Here we are a little over a week into the new year, by a show of hands how many have already forgotten at least one Near Year’s resolution? Ok put your hands down, my arm was getting tired anyway.
It seems each year the same old resolutions pop up time and time again. I am going to lose weight, start exercising regularly, clean out the attic, get the car back in the garage… the list goes on and on.
It doesn’t take very long till we realize that some of our lofty goals just aren’t attainable the way we had hoped. The outdoors types are sometimes the worst of the lot with setting their goals too high and soon losing momentum and on occasion all but giving up.
Whether that goal was to get into better shape to hunt harder, or to get that bass boat shined up and on the water twice as often, it takes work to achieve those goals. Often trying to start on the long road to achieve whatever improvement you seek in the dead of winter is a huge obstacle in itself.
Those short winter days, and long, cold winter nights that bring on the dreaded cabin fever can also be the downfall of even the best intended resolution. It is hard to find time to get in that exercising walk when it gets dark often before you even get home from work.
Those same short days also make it hard to get much done outside because this time of year, there truly is not enough daylight hours in the day. Once the sun goes down, so does the temperature, which only compounds the problems.
These factors set off a snowball effect which makes it frustrating and demotivating to even try to keep up with our goals and ambition. So what is a person to do? Give up? Not set a resolution at all?
I am in no way saying that New Year’s resolutions are bad. They are just what the doctor ordered for some people and sportsmen are no exception. I am just saying that we shouldn’t beat ourselves up and give up too easily when we don’t get results right off the bat.
January 1 is an excellent starting point for whatever journey you choose. It is a definable point that says from here on out this is how it is going to be and this is the direction to go in.
As with all great journeys we must recognize that our resolutions must start with a single step. If your goal is to simply be healthier, you don’t have to start off running a 5k marathon. Start by taking smaller steps with the main goal in mind.
If you want to be in better shape to hunt and fish, start with small steps, maybe you first cut out one can of soda a day. It may not sound like much, but it is a start. Soon the weather will break and you can add in a brisk walk twice a week.
Now you are making progress and taking steps to reach your goal. This approach works no matter what the goal. It is all in how you attack it.
If your resolution was to kill the biggest trophy buck of your life, you have to hunt harder and smarter than you have in the past. Same tactics often produce the same results.
Maybe you start out by finding a new area to hunt.
Winter is a perfect time to do that. Start driving around new areas, check with other hunters, and talk to land owners. All of these things are easily done in the bitter cold of winter. As the weather improves, then you can get out and start scouting. Carry this same approach right into the preseason scouting and then into the actual hunting season.
It is all in how you look at your goals and the path you map out to get there. Does this make the end result any easier to achieve? No, but it does give you measured success and incentive along the way!
It will still take hard work and dedication to reach your goals, but each bench mark will help you to not get discouraged and give up. Even if you don’t succeed in the end, you will be closer to your goal when next year rolls around.
Just to be clear, your resolution doesn’t have to be some impossible task or unattainable peak. They can be whatever you want them to be. Personally, my goal is to spend as much time as I can outdoors with my family and enjoying all that God has placed out there for us, and to share it with everyone who will let me.
So no matter what you goal is, take small steps and find small benchmarks along the way. Take all of the small successes and put them toward making it to the goal. Good luck and most of all enjoy the journey.