Every day is a chance for a fresh start, but there’s something about a new year that gets me all excited about new goals, ambitions and lifestyle changes. I don’t like the word ‘resolution’ as it conjures thoughts of fad diets and failure, but every year I take stock of what I hope to achieve in the coming twelve months and set my intentions.
Last year, I put together my Goals for 2017, building my vision for my focus. Looking back at this, lots of my priorities changed, but it was a pretty extraordinary year for me.
Looking ahead to 2018, I’m thinking about what I want in adventure, travel, blogging and lifestyle.
Next year, I am fully planning on spending more time outdoors, pushing myself harder physically and mentally and balancing my job with a more active, adventurous lifestyle. I was absolutely thrilled to be selected as Love Her Wild Ambassador for 2018 and I want to use my position to strengthen the community that has given me so much, so that other women can gain just as much from it.
These are my main goals in the adventure realm for the coming year –
- The big one is coming up in late January – 17 days cross-country skiing across the Finnmark Plateau in Arctic Norway. This has been my primary focus in recent months, with militant gym sessions, dragging my tyre around, and getting together the enormous amount of cold-weather gear I’ll be needing. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Of course I’m excited by the endless expanse of snow, working with a team of inspiring women and falling asleep beneath the Northern Lights each night. But it will be a huge feat of endurance, not to mention the very real risk of frostbite if I don’t look after myself properly. However, I have a feeling this challenge is going to be one of the greatest of my entire life.
- The next thing on my agenda is to do the Challenge Sophie London to Paris in 24 hours sportive. I’m excited by the prospect of a serious, intense endurance event, and the fact that it scares me only makes me hungrier for it. I should probably add that I’ve only just bought a road bike and don’t really know how to use it. I’m not confident on roads, or even off-road for that matter. But my fear of cycling has gone on for long enough and it’s time to face it head on. I figure I have a good level of fitness and strong legs, so hopefully I can learn quickly. I’m planning on booking some sessions in with a cycling coach when I’m back from the Arctic.
- In 2018, I’m going to make a habit of more wild camping. In fact, I will be ringing in the new year in a tent and sleeping bag on the South Downs with some other women from Love Her Wild after a big day of walking, and before a new year’s day sea swim. But it’s something I want to do quite regularly, as it feels so adventurous, without that much effort.
- I want to try out new activities and build my skills on current ones. I’m planning on booking onto a navigation course, trying out surfing (I meant to do this in 2017 and failed), having a go at stand up paddleboarding, joining a running club, taking on an obstacle race, and possibly doing a 100km walk in Herefordshire.
- Explore Snowdonia. I fell in love with it when I was 16 and went with the cadets, but haven’t been back since.
- I have an expedition with an environmental twist in my mind – more to be revealed when I figure it out.
- It’s a while away, but I’m hoping to do a BIG expedition in late 2019, if I can get the time off work. If that goes ahead, I’ll be putting a chunk of time this year into planning the trip, building networks in the countries I would go through, secure sponsorship and fundraise. We shall see.
Next year, I want to make more time for my blog. I really enjoy writing, sharing my love of travel, adventure and the outdoors, having a space to express myself and being a part of the blogging community.
- More blogging events – I have been pretty good at attending bloggers’ events, even though I have a very small following, but I want to go to even more. I already have two booked; I was thrilled to get an invite to Blog at the Beach with com so I’ll be heading to Leeds in January. I also have Traverse 18 booked – a fantastic travel blogging conference that I have attended twice, and next year will take place in Rotterdam. It’s a good chance to explore a new city and learn all things SEO, social media and content. I’d also like to attend TBEX Ostrava in the Czech Republic, time and money permitting, and just maybe the Outdoor Bloggers Summit in the States.
- I want to start an email list and a newsletter for my blog. I know this is the biggest way to grow readership, but for some reason I just haven’t done it yet.
- I’ve always wanted to be more regular with my content – for example, posting at the same time each week. Consistency helps so much, but as I’m super busy, I often go weeks without posting.
- It’s time to massively improve my photography game. I snap pictures on my iPhone 7, and while I probably can’t afford to upgrade to a DSLR this year, I’m going to make sure I’m improving my composition and use of light in the photos I take.
- I’m going to be smarter in the way I use social media. No more aimless scrolling – I’m going to engage with people as much as possible, post regular content and grow my following.
- Which leads me to goals for my followers – I want to get to 1,000 followers in Instagram and 3,000 on Twitter.
- Get to grips with Pinterest.
- Work on my SEO, including going back to old posts and making changes that improve this.
I made a lot of lifestyle changes in 2017, so a lot of this is just a continuation. I’m proud of some of the changes I’ve made – particularly giving up alcohol. It’s been tough at times and has impacted on some of my friendships, but ultimately I’m seeing huge benefits to my wellbeing, health and finances.
These are some of the changes I want to make in 2018:
- I want to drastically reduce the amount of waste I produce, particularly plastic. I have already switched to cotton carrier bags, a metal straw, a bamboo toothbrush and a reusable water bottle. I’ve got some small cotton bags for buying bread and fruit and veg on order, as well as a reusable coffee cup. I’m making changes to the food I buy to reduce packaging. I’ve ordered a Riverford organic fruit and veg box to come each week, and am going to look at doing some of my food shopping at the new Zero-waste supermarket in Dalston. It’s quite far away from me, so not ideal, but you go and take your Tupperware and fill it with loose pasta, rice, beans, pulses, nuts, coffee etc so there is no packaging at all. It’s definitely more expensive to shop ethically, but with the impact plastic waste is having on our planet, I feel like I can’t afford not to.
- Improve my Spanish – I have been dabbling with learning Spanish for years, but am not consistent with it and am not really getting better. I’m going to invest some time each morning before work to improving my skills, and try to go along to some language exchanges.
- Money – I’m going to pay off my debt and be super responsible with my finances. Historically I’ve been pretty rubbish with money, but that is changing.
- Spend time with my loved ones, because family and friends are everything.
- Read more books
- Watch the sun rise more often. Because getting up early and seeing the untold natural beauty is the best way to start a day.
So there’s a lot I plan on achieving this year, and hopefully 2018 will be a corker. Despite the challenges, it seems like life is getting better each year so here’s to making this one epic!
What are your goals and plans for 2018?