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Setting Goals For A Milestone Year

It's the end of February and Spring is just a month away. While we are still dealing with frigid temperatures, early darkness and snow we  are also looking ahead on our calendars and planning our warm-weather trips.

It's nice to spend time planning next year's adventures during the winter. When it's dark and damp and cold outside our minds easily, longingly drift to warmer seasons. But camping isn't the only thing on my mind.  I have a list of a few other outdoor-related goals I'd like to accomplish in 2015. Cool stuff  like:
  • Becoming more versed in the theory of connecting to nature. It's been awhile since I've really stretched my brain and actually "book" studied.  So, I've signed up to be part of a year long study/discussion group on Coyote's Guide To Connecting With Nature. I have already been to one session and I can already see that this group is going to be very, very interesting.
  • Improving my paddling skills.  I have wanted to take a paddling course for a couple of years. I'm a self-taught paddler with an inferiority complex and an apparent inability to paddle a straight line. So, now that Alex, Emma and I are venturing on backcountry canoe trips, I want to correct my bad habits, learn the proper strokes and build my confidence as a paddler.  I'm going to be taking a Level 1-3 ORCKA (Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association) course in June.  
  • A day of zip lining and tree canopy trekking on home turf.  A few years ago, we zip lined across a Costa Rican rainforest. It was an amazing experience and I want to do the same thing here at home. I have to confess, there is more behind this goal than just seeking some weekend adventure. I'm still working on my fear of falling, and this is an activity that I think will help boost my confidence. Will I ever get over the fear? I don't think so. But I'm going to keep on trying to squish it down to the size of a mouse, rather than the lion it is in my mind right now.
Is anyone else noticing a bit of a self-improvement theme going on here? I didn't actually plan for 2015 to be "the year of self-improvement". In fact, I didn't even notice what was going on until I just wrote it out.  But there it is.

I like learning and developing new skills. I like challenging myself every now and then. But it has been awhile since I pushed myself to do something different for myself. Perhaps my goals are related to the fact that it's a bit of a milestone year. My lovely adventure daughter is hitting double-digits this Spring. She'll be 10 years old. Ten! Don't even ask me how that happened.  The years since she was 18 months old and learned to walk on her first camping trip have flown past.  Now, she can keep pace with Alex and I on any trail we pursue. I'm also hitting my own little milestone birthday. It's the one that lands smack between 40 and 50. Wow. I don't know how that happened, either. But what I do know, is that it has me both reflecting and looking forward.

I had a very interesting - and timely - conversation this past weekend about how women tend to put our needs and wishes behind those of others in our lives.  We talk about the things we'd like to do, but always seem to find something (or somebody) else to fill the time we'd use for ourselves.  This is especially true when we are caring for children, or ageing parents or just being wives/mothers/daughters/friends.  I have to admit, I don't even realise I'm doing it sometimes. So I have to say that I'm excited that two of the goals I'm pursuing are on my own. Alex and Emma aren't involved in the Coyote Guide study group or the paddling lessons.  But I'm confident that all three of us will benefit from me taking some time to myself to pursue these activities.

As I carry on my journey in the coming months, I'll be sharing a bit of what I learn and experience with you. Keep checking back to see how it's going. Or better yet, sign-up to receive updates by e-mail. All you need to do is enter your address over there in the right-hand column.  And in the meantime, remember to Get Outside, Go Explore and Do Stuff - with your friends and family and for yourself!

Do you have a goal for 2015? I'd love to know what it is. Share it here and let's get inspired together!

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