Goals – they’re like riding a bike!
Mon 21st Nov 2022 by Nick Philips
I know what you’re probably thinking – How is goal setting like riding a bike ?…. Well they’ve got more in common than you think! Let us explain…
How often do you start your new fitness programme or turn up to the gym on day one with the best of intentions and huge goals to smash out but 4 weeks in you find yourself binge watching box sets on the sofa instead of hitting a spin class and eating the contents of the entire fridge in one evening?! We’ve all been there…..
This failure of not hitting our goals or achieving what we originally set out to do on day one can often be disheartening and like you’re in a constant cycle of try, fail and repeat. This process of try, fail and repeat can often be a result of setting ourselves too many goals to begin with and we cannot cope with the sheer volume of demands we are asking of ourselves in such a short space of time. Goal setting can sometimes be the problem but not in the way that you think!
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals, you need them to have something to strive towards! Goals are the driver and the motivation to keep you going, it’s what keeps that fire burning and the desire to continue on your journey. The best performing people have the biggest goals and the best work ethics but the difference is that they break their goals down into sizable chunks and work at each goal over time. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon – that mindset right there can often be the difference between success and failure.
Take an Olympic athlete, their whole life’s goal is to be an Olympic champion, and maybe they’ve had that dream since they were a small child. They didn’t wake up at six years old and say i’m going to win an Olympic gold medal next week – no, they knew this was a long term goal and there were many, if not hundreds of steps in the process for them to get there! (and a hell of a lot of blood sweat and tears!) I’m not saying we should all strive to be Olympic athletes (although that’s a pretty cool goal!) but we should all understand goals take a long time to achieve and it can be a long road ahead.
So how is goal setting like learning to ride a bike?
Well learning to ride a bike IS the same as goal setting, you wouldn’t give a child a bike and say ride it. You would pick the right size bike first, you would give them words of encouragement, you would arm them with the right tools such as stabilisers and a helmet, and you would guide them through the journey. You would build their confidence and you’d teach them to get there, one step at a time.
Reaching your fitness goals or any life goals for that matter works in exactly the same way. Start slow, it’s not a race it’s a process. Think about what you’re doing, how do you plan to tackle each goal, think long term (remember the six year old olympic dream), be prepared to fall, choose the right tools to help you and when you’re ready start chipping away at those goals until you’re riding on your own.
Eventually, through enough practice and experience, knowledge and confidence bike riders ride their bikes without giving it a second thought, it becomes second nature and that’s what achieving your goals will become, second nature. You’ll naturally hit a cadence and be able to plan for those goals and learn to take sizable steps towards them. Sure there will be falls along the way, but the key is to get back up, dust yourself off and get back on that bike again. If you take this approach you will succeed!
Just remember, when you fall, you’ve not failed! It’s how you deal with the fall that determines whether you become closer to achieving your goals or further away. See those falls as life experiences and a learning curve. Learning is good! It means we can apply what we’ve experienced and change it accordingly when needed.
Everyone has the drive and determination to achieve whatever goals they set out to achieve – they just need to be prepared for the bumpy road ahead. So, if you have a bad day, whether it be skipping a strength and conditioning class or sleeping through your alarm and missing that spin class – don’t let that set your mentality for every day. You’ve not failed, you’ve had a fall!
Get those stablisers back out if you feel like you need that extra support, go back to using your support tools and go back to chipping away at those goals one step at a time – just like learning to ride a bike, learn to rest your focus. One bad day will not set you back forever but a series of forever bad days will only set you back for life!