There is nothing like the feeling of completing your first century, placing in your big race, or completing a cycling challenge where you hit your highest stats for the month…ever!
You feel ELATED! You feel ACCOMPLISHED! You feel AMAZING!
You freaking DID IT!!!
But, after standing on the podium, taking a well deserved shower, or finishing the last ride of that stellar month, you will likely ask yourself…what next?
YOU CELEBRATE! Celebrate with family, celebrate with friends. Whatever you do to honor your accomplishments you go ahead and DO THAT THING!
Some of us like to have a nice meal, a glass of beer or wine, or reward ourselves with a new cycling kit or gadget.
I mean, if we are feeling SUPER fancy, we might even just go out and buy ourselves a new bike since we all know that the appropriate number of bikes to have is n + 1 (where n of course stands for the number of bikes you currently have).
Once the celebration is over, though, we tend to wonder, “what next?”
What IS there left to accomplish? What do we DO now that we have actually achieved what we set out to do?
The answer isn’t easy, or straightforward, and is certainly not the same for everyone. There are many different paths a girl can choose.
In this guide I will share with you my SIMPLE process (it’s only THREE STEPS!) to stay focused and motivated AFTER you have met your cycling goals.
Step #1: Truly Give Yourself the Space to Recognize Your Cycling Goal Achievement
This, my lovely friends, is SO important. Really, truly give yourself the space to allow that feeling of elation, of accomplishment. If you rush to the next thing without celebrating yourself, you truly aren’t giving yourself the gift of the full experience!
Commit to memory what it feels like, what it smells like, what it looks like. Really! Do this!
I know it may smell, well, like a smelly cycling kit, but STILL…remember this feeling. The WHOLE feeling. It is like no other.
I will never forget when I completed my very first 50-mile ride. It was a charity ride for this amazing organization, Bikes Fight Cancer. Every year the team raises thousands of dollars for Cancer Research for the Dana Farber Institute. They are nothing short of incredible!
So, I had never ridden more than 30-35 miles before at any one time, and this 50-mile ride was a real reach for me. The last 15 miles were really, truly hard, and I was riding with my lovely friend Evelyn (that’s her below! She was a trooper and pulled me MUCH OF THE WAY). I was pushing harder than I would have if I was on my own and it felt wonderful and awful all at the same time.
I remember coming around the corner to the finish. It was a gorgeous, sunny, fresh, almost-summer day. The grass was a vibrant green, there was a gentle breeze, I could see the event tents on the lawn.
My family was there. My husband, Chris. My mother-in-law, my father-in-law. Big Chris was clapping and cheering for me. Little Chris was running towards me yelling, “YAY MOMMY!!!”
I am honestly, no joke, tearing up now just thinking about it now, two years later. Thinking of just how purely AMAZING it felt.
Well, my butt hurt, I of course fell halfway through and cut up my leg and required some bandaging (if you know anything about me you know I fall…a lot), but otherwise? It felt awesome and I will never, ever forget it.
I gave myself the space to truly embrace and enjoy the feeling of the accomplishment. I hugged my family…see!
And then I went to the tents and had what was one of the best burgers of my life. It tasted THAT good. Not sure if it was because of how special the day was, or if the burger was just truly THAT awesome, but thank you to Local Burger in Northampton, MA and your awesome food truck for providing me with that truly wonderful, post-ride, burger experience!
By giving myself this space and this time to truly enjoy what I had done, I was able to commit to memory the day, the accomplishment, and the feeling of what my body can do.
And, my friends, I was hooked. I cannot WAIT to do this event again. It was canceled because of COVID last year, but it is ON this year, and I am HERE FOR IT!!!
Step #2: Really Consider and Then Decide On Your Next Cycling Move
A lot of times we female cyclists get to the end of the road with a challenge or an event and either FLY right into the next thing to keep us going (Another challenge! Another event!).
