New Year, New Hope

08 January 2017

Happy New Year! It's been a while, hasn't it? 2016 was a heck of a year, and I didn't do much writing during the course of it (obviously). But that's something I hope to remedy in 2017.

With the start of a new year, many people evaluate the year gone by and their goals for the coming year. I'm sure you've seen posts all over Facebook and Instagram, as well as any given blog. I used to be one of those people who set goals. Heck, I set one last year to hike 52 hikes within the year. Turns out, goal-setting and I don't get along terribly well.

What happened?

First, I'd like to start with the why. Why did I set this particular goal for myself? I love spending time outdoors, and living in the city makes me feel crowded and overwhelmed. I need space to breathe. Fresh air. Beautiful scenery. I set out to go on 52 hikes in order to make time in nature a priority, and to go on some hikes that I've wanted to do for years (but just hadn't gotten around to for whatever reason). 

I started strong, going on a hike nearly every Sunday, either with my hiking buddy or solo. I invested in good gear, did research on which trails I wanted to hike each week based on the weather. I logged my mileage and elevation every week and tracked my hikes in a journal.

But then my buddy moved away. And then I got sick. I'm talking, two weeks sick. And then, when I tried hiking again, my body didn't respond the way it used to. I had to take more frequent breaks to catch my breath. My heart felt like it was racing, despite the elevation gain being relatively low. Something felt off. Not only this, but finding new hiking buddies became more difficult. Portland is a really hard place to make new friends. So I stopped hiking on a regular basis.

Now, I didn't throw my goal out in a cavalier manner. Instead, I was forced to reevaluate my goal. Did hiking 52 hikes within the year still serve me? I already achieved much of what I wanted in the first place- I spent more time outdoors, I hiked some trails I'd been wanting to visit for years (Trail of Ten Falls, Silver Star Mountain, Chinidere Mountain, Saddle Mountain). I found that I'd gotten what I needed out of this goal, and that it was time to let it go.

And so I start 2017 not with goals, but with hopes. Because of the challenges and disappointments that came in the past year, I've been reflecting and evaluating what I want more of in the next year. 

What are my hopes for 2017?

  • Spend more time exploring my love of wine. 
  • Read more.
  • Write more.
  • Cook more.
  • Build quality relationships.
  • Get comfortable with feeling and expressing excitement/sadness.

I hope to share more about these hopes soon in separate posts, but for now I'll leave you by asking: what are your hopes this year?


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