Ahh yes, the New Year resolution: an expectation by all of us and the start of broken dreams and wasted energy. Yet, year after year, we compile lists of promises which will surely be broken in a few weeks. We pledge unending devotion to pursuits like weight loss, exercise, and stopping a myriad of bad habits; however, the reality of failure is constant plague upon our efforts.
There are those experts, the goal gurus I guess you could call them, which heartily offer their resolution advice on morning tv shows and websites alike. Of course, with promises of controlling my destiny, they sucked me in with their gnarly graphics. So what did I learn from these archetypes of advice givers?
Basically, in order for a goal to succeed is must be measurable, achievable, and personally meaningful.
So when asked casually this year what my resolution was, as is appropriate for end of year smalltalk, I replied simply, "hike more!" As someone who identifies himself primarily as a backpacker and a hiker it is perhaps the only response which actually makes sense.
So how much more do I plan to hike this year? I decided to make it achievable my giving myself the full year and measurable by assigning the value of 1000 miles.
Though 1000 miles seemed like quite a bit when I plucked the number out of the air, I though to my year on the Appalachian Trail when I hiked 2,160 trail miles. Of course there were also about 350 miles in side trips while on the trail and an additional 300 or so for training hikes. 1000 miles will be easy, right?
Of course, some years later, I do have more pressures of work, family and other obligations - maybe it won't be easy after all. Then again, 1000 miles over 52 weeks is less than 20 miles per week. I can do 20 miles per week - no problem ( I hope). At the very least if I don't quite make it, really what is the worst that happens when you don't fulfill a resolution? The last I checked, one is not sentenced to torture in a distant level of hell for breaking this New Year promise. In anything it is a good plan and perhaps a valiant effort.
So, if anyone wants to join me and start hiking themselves, check out my hub article on Hiking Fit for the New Year