When people speak of New Year’s resolutions, I typically change the subject. The numbers quickly tell the true story—in America, statistics say that 45 percent of people make a resolution, but only about eight percent are successful at keeping them.
I’m sure a bulk of the resolution-makers are motorcyclists who are resolute about riding safer, faster, or simply riding more. These thoughts should not occur just once a year when everyone else has decided to lose weight, eat healthier, invest more, drink less, and so on.
Rather, it’s much wiser to make firm decisions to accomplish your riding goals immediately, whenever the need arrives. Forget about New Year’s resolutions for riding goals; make a plan and stick to it, regardless if it’s March, June, October, or whenever.
Here’s why (from personal experience with zero medical or scientific research):
First, riding is the best way to beat stress.
Routine stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver due to boozing too much, depression, diabetes, and anxiety, to name a few. These ailments also greatly reduce sleep, something we need to remain alert, focused, and not falling asleep at the wheel, or handlebar.
As a motorcyclist who seeks safety, speed, or whatever is needed to become a more proficient rider, do yourself an immediate favor and put two books on your shopping list—Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson and, for a much deeper look into sleep including the benefits of each cycle of sleep and dreams, read Why We Sleep by neuroscientist Matthew Walkner. Your riding and overall health will thank you.
Second, motorcycles are a form of meditation.
Many riders fail to recognize the benefits of meditation. Many professional racers do, along with the successful entrepreneurs who also ride, but the majority whom I’ve met don’t mediate.
For me, motorcycles offer the ultimate means of meditation. A large portion of my productivity methods focuses on optimizing time. This means not only the optimization of business time but also downtime.
When I get behind the handlebar and my lid’s shield is closed, all other thoughts of business and tasks cease for the entire ride. Unlike Disney World, something I experienced this month and need about 10,000 miles of riding to get the stress levels back to normal, motorcycles are magical, especially for their meditation factors.
For most, meditation brings thoughts of the Half Lotus position with your eyes closed and the focus on breathing. However, meditation can also occur with your thoughts focused on perfecting throttle and brake inputs while choosing the perfect line ahead.
I said it many times and will say it again. If it weren’t for motorcycles, I’d still roll with the status quo, and likely be miserable and unproductive.
Third, motorcycles simply kick ass and are the coolest things in my world besides guitars and books—and I don’t mean only riding them, but collecting, restoring, and wrenching on them. They are the ultimate getaway from everyday life and, for those like me who crave controlled speed, nothing can replace the feeling of a sportbike at the threshold of traction—not even a Ferrari Enzo (and, hey, my son’s name is Enzo!).
Keep these thoughts in mind as others are making their New Year’s Resolutions for 2020, and remember to keep them going throughout, not only 2020, but for the rest of your life.
Happy holidays! As you celebrate the holidays with your loved ones, make sure to include some downtime with your motorcycles, even if they are stored for winter and you’re just thinking about them. Your health, both physical and mental, will thank you.