Well, it’s here at last….

Well, I’m packed, and on the way, curtesy of Virgin, to London so that we can start the London to Paris challenge first thing tomorrow morning.

It’s been an eventful start to the journey…

On the way to the station, I felt the tyre go but every time I checked, it didn’t seem completely flat. Thought I’d get to the station and then check the inner tube. Issue #1 – I realised when t was too ate to turn back that I’d forgotten to ack the spare inner tubes. Issue #2 – when I got to the station and checked the tyre looks buggered – I must have been riding with a flat – not clever.

So, I’m now in First Class travelling down hoping that CycleClinic will remain open to sort me out with a new tyre and a few spare inner tubes. Please, pretty please stay open or the challenge could be over before its began!

Once I get this ‘little’ issue resolved, I’ve just got to get across London to Crystal Palace, meet up with the other ‘ nutters’ who have decided to do the challenge also and chill until tomorrow.

I’m really looking forward to cycling in a group – it should be great fun.

Hopefully it will all be worth it and I will reach my target of £2000 raised for North West Air Ambulance. See how I’m doing here – http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood

Mid Life Crisis…. Moi?

The cheeky buggers!

Whilst collecting sponsorships for my London to Paris bike ride – www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood a couple of ‘friends’ mockingly (well I hope that they were mocking) asked whether I was having a mid life crisis.

What do you mean? I asked

The response – “well isn’t that what all MAMILs are doing?”

What’s a MAMIL? I asked

Middle Aged Men In Lycra – they shouted back at me. Ohhhh….

I could sit here and try to defend myself and all MAMILs but I don’t think I need to. After all, what is middle age today? I’m 47 and yes when I was 18, I would have thought 47 men were old, never mind middle aged. However, I don’t feel middle aged at all – in fact I see myself much more active than I’ve ever been, and I think that goes for most of my friends.

So Mid Life Crisis – no!

MAMIL – no! – if you have ever tried to ride a road bike for any distance without the padding around the butt, you’ll know what I mean!

Just a guy trying to keep fit, raising funds for a very important cause and enjoying it – what’s wrong with that.

Just wait until I drive up in my Ferrari and then you can say I’m having a mid life crisis!!

I’m getting into the cycling malarkey!

I have to be honest and tell you that when I signed up for the London to Paris cycling challenge, a part of me wondered whether I’d (1) complete the challenge and (2) if I did, would I ever get on a bike again.

After just four weeks, I now know the answer to both of these questions. Without a shadow of doubt, the answer is Yes and Yes. Yes, I will definitely complete the challenge and ride into Paris on the 17th August 2013 and have a photograph taken along with the rest of the group under the Eiffel Tower and Yes, I will definitely continue to cycle.

It is great fun, provides me with time to think and is doing amazing things with my fitness and body tone. I’ve been building up my miles and keeping a detailed record of progress on an App – Strava. There are a number of similar apps out there but this one is ideal and best of all Free. It keeps a detailed record of the journeys that I take, highlights times for specific sections, it even tells me how I compare with other Stava users. A very useful addition to my training plan.

I’ve taken a week off to take in the sun with the family and I’ve missed the bike rides. I’m itching to get back in the saddle and build up the miles again! The next few weeks will be telling though as I’ve really got to start to build up the distances on consecutive days – ideally, a few days of over 25 miles each day within the next couple of weeks would be great, especially if on one of those days, I can stretch to 50+ miles.

I’ve still got over 10 weeks to go, before I need to be at Crystal Palace for 06:30 for the start of what I’m sure will be an amazing four days.

I must have got into this cycling malarkey though – I’ve started to look for the next challenge!

The London to Paris trip is in aid of my 2013 Charity of the Year, North West Air Ambulance. I’m hoping to raise a minimum of £2000 for them from this event and all donations are greatly appreciated. Go to http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood if you’d like to contribute.

5 ways to achieve your New Year goals

It’s a well known fact that your ability to set goals and make plans for their accomplishment is a foremost skill of success. Developing this ability and embedding it as a habit will do more to assure continued success and achievement in your life than any other skill you can possibly learn.

And yet many of us still don’t do it, otherwise we’d all already be thin, rich, in love and healthy.

I’d like to make a suggestion. Don’t make any new year’s resolutions.

Instead make a plan!

Look at the year ahead and decide where you want to be in 12 months.

Then put together a plan to get there. Now of course you aren’t going to know exactly what you need to do the whole year, but you can get a good feel for it and have a good idea of where to get started. The best laid plans don’t necessarily have the va va voom without some tough love accountability, personal support and expert guidance. It’s sad to see so many people give up on their big dreams because they reach a plateau and they don’t know how to get to the next level. Don’t let that be you! In the words of Glade Byron Addams: “Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” As with anything, you only own the process of goal setting by learning it and then by applying it over and over for yourself until it becomes automatic and ingrained in your subconscious mind, like breathing in and out. The good news is that you have an automatic, goal-achieving mechanism built into your brain.

This success mechanism works night and day, and drives and motivates you toward achieving the things you want.

Here’s five simple steps to activate your autopilot and get you focused and kicking your key goals in the new year:

Step 1 – Get big – Make a list of 5-10 goals you would like to achieve in the next year that align with your long term vision for your ideal life. Consider all the important areas of your life such as health, wealth, career, business, spirituality, love, giving, personal development, relationships etc. How do I get big? I start my goal setting by creating a Gratitude Letter that spells out in specific, tangible terms what my life will be like by the time I reach December 31 at the end of the coming year.

Step 2 – Get focused – Review the list or letter and ask yourself “If I could only achieve one goal this year that would make the greatest difference in my life, what would it be?” This will become your key goal. Write down your key goal and also note down the tangible evidence that you would see, feel and hear that would tell you when you have achieved the goal – this is a psycho neuro motor activity it will make sure your subconscious can work on it while you sleep!

If your goal is around money and increasing wealth in life how are you asking for it? Is your goal stated “I want more money in life?” or is it really focused and specific? “It is now November 2011 and I have increased my personal wealth by $150,000. I know this because I can see the additional funds on bank statement, I am reviewing my investment options and I took my family on a holiday to Hawaii.”

Step 3 – Get specific – Make a list of everything you could do to achieve that key goal, keep writing until you have run out of ideas. Organise the list of actions firstly by sequence of the things that should come first, then in order of priority of tasks and actions. Break the tasks and actions down into milestones, I find working backwards from the end result to what I want to see in 9, 6 and 3 months most powerful and from these milestones I can create 90 day action plans.

Step 4 – Get momentum – Do something every day about this key goal no matter how small the action. Start by doing what you can, with what you’ve got, in the place you are. You can’t get anywhere just by planning, so you have to take action. Just keep the goal posts in your sights and aim for it. If you miss a day make sure you catch up the next day so at the end of each 90 day plan you have reached your milestone. The best way to stay on track is to find yourself an accountability buddy or join a mastermind, they will help you overcome any challenges, stay focused and maintain momentum.

Step 5 – Get excited – Celebrate your achievements and milestones along the way. Share your wins with your support team, family or mastermind. Create a success and gratitude journal, take a photo when you reach your goal to remind you of how far you’ve come. “Nobody creates the kind of life and biz they want without a plan. And plans don’t work unless they’re built on actions you can take with the resources available to you now.” John Carlton.

Take the time today to give yourself the gift of a gratitude letter and plan, you’ll be amazed by what happens!