Just Keep Pedaling

You’ve probably heard a million times that to get to where you want to be, you have to set goals. Well, setting the goals is the easy part. 

When we set goals, personal or professional, there is a lot of room to fall off the path and never see any improvement. Whether it’s procrastination, lack of motivation, or not enough belief in yourself, failure or coming up short is common.  

I’ve spent way too much time trying to reinvent the wheel, to try and think my way around the problem instead of just putting my head down and getting to work.  

There are a lot of articles about mental toughness and decision fatigue, but to see results you have to focus on the things that you can control. Let me say that again:

Focus only on the things that YOU can control. 

Humans can get really creative when it comes to thinking around a problem without actually solving the problem.

One of the things that helps me is that I’m a big fan of finding the overlap between hobbies, dwork, and life in general. For example, having an epiphany about a particular poker hand can carry over to an issue I’ve had with something in my business. When I work on one thing in one area, it improves everything else. And to continue making this work, I keep trying to find new hobbies to learn about and enjoy.

Cue to buying a bike. 

When I bought a bicycle in July of 2017, it was the first bike I’d had as an adult. Matter of fact, it was the first time I had even been on a bicycle since learning how to drive. 

I had been on the verge of buying a bicycle for a number of years because I wanted to build up my endurance and stamina. And frankly, I just hate running. As a kid, I was always on a bicycle because I loved it. So it seemed like the best option.

As I always do, I researched and bothered my bike-riding friends about what to look for in a bicycle. When I was finally ready to pull the trigger, I went to a bike shop and asked them a ton of questions. I decided on a bike that would work well on both roads and trails. And I spent enough money on it to force me to actually use it. 

For a while, I was riding several times a week. But life started getting in the way. As it does.

Recently, I haven’t been riding much at all. It’s winter, (sort of, being in Texas), the businesses have been really busy, and we have a lot of family stuff going on. The bike riding has fallen way off. And because of that, my endurance is so much lower again.

I decided to change that one weekend. First, I unsuccessfully tried to get some friends to go with me. When they didn’t want to, I put on my gear and then checked the weather. “53 degrees, feels like 47 with 17 mph winds.” Ugh. 

It would have been easy to stay home, but I had already told some people that I was going to ride at least 26 miles that day. Accountability is one of my biggest motivators because I don’t like being wrong or letting people down. I was committed; I wasn’t going to let some wind keep me from crushing my goal.

At first, the ride sucked. There were many times that I thought about quitting. But I didn’t, and  eventually I realized that all I really had to do was to just keep pedaling. I didn’t need to think about KPIs or goals or finances. I just had to push one foot down and then the other. 

During this sort of breakthrough, I started actually enjoying the wind and the drizzle and I just kept pedaling. Instead of trying to make myself power through my discomfort, I started appreciating the things around me. 

When I finished the ride, I was sore and I definitely didn’t set any records for speed. But I did it. 

Knocking out goals that we set for ourselves creates momentum 

and helps us heighten what we are capable of. 

It can be easy to bail on the goals we set for ourselves. We get so caught up in trying to reinvent the wheel or finding excuses when we would be better served by just putting in the work and adjusting our effort based on what happens. 

You have to honestly identify your weaknesses, figure out how to overcome them, change your mindsets, and commit to your goals. That can be really hard for most people. But this is how the most successful people do it. They don’t shy away from the things that could hold them back; they face them and crush them. If you’re really committed, there are a number of ways to strengthen your resolve. Hold yourself accountable for your commitments and plan to follow through. 

When I put on my biking gear that day, I was committing to taking the ride before I checked the weather that would affect it. Of course, planning ahead is usually a good idea too. But things don’t always go according to plan anyway, and if you let the chaos of the moment determine your follow through, you probably won’t follow through. 

Get on the bike and just keep pedaling, no matter what.