Woman mountain biking in winter in Cwmcarn in Wales
Winter mountain biking in Cwmcarn, Wales. I’ll be doing LOTS more of this in 2015.

I always like to do New Years Resolutions. I know a lot of people don’t think they are a good idea, and I can understand why. Giving yourself hard targets that you can beat yourself up over if you don’t make doesn’t really sound like a great idea. I guess I view them in a more general sense. My resolutions are a combination of things I wish I’d done a bit more of over the year, because I know they help me be me, and a better me (like yoga and reading books) and also activities and adventures I’d like to have. I don’t expect to do all of them, but listing them helps me focus on where I’d like to go and what I’d like to do in the year ahead.

2014 has been an interesting year. There have been a lot of big changes for me, like leaving Total Women’s Cycling as Deputy Editor, and moving to Somerset after living in London more or less my whole life. Overall, it’s been an amazing year. I’ve done things I never thought I’d be able to, I’ve had some lows but some brilliant high moments too. I’ve had adventures, I’ve met awesome people, I’ve visited incredible places. Generally, it’s been a blast. So a lot of what I want to do in 2015 is more of the same. I think this bodes well for achieving these resolutions!

So here are a selection of things I want to do in 2015, and why. It’s not all of them – some of my resolutions are just for me to know about. But some of these I wanted to share because I think they are important, or because I think they are fun.

I’ve also had a think about my 2015 Cycling New Years Resolutions – have a gander!

1. Read More (Books)

I’m sure this is on a LOT of peoples lists, and yes it’s on mine. I used to read voraciously, all the time. I’ve found myself reading less and less, especially books. I do love finding articles online, and there is some great writing and opinion to be found out there. But I’d love to get back into delving into books, spending hours lost in a story, discovering new worlds. Also, I’m pretty sure that the reason I’ve had trouble getting to sleep some evenings isn’t just because I’ve a lot on my mind at the moment – apparently, looking at backlit screens ain’t so great for regulating your sleep patterns. So I’ve already found some books to get started with, and on January 1st, the reading commences. I’m excited! (I’m also open to suggestions for good reads, so please let me know what you think is good in the comments below!)

2. Give Blood

I used to give blood fairly regularly, and have kinda slipped out of the habit. As blood type O-, I may not be the Universal Donor but my blood is helpful to a lot of people. Giving blood is one of the easiest, most direct ways to make a big difference to people, so I’m going to get my act together and get donating. While I’m at it, I’m also going to register to be a Bone Marrow Donor because honestly if a little discomfort for me could help save someones life, it’s a no brainer. I’m already signed up to be an organ donor, and if you haven’t registered for that I urge you to strongly consider it.

3. Be Kinder

There’s a lot of crap going on in the world. The news is full of stories of intolerance, hatred and fear. The stresses of living today – crowded cities, financial issues, everyone having to work harder and longer for less and less money – it can conspire to make us feel defensive. I’ve found myself being harder on other people, and indeed on myself – and then afterwards thinking ‘where did that come from?’. It’s not what or who I want to be, and frankly it doesn’t help the situation. So I want to work at being kinder, and more forgiving. I know full well I won’t succeed at this one all the time, but a little kindness goes a long way, and it’s something I’m going to keep trying at. This one is inspired by Bernadette Russell, an inspirational woman I met through The Cheek of It Burlesque School.

4. Midsummer MiniAdventure

Less of a concept and more of a specific thing, this one. I’ve had the idea of doing something for midsummer for a couple of years now, and various things have got in the way of actually putting a plan into action.  I just really fancy staying up for the shortest night of the year, ideally somewhere remote, with mountains, and somewhere to do some wild swimming. Doesn’t the sound of ringing in the summer solstice swimming outside under the stars sound like fun? It does to me! You never know of course; something might come up and kibosh the plan again,  but this time I’m making it one of my main aims, and I’ve already started planning. Life is all about the adventure, big or small, and I have ambitions to have a helluva lot of them in 2015.

5. Dress Up

I love dressing up. I don’t just mean fancy dress or evening dress – though of course I bloody love making costumes too – but even just dressing smart, and doing my hair and makeup for work. I know it’s not necessary to be complete as a person to dress up, and I don’t feel the need to do it all the time, but I do really like doing it. My last work environment was the most casually dress placed I’ve ever worked in and actually, it wasn’t really me. Part of my default style (the part that doesn’t involved hoodies and jeans, which I love too) is all about pencil skirts, seamed tights, curled hair and eyeliner flicks. I’ve really missed dressing like that, it makes me really happy, and darn it I’m going to do it more in 2015.

The best of the rest…

Yes, there’s more (Of course there are! I love lists) but the main ones include – lots more cycling because I love it, lots more yoga because it stops me aching after the cycling, actually doing some drawing/sewing/art this year, getting back into climbing, and spending time with my lovely friends and family.

I wish everyone the best for 2015. I hope you had a mostly great 2014, I hope you had loads of great experiences, made some great memories, made new friends or enjoyed existing relationships, and I hope 2015 brings more of these things for you.

Happy New Year, everyone!

JUST ADDED: I’ve had an idea! To kick start my drawing/painting plans for 2015, I’ve decided to try and illustrate each of my 2015 New Years Resolutions. The idea is that each one will end up being a sort of logo/icon/badge. I’ll then cluster them together into a poster type thing, and hang it up. That way I’ll have them there to inspire me every day. I’ve started drawing the first one (Ride more) and I’ll pop a picture of that up as soon as I’m done.

I’ve also had a think about my 2015 Cycling New Years Resolutions – have a gander!