Every January I have the tendency to set far too many goals for myself. There’s just so many things I feel that I can accomplish in 365 days, but staying on track and remembering all of them is too much. I’ve also seen suggestions like “adopt a mantra” or “make rules”, both of which can be summed up in a very productive resolution:
Ride your bike.
This year, when you’re in a rut or feeling bad, ride your bike. Make it a rule to ride to work on Tuesdays. Replace one of your gym sessions with an outdoor bike ride with a friend. Whatever works. Any way you do it, riding a bike covers a whole slew of life-changing goals. If you need convincing, I’ve summed up my 2015 below.
“go green” – I was raised in an eco-conscious household, but like most teens I went car crazy when I turned 16. Riding my bike has not only reduced my carbon footprint, but inspired me of other ways that I can change my mindset and my habits in ways that help the planet.
“more family time” – One of my fondest memories from 2015 was riding bikes down the Coconut Coast trail in Kauai with my brother last January. Ok, it helps that he lives in Hawaii. But it’s one of many biking memories in 2015 that I made while getting closer to loved ones.
“get in shape” – this wasn’t a goal for me, but an added benefit of biking regularly was that my clothes are looser and a recent bloodwork panel that I got through work came back with every single number on target. I used to have sports asthma, occasional high blood pressure, and have experienced bouts of depression especially in winter months due to a sedentary, couch potato attitude. I still loathe sports and the gym, but thanks to my bike I’ve never been in better health!
“save money” – I sold my car in March and have been racking in savings ever since. Even with gas prices super low right now, it’s easy to forget how much insurance, taxes, maintenance and repairs add up. If I had kept my car, it would have eaten away as much as 30% of my take home salary! Instead, I can save more money, travel more, and I won’t have to work over summer break.
“reduce stress” – it’s hard to be in a bad mood while riding your bike. If I find myself in a particularly rotten mood, riding my bike gives me time to reflect and gives me a mental break for setting the reset button on my brain. If all else fails, while pedaling I count at least 5 things I’m grateful for. Sometimes those things are “Well, it could be raining harder than this” or “I’m thankful that I am almost home”, but it’s still a great attitude adjustment and makes me generally more appreciative and optimistic.
“meet new people” – My favorite people that I met in 2015 all have one thing in common: instant bonding over our mutual obsession with bikes. I made some new besties in 2015, all thanks to summer evening bike rides or weekend country road exploring.
“get outside” – seriously, the gym sucks. My skin starts crawling after about 10 seconds being in one. Sunshine! Fresh Air! Even the rain is fun once you learn to just roll with it and enjoy the ride.
“have an adventure” – I had many mini-adventures in 2015 on my bike, and one goal I have for 2015 is to do my first overnight once warmer weather arrives. I have my eye on several longer trips that are just starting to come together as well. However, every day that I ride is an adventure in itself, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So, what are you waiting for? 2016 awaits you! Layer up and get going!