After the ride, I was amazed at how great I felt (and proud of getting started), so I decided to continue that momentum and take 5 minutes to get my cold weather cycling gear organized in the mud room so it was ready to go when the temperature got above zero.
After a glass of water, a short stop at my desk to write “40 minutes” under the dated #1 on my tracking sheet, and a quick shower, I was in bed by 11pm and feeling great. That night I slept like a baby!
It’s been 20 days since then and I’ve completed 12 rides. I’m feeling MUCH better on the rides, and I’m on track to reach my goal by mid-May.
Throughout this journey, I’ve been repeatedly reminded (remember, I coach clients on this stuff all the time, and still need firsthand experience), that the actual effort needed to get started wasn’t as hard as I initially imagined, and that the momentum builds quickly.
In fact, within a few days, I was feeling fantastic. I had more energy, my junk food cravings were reduced, I was eating better, sleeping better, and was WAY more productive at work.
This process also helped me take stock on how much I had let my routines slip since before Christmas.
With the final book preparations, holidays, skiing, business trips, family vacations, work, kids activities, etc. it’s easy to lose sight of the fundamental routines that keep you firing on all (or at least more) cylinders in life!
We ALL have these types of barriers in our way. Without having a purpose that we are excited about, a plan to make it happen, and a hard deadline for it to be done, the chances of it happening at all or slim to none!
Scheduling a race, event, or challenge is a great way to motivate yourself to take action towards your bigger picture goals.
If I had merely said that my goal was to ride several times each week in the spring, I wouldn’t have done any rides yet.
This is the essence of Parkinson’s Law.
Parkinson’s law is the principle that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. As the timeframe gets compressed, your ability to gain clarity, focus, and motivation for the project completion become much greater.
Without having the race booked and paid for (and the spectre of embarrassment), I would still be contemplating how miserable I felt about not riding, and how frustrated I was about it.