This time of year, it helps to have a "ride goal" in mind because riding in December can be cold, lonely, and boring.
Yesterday, my ride goal was to ride to the town of Eldora to stalk a little border collie puppy I've heard about. On my way there, I wanted to quit and turn around several times. After 6 weeks off the bike, not only is my fitness lacking, but a hour ride feels like forever to me right now. But I kept on, knowing that the way home would be much faster than the ride there.
I made it to Eldora. I never found the little puppy, but I did feel a huge since of accomplishment and I was proud of myself. And, sure enough, what took me an hour to get there, mostly due to head wind and uphill pretty much the entire way, only took me 30 min to get back.
Ride accomplished, goal accomplished, guilt free couch time earned.