Six weeks into the new year the steely resolve of that new years resolution has softened into a mushy apathy, the dark days and freezing weather offering the perfect derailment to your well-intentioned fitness resolutions.
But never fear, this post is to help you shake off the winter sluggishness, and start getting outdoors even when it’s cold and wet. These are not just some generic tips, but legitimate motivational tactics sourced from top athletes and psychologists.
o without further ado, read on for the manifesto of winter motivation!
Make a Challenge
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible
According to the American Psychological Association, people who set specific goals are 90% more likely to achieve what they’ve set their mind to.
You can help motivate yourself by setting small incremental goals that spark your interest and set you on the right path, which might not be the one you’re used to. It might not be just the dull weather causing you to languish… maybe you’re not motivated because of boredom.
Winter calls for a change to your normal cycling routine, so mix it up, try a new discipline – perhaps cyclocross for the adventurous or track cycling if you want to stay indoors!
Taking up a new style of riding will contribute to your fitness, and can help develop technique across the board.
Change Your Environment
There’s just one way to radically change your behavior: radically change your environment.
—Dr. B.J. Fogg, Director of Stanford Persuasive Lab
Humans, just like rivers, are made mostly of water, and therefore inclined to take the path of least resistance.
This is why changing the habits of a lifetime can feel like a herculean effort.
But what if instead of changing our actions, we could change our environment so that the new path of least resistance was one which aligned with our goal?
Just like the course of a river can be altered by a single obstacle, behaviour can be altered by small changes in our environment.
The classic example is eating: Psychologists found that If you use a big spoon, or serve yourself on a big plate, you’ll eat more. Obvious, right? But how do we use this to help us train?
The idea is to setup your environment to make it as easy as possible for yourself to follow your intention: Make it the path of least resistance. You will find it much easier to haul yourself out of bed if the bag is already packed, the coffee is on the side, and the bike is ready to go.
Not only this but plan for all scenarios, like bad weather! Modern clothing has revolutionised wet weather cycling. Twenty years ago you would be sweating under a plasticky cape, but waterproof membranes make cycling far more comfortable. See stolen goat’s Orkaan collection here.
The point is to take the time to plan ahead and create the perfect environment to let you hit the ground running.
Make Yourself Accountable
The price of greatness is responsibility.
– Winston Churchill
Just as cycling team strategy revolves around the notion that it is easier to pedal when there is someone in front of you, it is also easier to pedal when someone else is relying on you.
That’s why joining a cycling team, or cycling with a friend can be so powerful. It means both of you are more likely to stick to your guns.
If this doesn’t appeal. Then why not get yourself a coach. Having to report to someone regularly is sure to keep you focused and make sure you hit the road instead of the snooze button next time you want to stay in bed.
Researchers find that perceived self-interest, the rewards one believes are at stake, is the most significant factor in predicting dedication and satisfaction toward work
The old carrot stick approach has been used for centuries, and works for cyclists as well as donkeys!
A combination of potential reward and the threat of a penalty is… surprisingly .. an effective motivator.
Neuroscience suggests that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of why you do things. So harness your dopamine transmitters with the prospect of reward (maybe something from SG’s soon-to-launch SS18 collection), and blast off towards your goals!
Then afterwards, recognise your achievement by indulging in some dopamine-promoting foods like dark chocolate :D
Just Do Something!
Just do it
Some say they are the famous last words of a murderer, but others claim it is the slogan of a popular fashion brand.
Either way, they convey a crucial motivational message: Motivation isn’t just a one-way street.
While most people only commit to an action if they feel motivated enough, motivation itself comes from action. So do something, anything, and then harness the reaction to that as a way of motivating yourself.
Most of the time the anticipation is worse than the event. So don’t think about how bad you expect it to be, and just get out of the door. Most of the time it won’t be too bad, and pain will be outweighed by the reward!
Just Get Out And Train