What are you hoping to accomplish in 2015? Some of my goals for the upcoming year: be a better husband/father/son, sleep better, eat better, declutter, save more. You know how that list goes. Here are a few of my other goals.
Write better. I would like to improve my writing skills this year. How will I do that? Read more, for starters. Noticing how others write, especially when they do it well, is a good step towards learning how to improve one’s own writing. I want to improve my skill on both non-fiction and fiction. My engineer-brain likes to understand pieces and parts and how they fit together, so analytical reading should be right up my alley. Reading more on the topic of better writing will help too.
Goodreads.com helps me track what I’ve read and motivates me to keep at it. If you are a reader too, check out my author profile there and consider following and/or friending me.
Writing more is another obvious way to work towards my goal of writing better. Practice makes perfect, right? Write. Several book ideas have been sitting on my back burner for a while. I would like to complete one of them this year, and make serious progress on the others. More articles are needed for donchildrey.com too.
Bike more. This goal should be easy to reach, as long as having too many choices doesn’t hamper me. I can choose from my mountain bike, touring bicycle, and adventure touring motorcycle. Yes, I often refer to my motorcycle as a “bike” too, which I know can be confusing. Maybe that needs to be one part of writing better that I figure out sooner rather than later!
My larger goals for biking are to take several major two-wheeled trips this year. I really like cycling to a destination. Spinning for the sake of saddle time, or literally spinning in place on an indoor trainer, doesn’t motivate me. With several trips dangling in front of me like a carrot, trainer time and short local rides for fitness should be a bit easier to swallow.
I did my first bike overnight in 2014, so following that with a multi-day self-supported cycle tour seems like the proper next step. Perhaps I can spend a few days cycling along the outer banks before summer arrives. Or spend a few days cycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Other possibilities for biking are multi-day road trip to ride several of the mountain bike trail systems in NC, or spending a week in the Fruita, Colorado area to ride those amazing trails, or maybe spending several days exploring some of the gravel/back road Trans-Eastern Trail route in the Appalachians.
For motorcycling trips, I want to visit the remaining forty-four of one hundred counties in NC this year. With one overnight camp beside the river below New Bern and a long-way-home the next day, I can tag the remaining counties in eastern NC. Four or five days of riding through the western counties should finish the rest of the list. Riding the part of the Blue Ridge Parkway I have not seen yet should help me complete both of these goals. Beyond that, who knows. From my house, Canada is closer than Memphis. Just saying.
Back on the local bike scene, my wife starting cycling last year. There are lots of opportunities for us to spend time together on two wheels in 2015. Our local towns have done a tremendous job building and connecting greenways in recent years. These greenways are great for newer riders who not as comfortable or as willing to ride with motorists very much.
Spending time on two-wheeled trips should provide plenty of material to write about. How is that for setting two complementary goals?!
Exercise more consistently. Exercise and biking can be complementary goals too. Unfortunately, this exercise goal may be at odds with my writing goal. I’m not ready to try a treadmill desk just yet.
Including more hiking, running, and paddling activities this year should better balance the muscle groups used and help knock some dust off of my more-neglected gear. One special trip I have committed to this year is an 80-mile loop of paddling and backpacking in the Uwharries.
Although committing to run in a race is a proven way to motivate oneself to train more consistently, I find myself more motivated to train for an upcoming trip. I should certainly be able to leverage the anticipation of these fun trips to pry myself off the couch and away from the desk more often!
Watch this blog to keep up with my progress.
Best of luck with your 2015 goals!