After I started working, I started gaining quite a bit of weight. My Dad had always done cycling as a hobby, but I was never really interested. I felt it was time to do something outside of work, and maybe lose a few pounds. I started commuting to work, 10 mile rides, then 20 miles ride, then 30, 50 etc. I worked up to doing my first metric century, a full century, then I decided to do the death ride. Then being the ambitious fellow I am, I wondered what was next.
I had been driven to this point by the need to do the next thing. There was always something new to try. Decided to get into racing; the local race scene in Northern California is incredibly competitive. The hilly terrain is ideal for training. I quickly discovered that I didn't really like criterium racing (huge tight pack of guys racing in circles and bumping into one another). Eventually I bought a time trial bike, and discovered my favorite discipline.
After the initial goal setting, setting goals became much harder. Rather than goals being related to completion, they were now related to competition. Things got much more difficult. Goals started needing to be longer, and in order to stay motivated, I had to start setting short, medium, and long term goals. For example, a short term goal might be: Hit every HIT training interval this week, and don't miss a workout. Medium term might be: Upgrade my racing category from 4 to 3. Long term: Win the regional age group TT in 5 years and get a bear jersey.
What are your goals? How do you keep yourself motivated for the near and the long term?
PS: I know I can get lower on my position, working on it :P