New year is a great time for personal reinvention. And just like last year, my wife and I headed to the Black Mountains on New Years Day armed with a flask of tea to think about one thing: the year ahead.
Hills hiked, tea slurped, we came away with a few goals in mind for 2019.
But first, a recap of 2018
Last year I set myself 5 goals:
- Run 2 ultra marathons, including my first 100 miler
- Sign up to #run1000miles, aiming to run 1,500 miles
- Regular weekend hikes with my wife
- Nurture my inner monk and (try to) practice mindfulness every day
- Reduce use of single use plastic
Here’s how I got on:
- Success: I ran the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra in Feb and a 100 mile ultra along the Pembrokeshire coast in May.
- Fail: Injury and 3 months of no running meant I fell just short of 1,000 miles for the first time in 3 years. Never mind, my body needed the rest.
- Could do better: we managed a few, but somehow fell out of the habit.
- Could do better: Goddam you mindfulness, why do you continue to elude me?!
- Success: from milk and toiletries to food and shopping, we massively reduced the amount of single-use plastic in our lives. Here’s the first 7 steps I took.
Verdict: hit and miss. Not a lot I could do about my injury, but a bit miffed at my inability to prioritise meditation, and that my wife and I fell out of the habit of weekend walking.
What about this year then?
In 2019 I’m trialling a different approach. I came across someone who, every year, sets words as intentions, to have in mind and encourage certain thoughts, actions and behaviours.
I like this idea and want to give it a go. So, my two words for the next 12 month are:
Eh? Let me explain. 2018 was a little crazy for me personally. Looking back, I can see I was trying to do too much. And quite often, I felt out of kilter.
Rather than continue to chase my tail, I want to put regular meditation front and centre to my life. My hope is bringing short, regular moments of stillness into my life will help keep me centred. I have a checkered history with meditation (see above), but this year, I’m determined to give it my best shot.
I also want to sharpen my focus. So, what I do, I do with purpose. If I’m on social media, fine, but it’s with purpose. If I’m eating an omelette, great, but I won’t be looking at my phone.
In short, I want to keep myself together and bring focus and attention to the things I’m doing. And I hope having these two words swimming round my head will help.
Yep. As well as two words for the year, I have 3 goals:
- Staying active by regular parkruns, more trail running and a 100 mile ultra marathon in May
- Reducing my carbon footprint
- Spending more time outdoors with my wife on weekend adventures
I may have raced in my first 100 mile ultra marathon last year, but I didn’t finish it. Frustratingly, I had to retire at mile 75 with my knee in agony. So, I have unfinished business and I’m targeting Run Walk Crawl’s Rhosilli to Cardiff 100 miler in May.
But it’s not just that. I want to up my trail running and go along to my local parkrun. Hard to believe that until two weeks ago, I’d never been to a parkrun. Anyway, they’re amazing, and will be a Saturday morning staple for my wife and I.
After massively reducing the amount of single-use plastic in my life last year, I’m now aiming to go one better and reduce my carbon footprint. I’m off to a good start: I’ve recently sold my car, I’m eating less meat (including veggie January) and I’ll be offsetting any major travel I do. Is that perfect? Far from it, but I’m being honest with where I am with it all.
After our weekend hikes waned last year, my wife and I are committed to getting outdoors much more this year. Hills, hikes and a country pub or two.
So, there we go: two words, a lot of running, inner peace and time outdoors. Should keep me busy.