Some Goals and Challenges for 2014

Now that 2014 is well under way I thought it was about time that I gave some real thought to what my goals for the year should be.

The reason I am doing this now is because I have been incredibly inspired by a few people I follow on twitter. Inspired to consider what my small goals are (and the big ones too, but they’re more difficult to work out) and go for them. I love twitter because it means I can make friends with people I would probably have never heard of otherwise. Get yourself over there and follow @challengesophie and @nextchallenge for starters. I don’t know that I will ever have the time, money, fitness or opportunity to take part in the kind of adventures they do, but they are kind enough to encourage me on the little challenges I do set myself.

To be honest the diary is already looking incredibly busy for 2014. This always happens. The weekends fill up fast as I plan fun things around work and other commitments, and I end up without the time to take up last minute opportunities – adventurous or otherwise – that might come my way. But as I know there are things I definitely want to do this year, so I am sharing them here on Splodz Blogz as a starting point to making them reality. I could have included 100s of things really, but have narrowed it down to just a few:

I will cycle the equivalent to LEJOG before we go on our USA bike trip in June. Sooner would be better, of course, but a mid-year deadline should keep me motivated. I can’t believe some people do this in a week; amazing. The most I’ve managed in one session is 20 miles in just over an hour (and that was me really going for it). At the time of writing I’ve managed 173 miles… I’m going to have to get on with it!

I will climb a big hill – maybe even a mountain – and when I get to the top I will know I am on top of the world. A friend @tara_papworth has suggested Ben Nevis when she gets back to the UK later in the year, which may happen if there is the time and fitness, but if not then I’m happy with something a bit closer to home that involves some fun terrain and a fabulous view.

I will learn to make marshmallow, enjoy eating it, and be happy to share my home made creations with my friends. I now have a sugar thermometer so no excuses! I also have a mini doughnut tray that I want to make good use of – I made my first batch of those this evening actually; mmmmm doughnuts.

I will run the 10k Race for Life in a close-to-personal best time. I have not run anything close to this distance since the British 10k in 2011, when I gave up on running pretty much completely. My PB is currently 1 hour 3 minutes; something under 1 hour 10 minutes would really make me smile. You’d better check with me in April to see if I’ve started training properly! I have a justgiving page if you would like to sponsor me.

I will stand at the Grand Canyon (on our motorbike trip in June) and look, silently, for at least a minute, breathing deeply and opening my eyes and mind wide, before taking any photographs of the view. I want to make sure that scene is fixed in my memory as I know it will be one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. I hope it’s a clear day!

I will complete the Spires and Steeples walk from Lincoln to Sleaford in October (although they haven’t confirmed the date yet, so it will firstly depend on when it is). I’ve walked it twice before but last year it defeated me (I blame the weather!). This year the victory will be mine!

I will go on some off-road bike rides. This is the reason I bought a mountain bike in the first place (a few years ago now), and am yet to make the most of it. I used to ride on trails as a teenager, and I miss it. I was thinking of signing up to the British Heart Foundation’s Robin Hood bike ride in October if I’d managed to do some decent rides in time, but that has already been cancelled – something to look at next year perhaps.

I will learn to snowboard. I’ve been wanting to for years – it looks so much more laid back than skiing, and in my head I reckon I’d be awesome! I did have a lesson booked in January that got cancelled, but when that happened I promised myself I will have a lesson (or two) at a snow dome in the summer rather than waiting until our next winter holiday. Yes, I’ve been inspired by Jenny Jones – apart from the obvious amazing performance she’s also the same age as me and I often wonder if I’m too old to become really good at anything now.

Naturally there are other things I want to experience during 2014 too. I’ve got ice climbing (thanks Cathy) and flyboarding (thanks Trinette) booked, along with a steam railway footplate experience with Lincolnshire Wolds Railway which I received from a mystery sender last month. I love that life is full of so many different experiences, and I know I am very lucky to be able to attempt all these things. Life is all about the journey after all!

As always please do get in touch (comment below or email me) if you can help me with any of these things or the other things on my big list of things to do. And if you fancy setting me a challenge then hey, I could be persuaded to amend this list of goals or start writing one for 2015!

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