sitting, 0-10 mood scale, etc).
- Attainable: Have a stretch goal, something that pushes you beyond your limit but isn’t so lofty that you will get discouraged too quickly. Once you reach it, you can always set another one, right?
- Relevant: Your goal should be something that matters to you and will make you happier because of it, not something forced on you by what you think others want you to be.
- Timely: Lastly you need to be able to hold yourself accountable to a deadline. What can you accomplish in the short/medium/long term.
You’ve heard and/or seen this phrase right? I’d credit the photo but it’s been shared all over Pinterest I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But hey, if you’re the owner, let me know and I will most definitely give credit where credit is due.
So onto the motivational part of Motivation Mondays, I set up my indoor trainer in my living room, off to the side so that all I have to do is angle it out so I can ride and watch Good Mythical Morning everyday (if you haven’t heard of Rhett and Link, you should chekck them out – they’re ridiculous). Depending if I am focusing on endurance/cadence/power I will typically put in anywhere between 20 – 45 minutes at least once a day right now. This has been keeping me calm in the storm that is relocating in the middle of finding a job in the middle of finding someone to take over our lease in the middle of my husband coming off unemployment in the middle of the craptacular year 2016 shaped itself up to be.
But – I ride. I can count on that not sucking, at least in the way that suckier things tend to suck. If the weather warms up again, which seems to happen in NC quite often in the winter, then I’ll venture outside with the bike. But right now the air is just a bit to chill for my lungs to not feel like they’re on fire.
So do like it says and pedal it out.
So today I feel like crap but I came across this great article from Eleven about not worrying about fitting in with the norm when it comes to cycling, I sometimes struggle with that myself. But what grabbed my attention was the photo and quote they used (pictured) and it prompted me to hop on my indoor trainer for a few even though my couch/blanket/Netflix queue is calling to me. Despite all that, I will just ride, it may not be pretty, but it’s something.
We all get in slumps, like for me – right now. My husband and I are relocating to another state and this post month had been all about doing recon on where we want to move, figuring it finances, one of us finding a job first and the general mayhem that comes with preparing for major life changes. So getting my rides in has slipped a bit – OR A LOT – this month.
It got me thinking that maybe we could all use a pick me up or a pat on the back for a job well done. So starting today I will be posting a Monday M.O. M.O. if you’ve ever watched any crime drama is the way or reason someone does something, “modus operandi” is we want to get all Latin about it. Whether it’s just a gentle reminder to feel good or an update on my own progress, let’s just make Monday a positive start to the week. As this site grows I definitely would love to feature readers’ progress and personal breakthroughs too! So if you’ve got one to share hit me up!
Also, I need to give props to Secret Dream Life for this awesome photo! Perfect way to start out Motivational Mondays!