Late December is a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. It’s also that time of year when we make a bunch of promises that we rarely keep. That’s because most New Year’s resolutions are really just a laundry list of things we’d like to change about ourselves but can’t be bothered working on. Lose weight, get more exercise, find a better job. But what if this year, you made resolutions that you actually looked forward to keeping?
If you love the great outdoors and are always thinking about the next big challenge, we’ve got some resolutions designed to enhance your adventures in the wild. Here are three suggestions to keep you motivated long after most people have thrown in the towel and returned to the couch.
1. Master a New Skill
If you’re an adventurer, there’s probably something you’re really good at. It could be kayaking, climbing, cycling – whatever. Over time, we get stuck doing the same thing, precisely because we’ve mastered it and the doing comes easy. This year, try taking up something completely new. Choose an activity that requires an entirely different skill set than the one you’re currently using. You’ll test new muscle groups, challenge your mental strength, and hopefully develop a new passion. They say variety is the spice of life, so broaden your horizons and mix it up a little when you’re taking on the elements.
2. Switch Off
There’s nothing quite so disconcerting as reaching that summit and taking in the million-dollar view only to find your climbing partner fumbling for his cell phone. How much have you missed by looking down instead of up? This year, try leaving the electronics at home. Learn to read a map, use a compass, and live with the uncertainty of not knowing exactly when the rain’s supposed to start. If you need a phone for emergencies, bury it deep in your backpack and treat it like the first aid kit. Memories are lost because we’re too busy taking pictures to really see what’s in front of us. Go old-school, and be prepared for some classic rewards.
3. Inspire Someone Else
We all had to start somewhere, right? When you were first learning to do whatever it is you do best, there was probably someone around to show you the ropes. It could have been a family member, group leader, or specialized trainer. Whoever that person was, they gave you the gift of inspiration, passing their passion along so that it took root deep in your psyche. Teaching a skill to someone else is incredibly rewarding, and reminds you why you fell in love with your sport in the first place. You won’t have to look too far to find a friend who could use a little encouragement to try something new, and nothing will make you feel better about your own abilities and thirst for adventure.
That’s it. Three simple resolutions to learn something new, teach someone else, and not try to capture it all on video. We wish you a joyful, exciting and challenging new year, wherever the winds of adventure may blow.