Don't be the plain kid

I don’t have a New Year’s resolution. There. I said it. Don’t get me wrong; I love New Year’s resolutions (as a to-do list fanatic, how could I not?!). But this year, I’m opting out. There will be no timely post on how to lovingly craft a list of goals tagged with a 99% hit rate.

Why? Well, I could aspire to give up chocolate. But I don’t think I’d get two steps up Mackinnon Pass before breaking that particular resolution. Or I could be super-vague-yet-aspirational and resolve to decide what’s next after guiding. But something is always going to come next. Why must it be by 31 December 2015 that I decide exactly what that ‘something’ is going to be?

Actually, I have recently been convinced that goal-setting may not be all it's often trumped up to be. So I have decided that I am going to leave aside the New Year’s resolutions. Keeping in mind that this whole ditching of the five year plan is new to me, I do require some sort of substitute. A security blanket, I guess. So I have tucked away a piece of advice one of my walkers gave me. He had said this to his daughter, and then to me. Now, I’d like to share it with you.

Don’t be the plain kid.

I have always had this tendency to see life in colours. Colour can speak volumes without a word being spoken. For example, if I am wearing a red shirt, I am exuding confidence the moment I enter a boardroom. The arresting colour of my outfit speaks for me. If I enter the same boardroom clad in a cream shirt, its more likely than not I will need to audibly assert myself before achieving the same air of confidence.

Needless to say then, I immediately liked this piece of advice. I anticipate that I have a few decisions coming up in 2016 which could be game-changers for me. And no doubt I will give a nod to my legal training and do some due diligence before going one way or the other. After all, I studied for five years to gain that wisdom, right?!

But at the same time, I’m going to keep striving to keep things fun, full of action, perhaps downright unconventional. I came across a great quote the other day which reminded me that life can be exhilarating, but sometimes its just ordinary. And that’s fine. Then sometimes life is uncomfortable. And that’s hard. In all honesty, I would prefer making a New Year’s resolution along the lines of “what’s next?”. But I also want to push the boundaries of what I can achieve.

At the moment, I’m getting a lot out of helping people achieve their goal of completing the Milford Track. Its not all alpine roses and high fives all round. Sometimes, I’m so knackered that I have to nap in the afternoon. For me, that’s unheard of. I hate napping almost as much as I love to-do lists. But I can justify it. Guiding has created a lot of meaning in my life that wasn’t there before. If I have to have a little snooze in the afternoon, so be it. Even extraordinary kids have to recharge sometimes.

So no New Year’s resolution to mull over. But I still get to enjoy a whole new year. And I suspect that the potential that 2016 brings with it will be more than enough to think about.

Anna WatsonMilford Track