Recently, I heard somewhere that January 19th was dubbed “quitters day.”
Upon further research, I found some articles mentioning that Strava did a study in 2019 that came to a similar conclusion.
Pretty much, the idea is that by the second Friday in January the vast majority of people who set new year’s resolutions tend to quit them.
Different studies seem to vary on just how long it takes us to give up, but by and large they agree that come February most of us have given up on what we have resolved.
Now, of course, being the curious individual that I am, I started to wonder a little bit about why people might quit their resolutions.
My brain went to the usual stuff like “resolutions aren’t concrete. They are too open ended.” or “Maybe people who give up don’t have a plan.”
I am sure that all of these things are factors, but the biggest piece, I am guessing, is that there is no momentum.
If we want to truly make change, yes, we need a concrete goal. We need a plan. We need to execute the plan.
But, at the end of the day, if we aren’t building momentum towards achieving our goals it makes it really difficult to stick with it.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, read on for my five tips on how to maintain your momentum in biking weight loss.
Tip #1: Have a Concrete Goal and Pick an EASY Win That Brings You One Step Closer
In order to truly build momentum with weight loss and biking, you need to start a concrete goal. It shouldnt be “I want to be healthier!” I mean…that’s great, but what does that LOOK like?
Does it mean you want to lose x number of pounds? Does it mean you want to ride x number of times a week? Pick something concrete that you can actually measure.
Next, you want to choose one EASY thing that you can DO that will bring you closer to your goal. A quick win is going to give you the confidence to continue to build momentum.
For example, one quick and easy win can be to just drink 64 oz of water a day for a week. Focus on that and that alone.
Drinking enough water is a key, understated component in weight loss. A lot of times we think we are hungry but we are actually thirsty, and water is an essential component of digestion.
If you can get in the habit of drinking enough water each day, and do this consistently, you are going to get a quick win and start building momentum towards meeting your weight loss goals.
If water is actually difficult for you (my mom, for example, HATES drinking a bunch of water), then maybe you might want to pick something else, like getting enough sleep. Sleep is a huge component in weight loss too.
It’s essential for recovery and digestion…and making us feel good! This keeps us from turning to food when we don’t want or need it just because we are trying to feel better.
Once you pick one easy thing and get a quick win and build some momentum, then you can move onto the next easy thing! When you have that momentum tackling the easy aspects of biking and weight loss you are that much more likely to have the confidence to tackle the bigger, harder things like planning healthier meals.
Tip #2: Celebrate Mini Milestones Along the Way to Your Bigger Goal
When we set a big goal for the year, like when I set one to lose 50 lbs in 2020, it can seem very daunting and very far away.
I know for me that it almost seemed impossible to the point where I didnt tell A SINGLE PERSON that I had this goal.
What helped me a lot, and what I know will help you, is if you celebrate little mini milestones along the way.
Now a celebration doesn’t have to be this external thing…like giving yourself a treat. I mean it can be! Buying a new outfit when you fit into smaller sizes or getting a pedicure is definitely super awesome.
However, a celebration can be as simple as putting your hand on your heart and congratulating yourself for a job well done.
Every single time I saw the scale go down I gave myself a little pat on the back.
And every time it went up? I told myself it was just a snapshot in time, and that it was OK. That I was on the right path. That all of the good decisions I was making about riding my bike and avoiding overeating were going to pay off over time. I just had to be patient.
Tip #3: Focus on Non-Scale Victories More Than the Number on the Scale
At the end of the day the number on the scale is truly that. A number.
It is just a snapshot in time of what your body is doing right now.
Lately I have heard a couple of different people say something along the lines of “if the scale goes down I just do more of what I did yesterday.” I think this is SUCH a slippery slope, because it can take our bodies DAYS to adjust to whatever it is we are doing right now.
Sure, sometimes when I overeat the scale goes up. But it’s just as likely to go down. Does that mean I go out and eat a bunch of food every day that I don’t want or need? Of freaking course not. That makes no sense.
If the scale goes DOWN after I ate my face off the previous day, it is probably the result of the five days before it when I ate according to plan, not the day that I ate a whole bunch of food.
All of this is to say that the scale is just one of many metrics we can track when we set out to lose weight. It’s silly to get hung up on the number…not just because naturally it fluctuates so much, but even more so because it can cause you to lose momentum.
If we instead focus on things like how our clothes fit, and how awesome we feel after a good bike ride we are so much more likely to keep that momentum going.
Ask yourself what sorts of things that you can focus on and celebrate that make you feel good. It can be as simple as getting that water in, or having a day where you ate when you were hungry and stopped when you were satisfied. Celebrating all of those little things are so helpful in building momentum.
A Final Note
Momentum is truly a force. You want to embrace it, and do everything you can to build it up because it feels GOOD to celebrate every single step along the path to your goal.
Start by picking a simple, easy step that you KNOW you can take consistently each day to bring yourself closer to your biking weight loss goals.
Do not over-complicate things! Keep it simple, and easy, and once you master that one small thing, add in the next small thing. This is exactly how we build up momentum…we do the EASY things first so that we can then start tackling the more challenging ones.
What is one small thing that YOU are going to do TODAY to bring yourself closer to your biking weight loss goal? Make it simple. Make it easy. You can absolutely do this. I 100% believe in you, and I am right here, cheering you on, every single step of the way.