Everything must have a Resolution
It’s the usual time of year for making resolutions.
Beginning the New Year with some serious goals to improve and expand your canoeing not only helps keep your list interesting, but also makes it less likely to go the way of most resolution lists. Try out a few of the ideas below and make 2016 a year of adventure! I’m kidding. Most of us don’t have a hope!
Keep in mind that an early relapse needn’t undo your best intentions. Just switch to the Orthodox calendar, accept 14 January as your new New Year’s Day, and begin again. And if you fail again the Chinese New Year is 8 February. For serious failures, or to give yourself more time, consider that the EthiopianCalendar is approximately 8 years behind our Gregorian one and that their New Year is about September 11th.
First however bear in mind some rules for making sure you can achieve your resolutions.
Do Not use Previous Resolutions
You failed at these before that’s why you’re considering giving it another bash. Don’t. It’s a failure for ever. This is liberating and not at all depressing. Even if you had achieved it you would still have realised the overall pointless of it all.
Choose Many Resolutions
This will give you ample room for failure and a better chance that at least one will stick. Spread the disappointment of non-achievment around. With any luck you may still have a chance to fail, right at the end, this time next year.
Make your Resolutions Reasonable
Say you will try to do ‘x’ instead of I will do ‘x’. Let yourself down easy. Even better make your targets incremental. Just as soon as you find out what that is.
Use Last Years Achievments as Resolutions
If you accidentally achieved something last year that you omitted to make a resolution last year, then drag it out and claim it for this year. Then you can relax. Do try to inform any friends about these achievements if they are not aware of them. Don’t go to early though. February should be fine.
Avoid Common Resolutions
Really everyone is attempting to do these. Stopping drinking and losing weight. No-one will care if you do or don’t achieve them. Some may actually hate you if you do. So what’s the point? Find your unique gelling point and that way you can bore everyone silly about your resolutions.
Don’t Resolute when Drunk
You will have forgotten what they were anyway and if someone reminds you of promises made whilst you were down in your cups then stare at them hard. They don’t count now, and never did.
Social Media Resolutions
Don’t do it. Everyone else is anyway so you’ll have already been culled by all your online friends and your streams will be empty. When they sheepishly return you can chastise/troll them for it mercilessly.
January 1st Resolutions
These don’t count either.
Lower the Resolution Bar
Get over yourself and aim low. This will surely give you a better chance of succeeding even if your success has less bragging rights. Start low and go lower.
Resolutions that Never Fail
Go for the resolutions that are heroic even in the event of failure. Because it’s the taking part that counts.
Try 2 Year Resolutions
Just give yourself longer to achieve the hard things, with the added advantage of not requiring you to go through all this hassle this time next year.
Explore a New River, Lake or Sea
Particularly if it is near where you live and you always thought it might be dull. Find out. Everywhere has some interest. If you’ve been doing the same runs over & over. Try somewhere new. If you normally paddle a river, try a lake, and vice-versa. If you normally paddle a canoe, try a kayak.
Taking all your camping gear out by canoe is a thrill. Find a place to wild-camp if possible. Leave the technology behind. Enjoy a fire and the stars.
Try A Charity
This could be by donating your time to helping get disadvantaged people on the water or helping protect a threatened environment. In the USA you may like to help protect the Boundary Waters. In the UK you could help protect reptiles & amphibians. You will have your own favourites.
Take a First Aid or Rescue Course
It’s always good to top up your skills. It could be vital. In the UK the St. John’s organisation is the place for First Aid training. You can do a Foundation Rescue Course and Whitewater Rescue Course at British Canoeing.
Get Professional Coaching
Even seasoned paddlers can benefit from professional coaching or instruction. Learn something new or correct bad habits you didn’t know you had. It’s never too late to learn and it’s very important to top your skills up.
Try a Tandem Boat with a Friend
If you normally paddle solo, then try a tandem, and vice-versa. The communiation skills are important. The co-operation is vital. But must of all it’s important to share. In fact forget solo paddling altogether it’s just plain unsociable.
Introduce a friend to the sport
Experience the nostalgia of watching someone discover the magic of paddling and practice your teaching skills by taking a friend with you to a lake or an easy river this year.
Start a Diary
Keeping a diary or log can be beneficial in the long run to help remind you of how rivers are at certain levels and certain times, and it will help you remember your days on the river and who you were with when you are in your dotage!
So Happy New Year and all the best on the water for 2016. Don’t take yourself seriously, but take the water seriously, help the environment as much as you can and have a fabulous year.