I’ve already shared with you some great habits to kickstart this year that will help you and the planet, all of which I’ll try to be doing too. But I thought I’d also share my personal goals for 2017. They are mostly centred around the themes of this blog and, if nothing else, writing them down publicly might mean I actually achieve them!
A few blogs I follow and have seen whilst out and about on the ‘net have shared the idea of choosing a word, a word that will embody the year. I think it’s a much better approach than the New Year’s Resolution cliche that most of us (a.k.a. me) inevitably fails. It’s why I also like the idea I mentioned before of building new habits into your life rather than attempting huge changes all in one go, which can be impossible.
My chosen word for the year is ‘active’. So for me this is about being more proactive in my life this year to achieve, learn, experience and enjoy the things that matter to me. All of my general goals fit pretty nicely into the word ‘active’.
Explore new places
There are so many exciting and beautiful places in the UK I’ve never been to. I find it easy to think the UK is boring and dream of travelling the world but I’ve definitely come to realise there’s so many interesting and beautiful places on our island to explore. This year I’d like to visit the New Forest (we plan to go camping here in May), potentially the Shetland Isles (if me and friends ever get round to arranging it!). I’d like to check out some more nature reserves such as Minsmere, Wicken Fen (I want to see the Konik ponies!), and Slimbridge. I’d also like to visit Wells-Next-to-the-Sea (heard so many good things), Sherwood Forest, and more further afield, the Trossachs or Loch Arkaig in Scotland and I’d like to explore more places in Cornwall I’ve yet to see. More locally there’s Thorpe Wood (recently featured in the Guardian) and Ketton Quarry Nature Reserve.
I also hope to actively include more wildness in my life everyday, taking #30DaysWild beyond June. After reading Common Ground, I’m inspired to explore my own local edgeland far more and take the time to appreciate and learn more about the nature I have so close by.
The idea behind this challenge is to see 200 bird species in a year. Find out more about it and how I’m doing so far here. I hope to get long-eared owl, kingfisher (doable), waxwing (increasingly unlikely), linnet (apparently there are some living near my office) and bittern (unlikely) in that list!
Mammal wise I’d love to see wild otters and water voles which I narrowly missed out on last year.
Ethical and Eco-friendly
I wish to actively be more ethical and eco-friendly in my shopping habits and lifestyle. This is something I already work towards, as evidenced by this blog, but it will always be an ongoing goal. I definitely feel I’ve made a strong start becoming vegetarian last year but there’s always more we can all do. I’ll certainly look at reducing my dairy intake too.
As part of that I plan to actively be more minimalist too. This is a movement I’ve noticed slowly spread in the past year or so. The idea is step away from our consumerist culture, to clear away the clutter, unnecessary possessions and focus on the important things in life. This evidently fits well with reducing our impact on the planet as it means being less materialistic and focusing on quality over quantity. I hope it will fit in too with my aims to focus more on the things I love, what I want to achieve and prevent me from being distracted by the clamour of everyday life.
Read more nature writing
I plan to read far more nature writing this year, and perhaps even write some of my own. It’s just so fascinating to learn about people’s different connections with nature. It’s also a powerful motivator for me to make my own connections. Meadowland, Ring of Bright Water, Crow Country and The Running Sky are on my list currently.
I also plan to blog more often to practise my writing, record and share my adventures, encourage and enable others to get involved in a greener wilder lifestyle, and to help motivate me to achieve these goals.
Finally Get fit
I’ve never quite got on with exercise. I’m clumsy and uncoordinated with no spatial awareness. It’s not really something I’ve ever had the capacity to enjoy, and I honestly have no idea how gyms even work, they sound nightmarish.
There is one sport that I love and am not half-bad at, which is horse-riding. I’ve been riding since I was 7 and once upon a time it kept me pretty fit. However, for me now it’s an expensive hobby and with only an hour a week at most it’s probably not doing that much for my fitness.
But this year I really want to change that, it’s my main goal for the year. I am horribly unfit and with sitting in a car and office all day everyday I can almost feel my body stagnating into mush. I want to be as physically active as I can this year for my health and to finally become fit so I can finally walk up hills without gasping for breath!
So that’s the plan for 2017. Do you have an inspirational word you plan to aim for 2017? Do you have any wild or eco-friendly goals? I’d love to hear about them!