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New Years Resolutions – 2011

Bondcliff, 2010

Bondcliff, 2010

Every year I publish a set of new years resolutions on section hiker. Coming up with these goals is a worthwhile exercise, I think, because it makes me stretch myself out of my comfort zone, but forces me to develop some wisdom and self-compassion about my physical and life limitations. Here are my resolutions from 2009, and 2010.

I did a pretty good job hitting my goals from last year, so I must be making some progress on the wisdom end of things. One would hope.

Here we go for 2011:

  1. Finish the Appalachian Trail in Maine, Connecticut, and New York State.
  2. Give 5 talks or demonstrations of lightweight backpacking gear, as part of my role being a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador.
  3. Lead 3 meet-up hikes or backpacking trips.
  4. Continue developing my yoga practice.
  5. Get back on class 2 and class 3 whitewater, at least 4 days this year.
  6. Hike a week-long walkabout in the eastern white mountains.
  7. Try gold panning. People do it in New Hampshire, in a unmechanized fashion.
  8. Spend 2 nights at one of the Randolph Mountain Club shelters in the Northern Presidentials.
  9. Publish my 1,000th post on Sectionhiker.com
  10. Help people more in a selfless way, without regard for compensation.

That last one kind of stands out doesn't it? Lately, I've been helping people address different technical and business issues, sharing my network, and just helping them out, a lot more than ever before. It's really satisfying and I can see its benefits in a very direct way.

If there's one thing I learned after 22 years of working: it's that you get more back than you give, when you give freely.

What are you planning for 2011?


  1. You forgot:

    11. Tell readers what I learned from taking a sabbatical. ;)

  2. That was two days ago – http://sectionhiker.com/hiking-my-own-hike/

    I thought you'd like the title.

  3. Those are all very good resolutions. Do you have a plan to hold yourself accountable to them? That's always my problem with New Year's Resolutions… usually the goals are too vague. However, if you set a goal for yourself that is measurable and achievable, they work out quite well. And setting a timeline from the beginning is important, too. I like those kinds of resolutions.

    I don't have New Year's resolutions this year, but I do have a few goals that I made last month and I'll say they're for the new year. The top of the list is applying for a fellowship from my alma mater, pitching an article or two to Backpacker or Outside, and teaching myself to write programs for the iPhone. I think I've got some work cut out for me :)

  4. I don't know what you mean by holding myself accountable. But I try to make them happen sometime during the course of the year. I've written enough annual performance reviews and quarterly MBO's to get really good at setting achievable goals…so I have a pretty good idea of what's attainable and what's likely to fail.

    Your goals sound good. If you get something into one of the big pubs, I'll be interested in how you did it. I've never considered them as an media outlet for myself. Cheers.

  5. What I meant by "hold yourself accountable" is basically to make sure you finish the goals. I find that with long term goals, especially on a yearly time frame, it's all too easy to lose sight of the goals. Of course, it doesn't sound like you'll have a problem with that, but sometimes I need to find a way to force myself not to lose sight of what I set out to do in the beginning.

    As for the big pubs, you can just go on their websites and look at the bottom for "contributor's guidelines." My goal is just to pitch an idea, not exactly to get it into the magazines (that would be bonus), since it's kind of shooting at the moon. I've got a few shoot-the-moon goals for the year, though. Maybe one will work out.

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