But are you having fun? Five reasons why your goals are preventing you from having fun.
Why did you start riding motorcycles? Your parents turned you onto them? Your friends were all doing it? There was nothing else to do in the area you grew up? For whatever reason you started riding motorcycles, chances are high that you stuck with it because it’s a ton of fun; maybe the most exhilarating thing you’ve ever done in your life.
There’s nothing I’d rather do with my free time than be with friends and family on motorcycles.
So, I find it funny that I need to remind myself sometimes while riding, “Nathan, this is supposed to be fun.” Why? If it’s so fun, why do I forget to actually have fun?
The short answer: pressure and expectations.
As someone who is around motorcycles pretty much every day; riding them, wrenching on them, talking about them, or writing about them, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple reason why I chose to make them such a huge part of my life: they’re fun.
It’s a common dilemma among anyone acutely involved in the pursuit of a goal. At a certain point, the goal takes over, and the process becomes a series of routines and rituals to get through with the expectation that enough repetitions will accomplish your goal.
But is it fun?
While focusing intently on your goal, the pressure and expectation to progress at a certain rate becomes a monkey on your back, and all of a sudden, you’re not having fun anymore.
Having goals is not the problem, obviously, but are you having fun? Or are you so focused on the goal that you lose sight of the reason you began riding? Are you letting the pressure and expectation of reaching your goal ruin the limited time you spend riding?
From my experience, here are five reasons why your goals are preventing you from having fun:
Your goals are too “lofty.”Set realistic and incremental goals. It may not be realistic to drop 20 seconds off your lap time in one day. If you set your goals too far out from your current ability, you’ll be overwhelmed by the pressure, and disappointed you’re not meeting your expectations. It won’t be fun.
You forget to reflect on your progress. We all start somewhere. If you are working toward a goal, I think it’s highly unlikely that you failed to make any progress. Take time to reflect on how far you’ve come. It will refresh your confidence and give you permission to have some fun while continuing to work toward new and more challenging goals.
You think setting goals is synonymous with achieving goals. Goal setting is a process that you can accomplish while sitting in a coffee shop or journaling. Achieving goals is an entirely different endeavor. It requires dedication, persistence, failure, and reevaluation. A goal may be set in a day, but may take years to accomplish. Don’t confuse the two.
Reaching your goal is not a point A to point B journey. In other words, it’s not linear. The progress you make one day may be totally wiped out the next day. Your original goal may take several different revisions and then scrapped all together for something more attainable. Your goal may not even be based on an objective or measurable result. It may be based on a feeling, or habit, and that’s okay. Reaching a goal is almost always a test of will and creativity. It is rarely a straightforward answer. Expect to have setbacks and take a route that may not be what you planned. That is part of the journey; and if you embrace the unexpected, you’ll have more fun.
You’re simply forgetting to have fun. Relax. Take time to soak it all in. Breathe. I find beginning my day of riding by deliberately taking my time and slowing down allows me to relieve the pressure and reset expectations. I often don’t go out for the first session of the track day in order to force myself to step back, set my goals for the day, prepare my mind and body, and enjoy the moment. It can be as simple as priming yourself to have fun by just verbalizing it to yourself or your buddies: “are you ready to have some fun today?” I’m just making a guess, but chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re not a MotoGP star; therefore, take time to accomplish your goals. You’ll learn more along the way, and you guessed it, have more fun.
If you don’t know where to start or have trouble setting goals, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to work through a goal sheet with you.
Thanks for reading!