Happy Life List of the Century

This week I achieved my short term goal of “attending spinning class three times a week”.  I am now focusing on maintaining that for a period of time greater than one week – and getting closer to my long term goal of completing a century bike ride. 


I’m not an avid cyclist per se but I am confident I could ride 20 or 30 miles, or even 40 on a good day and a flat road.  The 100, however, represents a real challenge and is something of a rite of passage for me.  It is attainable, and I believe would allow me to upgrade my biking classification from “leisurely fun” to “hard core”.  And of course, I love crossing things off lists.


I started doing some research today in terms of training schedules, equipment, food, safety, et cetera.  As well as information on riding tips and the like, I came across a guide for creating a happy-life list that I thought was worth sharing.


The jist of the article (found in Self, September 2008 issue, Stephanie Dolgoff) can be summed up by an opening statement from Kate Ebner, CEO of the Nebo Company,


“If you can release yourself from a sense of duty to your list, it can take the pressure off.  The trick is to see your list as a chance to examine what truly matters to you, without self–criticism or self imposed deadlines.  Think of it as a way of taking a small stand for what you truly want.”


And, some tips:


1.        Know the purpose of your list.

2.       Consider what already makes you happy.

3.       Be sure your goals are things you’re pursuing for yourself.

4.       Concentrate on doing, hot having.

5.        Include enjoyable goals on your list when possible.

6.       Phrase your list in a way that elates and excites you.

7.        Break down your goals.

8.       Reread your list and notice how it makes you feel.

9.       Be prepared to ball up your list and flush it.


I am still working on my complete “happy life list”.  In fact, it seems it will always be a work in progress.  For now, I am focusing on training for the century ride.  I’ve had many lists before – most if not all of them included “loose X amount of weight”, and other body image/weight loss related goals. 


This time, I am going after an actual achievement that I will enjoy.  I hope by training and completing the ride I’ll see some side benefits – like loosing weight, feeling stronger, having great calves – but this time around I am determined to rid my goal list of self-criticism and take a stand for what I truly want.


In the course of my research I identified a few upcoming rides I am interested in tackling for fun and for training purposes.


The first is the “Flat as a Floodplain Bicycle Ride” on Sunday, September 21.  It starts off at Orchard Farm High School in St. Charles, MO.  More complete info available at www.trailnet.org.  Anybody interested, come and join me!