My SMART goal September experience

This week, Nadine Weiland (Development Practitioner) shares her SMART goal September experience.

When the SMART goal September event was first introduced I was unsure of what I would want to do. Earlier this year I had already made the decision to join my local gym to get healthier and achieve my fit150. Eventually I had an idea; I was going to take up cycling again.

I used to cycle to work pretty much every day. Unfortunately, I was involved in a road accident a few years ago and I lost my confidence to go back on my bike.

So, I started planning my SMART goal which ended up looking like this:

Specific: I would like to take up cycling again after being involved in a road accident. I need to get my bike inspected to make sure everything is working as it should and it is safe to take the bike out. I also need to find somewhere quiet to cycle.

Measurable: I know I have accomplished my goal when I cycled somewhere for a good few minutes.

Achievable: To get my bike inspected is definitely realistic and I think it will also be achievable to find somewhere quiet and to cycle for a short time.

Relevant: I used to really enjoy cycling, so I would love to get my confidence back. It has always made me feel that little bit more active and, to be honest, cycling always seemed far more exciting than walking without the guilt of taking the car.

Time bound: I would like to achieve this goal by the end of September.

Outcomes: I would like to feel more calm and in control of my anxiety which I experience around cycling since the accident.

So, here I was with a plan. I knew that the first thing I had to do was to get my bike to a shop for someone (professional) to make sure my bike was safe for cycling. I did this in the first week of September. It felt absolutely fine. But then, I only had to push my bike from the car down the road and drop it off at one of our local shops.

I picked my bike up from the shop the following day and it found itself in the same old spot. Back, leaning against the wall and days were passing. Not too long after I collected my bike though, I felt I needed to take out my bike. I mean, I had made an effort to take it somewhere and someone else spent time making sure it was in good condition.

So, I put my bike into the back of my car and drove to a quiet place nearby. Although traffic was going quite fast on this road, I knew that it is quiet in the early evening. Ideal for what I was hoping to achieve!

I could feel my anxiety turning my stomach upside down and my hands shaking when I put on my helmet and walked towards the road I was planning to cycle. I got on my bike, took a few deep breaths and waited for the anxiety to calm a little. Breathing techniques are one of my favourite coping tools and it worked. I knew my anxiety would never go away completely but it calmed me enough to be able to start cycling.

Then the first car passed at high speed and left me with a knot in my tummy. But breathing helped once again and I managed to cycle for a total of 30 minutes, visiting one of my favourite places; A wee abbey, so calm and relaxing. I soon came to realise that cycling is still something I really enjoy.

Busy roads might still be a bit too daunting, but I made the first step to get back onto my bike and I really enjoyed it!

Planning your goal in advance can help to focus on what it is you want to achieve and motivate you in moments of uncertainty.

Thank you for sharing this SMART goal September experience with us Nadine. Planning ahead and knowing your coping tools can be very supportive in achieving not only your fit150 goal but any other goal you have set yourself.

If you, or a person you support, would like to share your fit150 experience with us, you can use #fit150 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or you can contact us if you would like to submit a guest post for our fit150blog.