Plans and Goals for 2018

2017 was a great year. Good and bad happened, but I have to label it great. I didn’t reach all my fitness goals in the last year. In fact, I didn’t reach many of my goals, but I still choose to say it was a great year. I rode part of Tunnel Hill Trail with my wife in May, toured from Chicago to the Missouri boot heel on our way to Memphis with my friend Nathan in June and rode the length of Tunnel Hill both directions with Nathan in October. I had a DNF at the Ozark Trail 100 mile MTB race and stopped 6 hours into the Wolf Creek 12HR MTB race. I ended the year with 1661 miles of cycling, well short of the totals of any of the last 6 years since I started riding a bike.

There have been times that I have found myself feeling dissatisfied with 2017, but I am choosing to look at it as a year of rest, recovery and reflection. Miles and fitness were low, weight was high,  but I really enjoyed the times I spent on the bike. That is worth a ton. I also spent a lot of time focusing on family and relationships with friends, which made me happy. I went back to school. I got intentional about finding peace within myself and working to avoid some of the pitfalls that have traditionally led me to depressive episodes. Goals met or no, some great things happened in 2017.

On the down side, my biggest problem as I look back at 2017 was a lack of focus. My goals in the past have been somewhat ambiguous and general. Things like “lose weight”, “make better choices eating” and “increase savings” are nice statements, but without actionable items and specific, quantifiable marks, the objectives had no teeth. I didn’t have something to break down to the month or week, so I didn’t keep track of what I was doing. When I got to the end of the year, I looked back at my goals in my journal and realized that if those things were actually important to me, I needed to make some changes.

When goal setting for this year, I got numeric and, in some instances, a bit crazy with what I want to accomplish. For 2018 I am going for trackable items and the end targets are BIG!

I set specific goals for the amount of weight I want to lose and in what timeframe I want that to happen. I outlined exactly how many miles I would like to ride at a minimum and what events I plan to do. I set a goal to start a morning routine of exercise, meditation, reading and studying Spanish. I could go on, but I think you get the point. In 2018 I will be tracking my progress and making adjustments so that I reach my goals or adjust expectations as need be. Instead of stopping at the end of the year, looking back and wishing I had done different, I am going to make those small adjustments needed to stay on course (or adjustments to the course itself) all along the way.

So what has happened so far? I’ve been doing Couch to 5K three days a week and yoga twice a week. I am down 7.9 lbs and making healthier choices with my eating habits. I’ve meditated for 10 minutes 13 of the 18 days so far this month, read for 30 minutes 12 days and practiced Spanish for about 20 minutes the last 15 days in a row.

I have many other pieces of the puzzle of my life that I am working on this year as well. I will graduate with my associates degree in May and I have set some aggressive goals for my work and income. I have specific items planned for volunteering, teaching, improving our finances, family trips, home maintenance and plans for our future. With all that, I believe that 2018 will be a fantastic year!

Have you set any goals for the coming year? I know it is mid-January and most people have stopped talking about their resolutions, but it isn’t too late to dream about what you want for 2018, make plans and make it happen. In fact, now may be the perfect time to take specific steps to make your 2018 amazing. What inspires you? What do you aspire to do or be? Leave a comment and let’s chat about it!

4 Replies to “Plans and Goals for 2018”

      1. Hi Brain, great article in Adventure Cyclist, May 2016 on purposeful cycling ( cycling for a cause). I have raced bikes since the late 1970’s and it can be a bit of a selfish sport. I found myself training 4 to 5 hours a day, just to hit some personal goals, my social life was suffering, started drinking a bit to much and felt guilty about all the time I was spending doing this just for me. Finally after taking off a quarter of a century, raising 4 girls with my cool wife, we started racing again, but this time for a cause. I have always felt guilty not serving our country, so carol and I decided we should raise donations while we are racing these extreme events. Carol was first to do this, racing Leadville for wounded warriors, than my daughter and I raced Leadville for Warriors and quiet waters. That same daughter And I raced the trans am raising donations for Ride 2 recovery ( daughter finished, I had a little physical issue. My 2 epic failures these last few years, trans am and tour divide. So this has become our little something of giving back for our great men and women who have sacrificed so much so we can have the freedom to ride our bikes across this great nation. We all have our idea’s who our hero’s are in life but mine are people like Hal Russell, who not only served our country in Viet Nam but raises donations for veterans when racing, my brother who has been inducted into the Colorado sports hall of fame for the countless hours spent volunteering for special olympics, and the 90 year old that’s volunteering at her local hospital. Personal goals are great to have, they make us stronger, they make us live at the edge of our capabilities, but I just needed more balance in my life.

        1. That is fantastic! I love the fact that you are helping yourself and others at the same time and that you are doing so by helping a very deserving group. Thank you for your explanation. Do you have plans for any events this year and what cause will you be riding for? Do you have a link where folks can go to help support your causes?

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