I'm not one for grandiose New Years Resolutions or the current trend of giving something up for January that's so popular with social media these days. Whilst there's nothing wrong with either of these, in fact I think Veganuary is a great initiative, they're just not the short term solutions I'm seeking.
However, I am a big believer in setting achievable and ambitious goals and challenges for the year. There's a sense of clarity and purpose in working towards a clearly defined target or challenge that's going to push you outside of your comfort zone and see to improve yourself. For the past few years I've set myself annual exercise goals as a way to raise money for a charity very close to my heart: Trees for Life. In 2016 I set out to cycle, run and swim 16,000km (10,000 miles for those who haven't joined the metric system yet), in 2014 it was 8,000km (5,000miles) on the bike including a London-Loch Ness in 6 days ride.
This year I'm going to do it a little differently. Rather than just a simple distance goal, I am going to push myself in other ways and throw in some non-athletic goals that are personal passion points of mine or designed to help me overcome my depression. Every goal has been chosen to power me to be a better version of myself at the end of 2017 than I was at the start.
My challenges and goals for 2017 are:
Overcome my depression and return to work (this is my hardest and most important challenge and goal)
Plant 1,000 trees
Run 4 Marathons, including at least 1 Ultra Marathon
Raise £5,000 for charity
Return to competitive Mountain Bike racing through a 24hour race
Read 1 book a week for every week of the year
Complete a multi-day, multi-sport challenge
Meditate every single day of the year
Run a sub 20 minute 5km
Raise awareness of mental health within the bar and alcohol industry and help as many people as I possibly can to overcome their illness
I'll set up a separate blog page so you can, if you have nothing better to do with your time, follow my progress and see how I'm progressing along my journey of improving myself.
I'd love to know what challenges/goals you've set yourself for 2017. By making them public and telling your friends/family/colleagues/strangers you give yourself added incentive and power to complete them as well as to inspire others along their journeys as well.