VW_Lauren Kitchen_Blog_Get clear on your goal_Web (1)

Get clear on your goal

As I stepped away from professional cycling earlier this year, I was able to invest more time into mentoring and advising young riders on the next steps to progress in their careers or development. Getting clear on your goal or goals may sound simple and obvious but I find it is often something overlooked in all aspects of life and something I am constantly reviewing.
Being stagnant is something that I cannot tolerate, if I don’t feel like I am progressing in some way, I get frustrated. I am always seeking a challenge and love to work under pressure. If you are here reading Voxwomen’s blog, I’m sure you can relate to this mentality. I am in my element when I am working towards a goal, the clearer the goal the more focused I become. I believe this is a key factor for success in cycling and in life in general. If you are clear on the destination (goal) that you are heading towards the path with open for you, if that be an opportunity, a helping hand or even a step back to step forward, options will open up for you.
Making a plan to move forward can be hard, Making any change is difficult, it requires changing habits, adjusting routines and holding yourself accountable but ultimately this process is how we progress in any aspect of life. My three key steps to get clear on your goal are:
  1. Make sure it is really YOUR goal, this may sounds counter intuitive, Is this something you have been thinking about for a long time? Where did you reasons for this goal develop? How will you feel when you achieve this goal? These questions are important as they will either highlight to yourself how strong this goal is to you and if it indeed has developed from a deep desire to progress or from an alternate pressure, if that’s the case we need to address this early.
  2. Get clear on how you will FEEL when you achieve this goal. Focusing on the destination is very important, seeing the big picture is key to stop you getting bogged down in details. Sometimes the path to achieve a goal may be dramatically different to what you expect when you set the goal, but if you are clear on the destination the path there will become clear, It’s a bit like if there are road works on a road to a destination, sometimes you have to go off course to continue as opposed to waiting in a traffic jam and not progressing. Focusing on the feeling also creates powerful emotional connection to the goal, when you FEEL good about something your emotions follow that feeling and that in turn lead to a more positive attitude towards your situation in the now and help you progress forward. Being happy brings more happiness.
  3. Be KIND to yourself and to others along the way. I have been guilty of being overly critical of myself while Im working towards goals and particularly if I miss a goal on my first try or if my path changes dramatically. The words we tell ourselves are particularly powerful in how we react to a situation. If you feel like you are failing at something and you tell yourself that you are a failure your mind will try to protect itself in the future from this situation and try to sway you away from even attempting a goal like this again in the future, If instead you tell yourself, What you have learnt from this setback and how this will only make you stronger moving forward then you are more likely to embrace fail as learning and therefore much more likely to succeed ultimately. The words we tell ourselves are very powerful, try talking to yourself as if it was your best friend in that situation, you might be surprised how much different you respond.
I encourage you to revisit your goals and find out what is really driving you forward and if necessary get in touch with your goals on a deeper level!
Happy pedalling!
Lauren
Photo header credit: Peloton Brief/Laura Fletcher
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