Happy days, happy new year

Start of a journey: waving goodbye to the UK in 2009A new year, a new decade: how exciting! It’s like starting out on a whole new journey, setting out to row across an ocean or walk across a map. I love the idea of a fresh, crisp diary – even though I have been putting engagements into it for months now – and preparing for a whole new set of unknowns and adventures.  They are not always in salty, muddy or hot, or wet places – sometimes nowhere more extreme than a lecture hall or school classroom – but they are adrenaline fuelled and challenging, nonetheless.

Given that 2009 was a cracker year, 2010 has a lot to live up to.

And so do I. Because I have welcomed in the new year with a fresh ‘To do List’. I turn 25 in May, so there are certain goals on my list below that are time specific to this important year of my life. 2.5 decades – it feels quite pivotal, as though I have something to prove to myself.  Other goals on the list are more just ways of thinking and being, and little ongoing projects which I am starting. Some are based on some of the things I learned on the ocean in 2009 and some I take from one year to the next, trying to put them in to action every day. I struggle with the ‘no chocolate’ end of the spectrum, so figured putting a cap on my chocolate consumption would be a good idea. And what better figure to pick than the ocean munch fest of 2009?

Goals for 2010

(in no particular order)

  1. Don’t let the sun go down on dreams and plans ~ Commit, kickstart and chase. Life’s too short for regrets and no one else is going to do it
  2. Don’t be afraid of being afraid and unsure ~ it’s healthy. Channel the fear into positive energies and action
  3. Share the adventures ~ Continue to inspire folks, especially children, to chase their dreams and live the lives they want to lead
  4. Eat fewer than 500 chocolate bars
  5. ‘Do something for the wilderness and make the mountains glad’ – spend more time outside and do something worthwhile for nature e.g. pick up litter, volunteer with local conservation group
  6. Expand the in-head library~ learn more poetry by heart
  7. Make a list each day of ‘Good things about today’. It got me through some low days at sea, when the only good thing seemed to be that ‘today is over’
  8. Publish book (finish writing it first)
  9. Go cycle touring
  10. Improve my sea kayaking skills
  11. Capsize less  – Mum deserves a break from the stress!
  12. Sit up straight
  13. Take a photo every day for a year (Thanks to my friend and fellow adventure nut Al Humphreys for this one)
  14. Finish walking the Pennine Way – we started in 2008, walking with Dad’s ashes (this one’s for him)
  15. See a concert at the Royal Albert Hall
  16. Learn more about British birds that don’t live by the sea
  17. Improve half marathon PB
  18. Lighten the load, get some headspace – Give away things I don’t need. Good for the soul, good for others
  19. Sleep under the stars more often ~ I miss the stars of the ocean!
  20. Move on plans for next expedition. Keep blog followers in suspense just a little bit longer until I tell them what next expedition is.

Happy new year and happy days to you all,

S x

PS Dippers will be starting a new life in America later this year with her new owner, and with a new name. More to follow another day.

PPS Details of my upcoming public talks on the front page of this site. For info on booking me in for a talk to your school, club or business then please email me hello@sarahouten.co.uk

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13 Responses to Happy days, happy new year

  1. Christina Watts says:

    Happy New Year Sarah

    Nigel and I were by the EYE and it was electric this year with BIG BEN welcoming in the twelve strokes of midnight and the fireworks lightening up the sky !!!!!! ending an amazing year for all of us.

    love xtina

  2. Steve RPYC says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Very best wishes for 2010.

    Your list of goals is impressive; in my experience (into the third of my 2.5 decades)it’s best to commit to only two or three of the most important and classify the others as “tactical” not “strategic”. I’ve only got two goals this year, (they are quite tough), but I am going to add “take a photo every day” as a “tactical” one.


  3. Tony & Lynne says:

    Good to see such positive waves!

    Enjoy your cycle touring, you could plan some of your route using
    http://www.sustrans.org but then I am biased!
    Look forward to hearing about the new expedition.

    All the very best

    Tony & Lynne

  4. John Townsend says:

    To be honest, I was logging on to cancel my subscription, as I thought “well, the big row is over, and I already get too many emails”. But as usual, you’ve inspired me and I’m going to share your list with my teenagers too. Keep up the good work!

    Perth, WA

  5. Roger Hayward says:

    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Sarah & Helen. May 2010 bring you new & exciting adventures but let Captain Sensible be a happy passenger.
    Pob hwyl
    Roger & Celia

  6. Inspiring as ever. Can certainly help with No. 10!

  7. Horst and Rosemary Hamp says:

    Horst and Rosemary wish you a very happy and health New Year Sarah! Hope to see you in Perth WA again!

  8. TERRY BRADLEY says:

    Hi SARAH
    Great to hear from you yet again
    Seems as you are going to be full on for 2010
    You love to keep us in suspense.
    No matter whatever it is it will be wonderful for all
    us bloggers to follow you
    You keep me in suspense what you will come with
    Sorry to hear that DIPPERS is going so far away , hope you
    will keep us informed of his/hers movement
    Will be very hard for you to part company with “DIPPERS”
    Cherrio for this time,thanks for the blog.
    Take Care keep sweet & in good health ,also a big
    HELLO to your mum TERRY B!!!!!! WEST AUSSIE!

  9. Ros [Rutland Sailability] says:

    Happy New Year Sarah. I am looking forward to hearing more about your plans for 2010 – they will need to be something special to top the Indian Ocean challenge, and I have every confidence that they will be. You are an inspiration and I love your enthusiasm for engaging the schools.

  10. Christine & Kathleen says:

    Happy New Year Sarah and to the family, we shall look forward to hearing about your adventure in due course. So many new things to do, we need to do a list and stick to it as well. How on earth can you beat last year. We shall have to wait and see.

    All good wishes for the months ahead.

    C & k

  11. June Bibby says:

    Yes Sarah, I can well imagine that you miss seeing the stars in the heavens – and the moon – in a sky unpoluted by light; what a wonderful experience that must have been! I wish you well for this coming year and look forward to hearing what is ‘next on the agenda’. I enjoyed reading your things to do – quite inspirational. June.

  12. I was most disappointed that your book was not in my Christmas stocking this year – Definitely encouraging you to start with No.8 – you can always publish it yourself on Amazon.
    Happy adventures – Your Natracare SISTERs.

  13. Paula ( Coppa Feel ) says:

    Hi Sarah,
    We met at Kritins Coppa Feel Christmas Party. I am the sister of Marens ( Kris sister ) boyfriend Graham.
    I am in Italy now.
    Was great to meet you and how happy you seemed to make Kris.
    Credit to you
    Keep in touch

    Paula X

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