My last several posts have been about self-discipline, losing weight, and new cyclists quitting the sport. You can go a long way towards improvement within those three areas if you apply a little motivation.

What is motivation?

Motivation is a condition that activates or stimulates behavior and gives it direction. It energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior. It can have many forms and is usually based on the desire to achieve an end result – losing weight, riding a century, etc.

Five Ways To Stay Motivated For Cycling

  1. Set goals. You know what you want (lose 40 pounds or ride a 100 miles) but it’s meaningless unless you set those goals down in stone. Let others know about those goals so there’s some accountability. Here’s a good article about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  2. Sign up for a ride. Knowing you’ve signed up for, and paid money for, an event is a great motivator to gut it out and keep riding so you’re prepared to ride. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to train. This is what I did last year when I decided it was time to get serious about my weight loss by riding my first century (although bicycle problems kept me from participating).
  3. Do a fundraiser. There are many opportunities available for cyclists to sign up for and raise money for worthy causes. Some of the bigger ones are Livestrong, MS-150, and Tour de Cure. Knowing your raising money for a worthy cause is great motivation.
  4. Keep some small clothes in the closet. Still have those jeans you wore in college and want to get back into them? They would make great motivation. Don’t keep them hidden though. Leave’em out so they’re a constant reminder.
  5. Challenge a friend Friendly rivalries can be great motivators. Whether it’s pounds lost or miles ridden you’ll be pushing each other hard.

What’s your motivation?

I’ve started the list with five. I know there are more and want to hear about them. What worked for you in the past or what are you using for motivation right now?

Image courtesy of mikelo (CC BY-SA 2.0).