I always find February an inspiring month. Lots of people I know are making real strides towards their goals for the year – some are marathon training, some have booked amazing trips, some are telling me about adventures they are embarking on, some have started new jobs, some are moving home, and some are doing all of those things! Now the idea of New Year Resolutions has passed, it is good to take stock and make some real plans for the year. We might already be six weeks or more into 2015, but it’s not too late to state our goals, and it is good to put a lot of thought into what we really want to focus on. If you remember I did something similar last year (see here for the update post) – the same week in February, in fact – and I hope to be as successful in this series of goals and challenges as I was in 2014.
One thing I promised myself was that I would have a less-full diary this year. I wanted to have time to be a little more spontaneous. To be honest I’ve already completely failed on that – the diary, weeks and weekends, is looking absolutely jam packed. This is not completely terrible by any means; all the things booked in are going to make 2015 a fantastic year to remember, but it does mean that even this early in the year, I feel very busy. The challenge, therefore, is to make the most of what is already planned, and use the rest of the time available wisely – for bucket list items, blogging, relaxation, spending time with family and friends, learning, and having fun.
I guess the idea behind this particular list (and I have many, many lists!) is to make a commitment to a small number of things so I not only have some goals to aim for, but also have a way of looking back over the year come Christmas-time and have something to compare myself to. Have I developed as a person? Have I made the most of my time? Have I shown that life is all about the journey? It also makes that rather humongous bucket list of mine less daunting!
My goals and challenges for 2015 are therefore…
I will experience new things. This really is my life rather than just my year, but I’ve added it here as there are a number of things I want to make sure I tick off my bucket list in 2015. To start with I want to make good use of the experience vouchers I have been given (because my family and friends know new experiences is what I love most) – this includes afternoon tea at Betty’s in Harrogate, a RIB speedboat trip on the Thames, a track-cycling experience at Lee Valley Velopark (oh yes!) and stand-up-paddleboard tuition at Center Parcs. I want to add to that going on a microadventure (ala Alastair Humphreys) and sleep in a bivvy bag, preferably on a hill with a view (a sea view would make it doubly awesome), which will mean reaching out to some friendly adventurers to help me as it’s not something I’m going to do on my own. There will hopefully be other opportunities to try new things, too.
I will walk and walk and walk and walk. I have agreed to attempt the Lyke Wake Walk this year with a couple of blogger friends who also love to hike. I am both very excited about this and incredibly nervous, as it’s a very long way compared with anything I’ve done before. The 40-ish mile walk across the Yorkshire Moors will test my mental and physical strength, so there will need to be a lot of practice between now and June. There will be blog posts a-plenty about the challenge and my preparations, so watch this space – and if you are organising a hike between now and then that would be great for my training then get in touch as I will need some help to keep motivated. Even though this challenge will (hopefully) be completed in June I intend to keep walking for the rest of the year, making the most of a new walking festival coming to my area later in the year.
I will stop playing games on my iPad. Over the last few years I have lost countless hours to never-ending city-building games on my iPad including The Simpsons Tapped Out and Family Guy. Add to that the time I’ve lost ‘mastering’ various songs on Guitar Hero and Band Hero, and I can instantly see why there aren’t a lot more ticks on my bucket list than there are at the moment. I’ve already deleted those two games from my iPad, and I’ve donated my Xbox and all my beloved Guitar Hero paraphernalia to a local youth group. Gaming was my way to relax, and is a very good way as it really does block out everything else from your mind, but now I want to be more productive with my time. Instead of playing games I want to walk or read or listen to music or meditate. I see these things as making me a better person, and that is what I hope to achieve by not worrying about high scores or whether I’ve collected all the coins I can. I already feel quite liberated, and hope that continues.
I will meet people who inspire me, and learn from them. While think I am quite good at chatting to people online, and making connections that way, I am far worse at meeting and chatting with people face-to-face. This year I want to be a much better networker, which will hopefully open some doors for my future. My lack of skill in this area is partly because I am naturally a very shy person, but also because opportunities to practice are generally in the capital making it hard to go along. I have a long list of people I’d like to meet, and by the end of the year I’d like to make sure I’ve met at least two of them. This will mean creating my own networking opportunities as well as taking other people up on events they are organising. Watch out for at least one outdoors blogger event hopefully coming up in conjunction with a blogger friend. And if you want to meet, drop me a line!
I will eat better. My diet isn’t terrible, but it’s not brilliant. I enjoy healthy food, eat a varied diet, and generally don’t have a problem getting my five-a-day, but I acknowledge that I still eat far too much sugar and treat myself using food more than I should. I don’t have the time, money or inclination to go paleo or similar, but I would like to make some changes. The plan, therefore, is to cook lots more from scratch, including lots of soups, start to include vegetables and other less sweet ingredients in my morning smoothies, cut down on sugary drinks, and eat even more fresh ingredients rather than processed. Sweet treats are fine in my book but I’m going to try and see how many I can make myself, including marshmallow and funnel cake, to make them more satisfying.
I will decide what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe.
There we have it. It’s a different kind of list to this time last year but hopefully one that will keep me inspired and motivated for the rest of the year.
Can you help me with any of these things? Please do get in touch (comment below or email me) if you have any suggestions. And if you fancy setting me a challenge or think there is something I simply must add to my ever-expanding bucket list then let me know as I am easily persuaded to add things!
In the meantime, I’m off for a walk…