So, the first day of the new year has come and gone. I can’t help but wonder how many people made New Year’s Resolutions and have already broken them?
By all accounts, according to the experts, the better term to use is goals, not resolutions, which can be defined as more specific, and which are therefore easier to keep than a waffly ‘lose weight’ resolution. They also say that focusing on small and easy changes, and avoiding absolutes like ‘giving up smoking cold turkey tomorrow’ will help ensure the resolutions stick. And supposedly the other trick to keeping a New Year’s Resolution is to not have too many or too many complex ones that require multiple behaviour changes.
Hmmm, I may have failed here as my hand-written list came to nearly the length of an A4 page!
And here they are…
- Watch less TV
The plan is to not watch TV on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday evenings (a habit I appear to have slipped into) and instead use this time more constructively like planning my #40by40 volcano adventures. With this in mind I thought, heck, why not also put a stop to watching my guilty pleasure EastEnders – that will give me an extra two hours a week to spend on something more productive. (Although I do have several episodes to catch up on to January 2nd, which will be my self-imposed cut-off date).
- Stop doing overtime
I admit I am a chronic workaholic. When you’re working to progressing your dreams or goals I don’t think that is necessarily an issue – it’s when you’re spending your free time for someone else’s benefit that the problem arises. Sure I’m a freelancer, so I can be flexible with my time and my own boss but I’m also a perfectionist and will routinely work longer than I should. My aim is to finish my “normal job” no later than 6pm each night and then I have more time to devote to hobbies and volcano planning and general wellbeingness. (Knowing me, however, this will be easier said than done).
- Do more rock climbing
I want to try and get to a climbing wall once every two weeks ideally.
- Learn to kayak
It just seems cool and I want to try it out. This will be during the warmer months.
- Wild camp
All of last year I wanted to wild camp but I always came up with an excuse and chickened out. Enough is enough – 2017 will be the year of the wild camp (just when the weather is a bit warmer).
- Practice my navigation skills
I spent a decent whack of money last year on a navigation course and haven’t done that much in terms of practicing my new-found skills and I fear I could be forgetting everything I learnt. So, my aim is to take a walk and practice these skills once a month.
- Improve my cardiovascular fitness
This is an absolute bugbear of mine. You would have thought that joining spin class last year would have upped my cardiovascular fitness but after each class I still feel like just as unfit as I did in the last class. I admit I don’t actually have a plan for how to improve (I’m dreading the thought I may have to do more than one spin class a week) but I figure my other goals of rock climbing and practicing my navigational skills will go some way to improving my overall fitness. Surely?
- Blog regularly
Last year I went a whole month not blogging – the reason? I was too busy. Towards the end of last year I changed tack and increased my output though possibly it was a little too much so now I need to strike a balance. I’m thinking I would like to blog twice a week as a minimum.
- Generate a social media strategy
I’ve been struggling to incorporate social media into my work day in an efficient way and not feel like I’m wasting time. But the last two months I’ve upped the ante and tried to be more engaging on Twitter in a more constructive way. Now I want to do this a bit more and expand it to other social media platforms and get the word out that self-doubt doesn’t have to hold you back from your goals and dreams.
- Walk Hadrian’s Wall
I’ve lived in the UK for 10 years now and for each of those 10 years I have said I will walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall and then not done it for various reasons. This year I’m going to do it. Now I just have to find a date in my diary…
- Read more
I love reading and don’t do enough of it. Last year it took me nine weeks to read Ed Stafford’s Walking the Amazon – I had to renew the library book three times and then I still had to pay a late charge! I have a list of books I want to read and it would be great to make a bit of a dent. I also have a number of magazines I need to peruse. My plan is to read a bit before I go to sleep at night and try and squeeze some reading in during my lunch breaks.
- Devote time to focusing on adventure travel writing
I don’t think I’ve ever met a journalist who likes writing article pitches for newspapers and magazines, or enjoys having them rejected. It is unfortunately part of the freelance life though. Yet I have numerous adventure travel stories I would like to share. So as much as I hate rejection I have to devote some time to these activities.
- Make a little piece-to-cam video
Vlogging (video blogging) and short films is where it’s at today it seems. I really want to get involved with this but I weirdly have a mental barrier stopping me. I say weird, because I spent my youth in drama classes and on the stage, I’ve been in TV ads, have a public speaking qualification and even did piece-to-cams as part of my journalism diploma – yet I am now really struggling to put myself in front of my phone’s video camera. I know it’s all to do with self-doubt and imposter syndrome so this will be a work in progress that I aim to chip away at this year. But if I can muster the courage to record a piece (regardless of quality, and not necessarily for human consumption) for each of my outdoor outings this year then I will be happy.
- Keep tackling my self-doubt
Awareness of my self-doubt and how I was sabotaging my #40by40 quest was a big deal in the past year and has given me a new direction and sense of perspective for this year. Basically, I’m just going to keep pushing on – and learn as I go – and not give up.
- Plan something epic and climb more volcanoes
This year I need to take on a few more volcanoes. I’m currently planning the ones for New Zealand in March. I was going to do five but time is looking tight so I may have to drop one, which is slightly annoying but heigh-ho. It would be great to do an epic volcano trip this year as well so I’ve put my thinking hat on.
So, that’s that – my list of goals for 2017. I admit it’s rather substantial. Let’s see in a year’s time how I’ve done.
What are your goals/New Year’s Resolutions for 2017?