I’ve never really engaged with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I have always believed that if you want to change something or push yourself, you probably shouldn’t wait until January. Or perhaps I have always made the wrong sort of New Year’s Resolutions: trying to lose weight when I don’t really want to, going to the gym more (an activity that I loath).
So this year, I thought I would make some New Year’s Paddleutions based around things I really want to do, rather than things that I feel I ought to do.
I have compiled this list of suggestions in case you fancy doing the same:
Complete your rivers A-Z
Do something out of your comfort zone
This one should probably be accompanied by a disclaimer and a health warning. I’m not saying go mental and do something outrageously dangerous, simply get your adrenaline pumping a bit. This will mean different things to different people but could include: paddling for longer, paddling harder or faster, competing, going higher or even paddling with new people.
This is surprisingly difficult given that we increasingly rely on technology to arrange our paddling adventures but you’d be surprised at the spontaneous fun you can have by camping next to your favourite river and leaving your technology behind. Dirtbag it for a while.
And teach it to someone else
Do a course
Blog or log
So there you are, a range of New Year’s Paddleutions for you. When you choose your own, make sure you personalize it, truly care about it, and want to put the time and effort into achieving it. I may well have lost weight since January 2014 but I don’t know, and frankly, I couldn’t care less. Don't let your Paddleutions follow this all-too-common pattern.
Finally, don’t get disheartened if you fail. I always enjoyed Samuel Beckett’s quote, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” Perhaps you miss your time frame or your resolution is unrealistic, keep working at it. In the meantime, look back at all of the other amazing adventures you have had that year. You’ll probably find that you haven’t really failed, you’ve just been too busy fulfilling your other dreams.
It's been a great 2014. Wishing you all a happy and paddle-filled New Year!
Thank you so much to Wave Sport Kayaks, Adventure Technology Paddles, Canoe and Kayak Store, Paddlers First, and Surf Plugs for your support this year.