Alternatively we can swing the other way and say “Ahhh I am going to just take a recovery week” and that returns into a recovery two weeks, a recovery two months…and before you know it life gets in the way, and your bike, your peloton, your trainer are gathering dust in the basement.
Now, I could tell you that one of the easiest ways to stay motivated after meeting your cycling goals is to start working towards the NEXT goal, and that may be true! BUT, it’s important to be mindful of that next goal, and make sure that it is one that is really, truly serving you and your overall cycling mindset and mental health.
You see, all of us are different. And it is up to each of us lady cyclists to really take the time to explore what works for us, what doesn’t, and what our next steps should be.
Sit down with a journal, a bunch of post-its, a blank google doc…whatever your method of brainstorming, and spend some time asking yourself where you want to be as a woman, as a cyclist, in the next 6 months, the next year, even the next 3-5 years.
You may have already done this! If so, then you keep on that trajectory!
In this article I talk all about setting your future cycling goals, your future LIFE goals, and then coming up with a plan to meet them. This goal setting article is a MUST READ for anyone who wants to accomplish big things in their cycling future!
Now, once you have completed your brainstorm and zeroed in on your goals, make sure that your next steps fall in line with those goals, whatever they may be.
Do you want to get stronger and faster as a cyclist? Consider incorporating more strength training into your workouts and finding a training plan that increases your FTP. Incorporate more interval training into your cycling workouts instead of just endurance rides.
Maybe you actually want to spend LESS time cycling! This is OK! I know that I have gotten really good at putting in miles and hours on the bike, and now I want to focus more on strength training, and quality over quantity with my rides.
My long-term goals are very health related and focused. I want to be a healthy person who makes healthy decisions and choices. One who doesn’t have to wonder if she is going to ride her bike today/tomorrow because riding is a habit, something that I love, something that I just DO.
Whatever YOUR next cycling move is just make sure it is something that fits in line with your goals and who you want to be as a cyclist and a human.
Step #3 Make a Plan For Your Next Move and Put That Plan into Action!
Now that you have celebrated your victory, considered your cycling goals, and decided on your next event, goal, your next THING, it is time to make a plan and follow through!
For example, say you just finished a Sascy Cycling Monthly Challenge and you are feeling AWESOME. You feel strong, and you put up some of your best monthly numbers EVER!
After the challenge you take some time to really enjoy and celebrate that feeling of putting your body through some TOUGH work.
You take a recovery week of easy rides, cross training, maybe some hikes and yoga. You give yourself this week to sit down and brainstorm where you want to be as a cyclist. You have your GOAL!
The next step, right here, is to make a plan, and take action.
You see, goals are GREAT. They are amazing! They give us something to shoot for and something to work towards!
But, a goal without a plan? Without a process? Without the development of habits that support that goal?
Let’s just say that these goals, sadly, are often the ones that go unfulfilled.
Brainstorm the steps that you need to take to complete your goal. Write them down. Put them in your calendar! Research shows we are SO MUCH MORE LIKELY to do something if it is written down in our calendar.
Not sure how to do this? Take a look at my amazing article here on Planning Your Cycling Workouts. This has a step by step process of really breaking down a training plan and getting that plan into your calendar.
So, there you have it! A simple, 3-Step Girl’s Guide to staying motivated and developing a plan after you have accomplished your cycling goals.
You want to make sure you
Celebrate your accomplishments
Mindfully decide your next steps
Take those plans, throw them in your calendar, and take ACTION!
Recognize that this is a journey, and that it doesn’t end with the completion of one goal, or one event.
This is your LIFE! You are a wonderful, strong woman who happens to pedal a bike. YOU get to decide where you want this path to take you, and ultimately where you want to end up.
What are YOUR tips for staying motivated after you complete a big event? How do you keep that momentum going on the bike? Comment below and let us all know!
Sascy Cycling has SO MANY awesome tips to offer. Check out these related articles:
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