We’re already a week or so into the New Year but I wanted to share my challenges and plans for this year. I’m not making traditional New Year’s resolutions, as I know I won’t stick to them. This year I have some challenges instead, and putting them up here will hopefully keep me accountable to complete the challenges I have set myself. I’m looking forward to an interesting 2017!
So, what are the challenges I’ve set myself?
1. I’ve signed up to Country Walking Magazine’s #walk1000mileschallenge
This is a challenge to walk 1000 miles during 2017. This is a personal challenge and people are completing it in different ways. Some are counting every step, using a fitbit, pedometer or similar, others are counting only “boots on” walks. I am counting intentional walking, which for me includes “boots on” walks out in the countryside, lunchtime walks around the area where I work and walking where I’ve chosen to walk rather than use the car. 1000 miles sounds like a really long way, but in reality it’s only 2.74 miles a day, or 19.18 miles per week. When I think about it like that, it suddenly seems an achievable distance. I’m going to blog about the challenge, to keep a record of how I get on.
2. I’m going to try Bird Watching Mag’s #my200birdyear challenge
This is a big challenge. I want to get better at bird ID and get out and watch more amazing wildlife. This challenge seemed like a good way to do that. I might not get to anywhere near 200 birds, but I’m certainly going to try. We’re going on holiday in late April to Scotland, which should help us to see some more unusual birds this year!
3. I want to get to 1000 hours of volunteering with London West Middlesex National Trust Volunteers this year.
I’ve been volunteering with my local National Trust Volunteer group since 2006. We spend days, weekends and sometimes even weeks volunteering all over the country for the National Trust, staying at basecamps in beautiful places and helping to look after some of their amazing places. I’ve coppiced, pollarded, scrub bashed, spent weekends in a pond clearing invasive weed, gardened, weeded, built paths, put up fences, parked thousands of cars for concerts, painted barns and much more. I even met my husband through the group, building steps on the south west coast path. Up to the end of 2016, I’d volunteered for 909 hours with the group. This year I want to smash the 1000 hour mark!
4. I want to have #365dayswild
Fitting in well with the challenges I’ve described so far, I want this to be a year of 365 wild days. This follows from the Wildlife Trust’s #30dayswild campaign that I’ve taken part in during June for the last two years. The challenge is to do a random act of wildness every day. Getting outside, noticing the wildlife around me, reading a wild book, learning more about the wild world around me. I want this to be a challenge to deepen my understanding of the natural world, for me to take action to help protect it and to spend more time outside enjoying it.
5. I’ve challenged myself to read 100 books this year as part of the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge
I love reading, diving into a book and getting gripped, lost in a great story, or a new concept. I don’t read enough though. It’s so easy to get lost in social media, or bad TV, or just not find time to sit down with a book. This year that’s going to change, I’m going to get back into old habits and make reading part of my everyday life again. To be honest, I don’t know how many books I read last year, but I thought if I picked a number of books that seemed like a lot, it would make me commit to this and read more. I received lots of lovely books for Christmas and I have treated myself to a few more in lieu of January sales shopping, so I have plenty to dive into, and I’m lucky to work in an area with really excellent libraries too, so I’m never at a loss for something to read.
6. We’re Alphabet Dating, having 26 dates fitting with the letters of the alphabet
This year for Christmas I presented my husband with 27 envelopes, one of them had a letter in describing what alphabet dating is and the other 26 contained ideas for dates for every letter of the alphabet. From A for Alpaca Walk to Z for Zoo Visit we’ll be having a date for every letter of the alphabet during this year.
7. I want to publish a blog post a week on here
I’ve been good about blogging during 30dayswild for the last two years, but have then all but abandoned the blog in between. This year I’m going to use it to record more of what I get up to, aiming for a blog post a week.
8. I’m taking a #365challenge to take a photograph every day
With all the fun I have planned, I want to make sure I record it. I also want to try to improve my photography, although I am a little limited at the moment with a broken computer, so am using only my mobile phone, instead of the DSLR. Hopefully this will be sorted soon, and I can get on with this challenge with higher quality pictures to share.
Have you set any challenges for yourself for this year, or are you taking part in any of the challenges I am joining? I would love to hear what challenges other people have set themselves for the year ahead.