We're barely one week into the new year and the chances are at least of few of you have already broken some of your New Year's resolutions. So is there any point in making them in the first place?
- 10 cycling New Year's resolutions (and how to stick to them)
- 7 ways to get fit this year
- How to measure changes in your cycling fitness
Let's face it, with an endless list of ways to be a better person, whether that be by getting fitter, thinner, healthier, having the leg power of Chris Hoy, the courage of Rachel Atherton, the race craft of Marianne Vos or the zen like calm of the Dalai Lama, things will almost always end up in not only failure but a sense of sheepish embarrassment when you fall off the wagon mid-way through the month. It's not called Blue Monday for nothing.
Really, what we need in this stressful world is a whole long list of more things to worry about and fret over, and another stick to beat ourselves with — and you've set them for yourself! You chose them so you should be able to do them, right?
The whole New Year's resolution thing is just a big wedge of societal pressure dressed up in discounted gym memberships, detox diets and training plans.
But on the other hand...
Full disclosure: I am a fan of New Year. I like the symbolic shifting between the old year and the start of the new year. I like the sense of optimism, an opportunity to start afresh, to wipe the slate clean and all of those other cliches.
I have, in previous years, set myself some pretty big goals and I've managed to accomplish at least some of them. Granted, not quite in the way I'd envisaged — actually often in a completely new, unexpected and much better way — but having that list of things to aim for has helped.
On quiet days over the festive period I've got time and space to work out what's important to me, what direction I'd like to be heading and what kind of things I could do to get me there, and this works for both life in general and cycle-specific ambitions.
This year I've just been too busy to set myself anything very specific and have opted for some vague goals instead: cycle more, have a few adventures, hang out with my friends. I know full well that having resolutions this vague is Against The Rules and indeed contradicts some of the advice we've put on this very site, but you know the good thing about vague resolutions? There's no pressure.
So I say, ditch the resolutions or go for something nice and vague. If you manage it then great, but if you don't, then meh, there's more to life, like actually living it rather than fretting over whether you're living it in the Right Way.
Of course some of you may disagree. Particularly anyone who's actually training for an event, for example.
So over to you. Are you kicking off 2017 with a specific set of goals, a vague set of ambitions or are you ditching the list altogether?