I’ve never been very good at New Year’s resolutions. As someone who rarely knows what I’m eating for dinner on a given day, I’m not so good at setting an intention for an entire year and sticking to it. Goal setting and self improvement is important, but I’ve found that typical New Year’s resolutions are too vague: goals like “get in shape” or “eat healthy” make it easy for excuses to creep in (“I only ate half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s today, so that’s eating healthy”).
For those like me whose New Year’s resolutions turn into Next Year’s resolutions, I’ve found a resolution solution. Instead of setting big, unrealistic goals only to let yourself down, try a New Year’s Bucket List instead. Write a list of smaller tangible goals (turn “do more yoga” into “do yoga on a mountain at sunrise”) to cross off as the months go by. You just might surprise yourself with how many goals you accomplish this year - and maybe find yourself healthier and happier by accident.
Attempt a New Activity
It’s a new year of trying new things. Been thinking about trying cross country skiing? Put it on the list. Jealous of your friends’ mtb skills? Write down the plan to tag along on a ride. Always wanted to ski a backcountry line naked? Hey, it’s your bucket list, not mine. No judgement.
Show Someone Else a New Activity
If you’re learning a new sport, return the favor and share the stoke of your favorite activity with someone new this year. Riding with a newbie lets you slow down again and perfect your skills, and sometimes it feels good to be the expert. If you don’t laugh too hard when they wipe out, you might just gain a new adventure buddy.
Step up Your Camp Cooking
‘Tis the year to spice up your campsite cuisine (literally or figuratively). Include a list item to attempt a new recipe this year on a camping trip of your choice - any year with less fast food is a successful year. Your stomach will thank you.
Learn a Thing or Two
Knowledge is power - especially in the outdoors. Try a fun course on plant identification to wow your hiking buddies with knowledge, or learn how to tune your bike or skis yourself to save $$. Perhaps not dying in the outdoors is your educational priority; if so, make a plan to get your avalanche level 1 certification, take Wilderness First Aid training, complete a kayak roll class, or simply recertify. Register now for a class later in the year to save your spot and hold yourself accountable (you’d never skip a class, right?)
Book that Trip
You know which one - that place you’ve been stalking photos of on Instagram and Google Maps-ing how long it takes to drive there. This is the year to stop seeing it on social media and go see it for yourself! Set a date and book a campsite now (especially if it’s a prime destination) to give yourself something to look forward to for 2018 and put that Pinterest board to good use.
Make a Difference
New Year’s Bucket Lists are usually about improving yourself, but why not improve the world while you’re at it? There are tons of outdoor organizations doing great work for the planet, but they rely on contributions from everyday folks to keep it up. Some of our favorite organizations include Leave No Trace, Access Fund, and Conservation Alliance. Remember to add giving back to your bucket list and make the world suck less this year.
Ditch the resolutions this year and make 2018 your year of doing all the things you’ve been meaning to get around to. Tell us what’s on your bucket list and tag us in your list-conquering photos. Find some paper and a pencil, dream up some adventures, and get after it!