Many of us see the new year as an opportunity redefine our goals. The reality is that majority of us will give up on those goals within the first month or two because usually they are made half-heartedly or because we feel we have to in line with the new year tradition. But you don’t need a new year to come round for you to refocus, you can do it right now!

But as fate would have it we’re in the new year so here are 5 resolutions to consider adopting in 2016.

Spend more time focusing on your riding skills

I often find that I get lost in the ride and over time can develop bad habits or the trails I’m often riding aren’t challenging enough to hone in certain skills like manualing as an example.

Taking some time out of your rides to focus on the fundamentals will give your skills and confidence the boost they need to progress your riding experience. Videos from the Global Mountain Bike Network can give you some great ideas on where to start.

Learn how to look after yourself and your bike

Mountain bike maintenance

So this is a big one and pretty self-explanatory. You’ll never be able to get the most from your rides if your body and/or bike is out of shape. Learn how to maintain your bike and take the time to actually do it.

The same applies to you. You don’t need to be a fitness fanatic or a health freak but don’t think that your riding justifies eating shit or that your body doesn’t need the right nutrition to fuel your rides.

Again, the Global Mountain Bike Network is a great resource to help you get started.

Ride outside of your comfort zone

As we become more experienced we can start to feel a little dissatisfied and even disappointed with many of our rides. More often than not that’s because we have gotten into a routined riding habit or style which leads to us riding trails in the same way over and over again. Like many first timers, when I first started riding I was very much outside my comfort zone, testing skills which were still foreign to me but this is what fuelled much of the excitement.

But that said, nothing is stopping you from feeling that way again on your rides it just means taking the step outside of your comfort zone. I’m not encouraging people to hit trails and obstacles that are way outside of their skill level but to take it to the next level a little and to be pro-active in mixing things up on the trail.

Follow less and lead more

This doesn’t apply to everyone but it’s important to lead the way every so often. Following others all the time can instil some bad habits such as not looking ahead or not choosing your own line.

Leading the way clears the trail ahead for you to ride your way, creates less distraction from choosing your own line and makes you a more independent rider.

Have an adventure

mountain biking adventure alps

This is a classic. We have all been victims of green grass syndrome, i.e. burning our precious time away watching others have adventures on YouTube wishing that we had trails like them. Firstly, you probably do and secondly few of us have a good enough excuse to not have an adventure of our own.

For our American friends, a short flight and you’re in Lake Tahoe or Whistler. Europeans are the same with a huge variety of landscape and culture to choose from. You can be in the alps in a few hours. Or just jump in your car and go somewhere new for the weekend. The point is that an adventure is about being willing to take the time out of life and taking that first step out the front door. Live by Nike, “just do it”

Hope these ideas help, but the overarching message is to step outside of your normal riding routine and spend time on developing yourself, your bike and your experience.

I’m a marketing guy by day, married with 3 kids and a passion for mountain biking. I get out on the bike whenever and wherever I can.

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