New Year’s Resolutions can last for a week or they can form the habit of a lifetime.
By following a few key principles, you can set New Year’s Resolutions that can put you on the path to becoming an all-new you!
Here’s our guide to setting New Year’s Resolutions, and our suggestions for the best resolutions for bike riders!
New Year’s Resolutions: Make them SMART!
Good goals or resolutions are often defined by whether they fit the SMART criteria.
SMART Resolutions are far more realistic and achievable, and will last beyond January 14th! This is a guide to SMART:
Make sure your resolution relates to something specific and isn’t too broad.
For a resolution to be specific, ’I will be better at cycling’ is no good. What about cycling do you want to be better at? Better at going up hills? More confident at riding in traffic? Better on rooty trails? Pinpoint your focus.
Ideally, you want to make a resolution that can be quantified.
Don’t tell yourself you’ll ‘ride more’ in 2020. How about ‘I will ride at least three times a week’?
By putting a number on your promise, you have something to aim for, and can make yourself accountable.
Be realistic with yourself. Where are you now? Where could you be in 12 months, with a little effort?
As much as we have our full confidence in you, we don’t believe you’re ‘going to win the Tour de France in 2020’ (unless Chris Froome is reading this?). If you’re a racer, how about aiming to race twice per month in 2020 instead?
Maybe an obvious one – make sure your resolution relates to your hobbies (bikes!) or things you want to improve upon (riding bikes!).
Saying you want to learn to play football for Manchester Utd is a bit pointless if you’re not interested in football, for example!
Your resolutions should have some element of timeliness to ensure you stick to them.
If you say ‘I want to ride my favourite local trail 30 seconds faster’ you could aim to achieve that in three months or three years. Which will you aim for? When setting a time-period for your resolution, again, make it realistic.
Here are three of our favourite New Year Resolutions at Pro Bike Tool Towers. One of each of us has resolved to keep them in the last few years and they’ve worked, so try them for yourselves!
We tried to keep them SMART, and most importantly, realistic!
Chris (Founder, Co-Director)
Never ride with a dirty chain
Ideally, I’d clean my bike and fully degrease the drivetrain after every ride.
But we all know that when you get in from a rain and wind-soaked ride, are freezing cold and covered in muck, all you want is coffee, cake, shower, and maybe more cake.
I made a more realistic resolution than fully cleaning my bike after every ride. Instead, I promised myself never to ride with a dirty chain. You can give your chain a wipe down and re-lube in less than a couple of minutes, and I made it easier for myself by keeping some basic equipment (rag, de-greaser, lube) next to where I store my bikes. I then perform a full clean of the bike every weekend.
Ideally, you can spare a few minutes after every ride to get the filth off your chain and help keep things running smooth. If you’re really cold, tired, or rushed, having all the equipment stored by your bike means that you can quickly do it before you head out for your next ride.
Jim (Content and Marketing Manager)
Do my core workout twice per week
Signing up to a gym is a common New Year’s Resolution. However, given I was already spending over 14 hours per week on the bike and of course have family and work duties, spending a further 3-4 hours in the gym every week just wasn’t going to happen.
Instead, I committed to 30 minutes per week of just focussing on the key part of your body for cycling (other than your legs!) – your core. Having a strong core can fend off injury, make you more comfortable on your bike, and make you ride faster!
Check out my favourite 15-minute core workout here. This can be performed in your living room with no equipment, making it easy to fit in before or after work.
I started doing this workout in January 2018, and it’s now part of my weekly routine. I started feeling better for it within weeks – give it a go!
Always use torque when working on my bike
No more corner-cutting in my bike maintenance. When you’re in a rush or distracted when working on your bike, it can be easy to just tighten up your bolts as much as you feel appropriate. If you’re stronger than you think or you have a particularly brittle carbon component, you can damage the material so easily.
I actually cracked a stem when I started working on my own bike because I tightened it ‘just one more turn’ to make sure it was secure…. And of course, I wasn’t using a torque wrench that would have told me I’d already tightened it enough.
A torque wrench will ensure you only tighten bolts to the manufacturer’s recommended force, meaning you’ll not damage components and cause yourself a lot of anger and sadness!