This time last year, I set about thinking of a resolution for 2019. I’d stumbled across a list of the 18 major lakes in the Lake District and decided to walk around all of them.
Part of me thought it’d fizzle out after a few months. It wasn’t the walks but committing the time to make regular trips to the Lake District that fazed me. I’d tried (and failed) in the past to fulfil my vague promise to “get up to the Lakes more” so why should this be any different.
But here I am, a year on, list completed. Turns out a challenge, however arbitrary, was the motivation I needed. By telling family and friends about it, and committing to it on my blog, I had to see it through.
I’ve just read an article about resolutions by Dr Michael Moseley in the BBC Science Focus magazine. It ends by giving three tips to make sure your resolutions stick:
- Don’t be too vague
- Tell your family and friends
- Reflect on past successes
Turns out there was some science behind my 2019 success!
But I think it’s simpler than that. It was more to do with the thrill of discovering new walks which led to craving more time outside. And it clearly worked. As well as the lake walks, I did coastal walks, climbed mountains, went camping, discovered trail running, and shunned public transport in favour of my Brompton every time I ventured to a city. The outdoors were a priority once again.
Throughout the year, I’ve been thinking of what to do next. So taking Dr Moseley’s tips on board, I’ve decided on my 2020 challenge.
One of my favourite books about the Lakes is ‘Fellwalking with Wainwright’. Once AW finished writing his Pictorial Guides, he produced this coffee-table book describing his 18 favourite walks. I love the photographs by Derry Brabbs, which capture some of the finest mountains in the Lake District.
From the Mosedale Horseshoe to the Kentmere Round. The High Stile Range to High Street and Harter Fell. The Coniston Fells to Crinkle Crags. The walks include 63 ‘Wainwrights’. Many of them new to me. But even the ones I’ve climbed before take in new routes, so there’s something to look forward to in every walk.
So that’s 18 classic Lakeland walks to tackle. Around one every three weeks. All in some of the finest high places in England.
It’s not too vague. I’m telling everyone about it. And I’m reflecting on how much fun last year’s challenge was.
All three resolution criteria ticked off.
So 2020’s looking like a good year for walking. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy new year!
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