About a week back I was riding home on one of the coldest days this year, and it got me thinking towards next summer, and what I might get up to. I like the cold wintry months in their own right, don't get me wrong, but riding through 0 degree temps at 60mph can make you reevaluate how fond you are of the cold.
I consider myself notoriously bad at planning my time. Weekends arrive and I'm like "now, what?" and I have similar experiences when I have longer periods of free time. To that end I figured it would be a fun task to begin planning my summer. I remember Gretchen Rubin always spoke about 'designing your summer' on the Happier podcast, so I'm giving it a think.
I suppose each day is a learning experience for what we like, what we didn't like and what we should try next; so I'm hoping this reflective exercise is going to result in me making a few more plans for next year that stick, based on the things that have brought me joy in the past.
Just like development goals; if you don't get specific then happiness goals aren't going to stick. The list below is going to be a starting point for smart, happiness goals.
What I will do more in the summer
Ride without a destination - I don't have a Satnav on my bike, so I often get myself a bit lost on longer journeys. I don't mind it for the most part but I become anxious when I'm trying to get somewhere specific. A few times in the summer I went riding without a destination, just a general direction. "I'll ride North and see what I find". It was an amazing way to explore; I wasn't worried about being on track, or being late. It was the kind of riding that put my mind at rest.
Return to Scotland (and take a friend) - 2017 was the first year I had a bike capable of carrying a passenger. I went on a few fun rides, but definitely want to carry more passengers. I'm hoping to take a friend all the way to scotland. But if not Scotland, I at least want to share the travelling experience with a friend.
Go visit my grandparents in the lake district again - It gets me up to the lake district, which is a beautiful place to visit. It was also great to get in touch with my grandparents after a while of being apart.
Go exploring with Jack - I've loved taking the dog out in the car this autumn, and I'm hoping to make a lot of use of that through next summer.
Explore more of the coast (Borth) - I've only been to seaside resorts in the UK before this May, but the various coastlines I visited in this year were amazing, and I need to go back. I could have spent an entire day just relaxing by the cliffs. All I need is a weekend and £30 of petrol.
More mini adventures (3-5 days) - I feel like a short adventure is a great way to visit someplace new without becoming bored or overwhelmed.
More exercise - More walks, both big and small. Nuff said.
What I could do less of in 2018
Don't spend the best part of the day indoors - Although this summer I found myself getting affected quite badly by the sun, I spent an awful amount of time inside during the main part of the day; designing, planning or writing. It was productive; but I felt that I should've fit that around adventuring, rather than vise versa.
Rely less on bureaucracy (keep habits useful) - I want to keep my habits straightforward and useful; and change or remove them they weigh me down. I don't want to be forcing myself to carry out fruitless tasks.
Rely less on structure (some spontaneity) - I need to plan more spontaneity (lol).
What I will try in 2018
Midnight city rides - I find cities at night so enchanting, and wanted to ride out to Sheffield or Manchester for a midnight ride around the city. Ultimately I never did this, but it's something for next year.
Camping - If I had camping gear that would have probably more than halved the cost of adventuring this year...and future Dan likes when I save money.
Take the dog to the beach - He's an old timer, but I think he'd love it. And I would too. I'm gradually trying the dog out with longer rides, and if I spent just one night staying somewhere, I'd be able to take him to wales easily enough.
Lead a rideout - I'm building up extensive knowledge of the peaks, so I ought to offer to lead a few motorbike rides through the peaks next summer.
Carry more pillions - This summer I carried two friends on the back of my bike, one who rides and one who doesn't. Next year I'm hoping to take some of my other friends for a ride.
That's it folks. Make a start planning your summer (don't leave it too late like I usually do). Trying new things and making the most of your time is going to bring you a lot of joy.
Hope you're having an ace week,