The second hardest thing to actually sticking to your new year's resolution is coming up with a good one in the first place. At the end of every year, I think long and hard about what I'd like to improve upon in the coming year. Often times, they're ski-related goals: get my boots properly fitted, do beacon-search drills more often, don't forget to put on sunscreen.
But then mid-winter comes and all you can think about is skiing, and more skiing. Who cares about bootfitting? And there's no time for sunscreen application when first chair is waiting.
This year, I decided to do a little unscientific poll amongst pro skiers to see if they had any good ideas for realistic goals for the new year. Here's what I collected.
Some were simply about skiing more. Seth Morrison says he wants to "ski more, work less!" Ian McIntosh told me he wants to "ski powder every day no matter how hard I have to work for it." Todd Ligare said he wants to "find some way to get into a heli." Fair enough, right? We'd all like to do those things.
Some pros' goals were more about health and self-improvement. Like Ingrid Backstrom: "My new year's resolution is to stop biting my nails, for good this time." Or Grete Eliassen: "I'm going to try to eat healthier. And ride the bus as much as I can." Or Chris Benchetler: "The plan is to make myself stretch a minimum of four times a week." Or Rachael Burks: "To not stress about things that are out of my control ... and to wear my retainer."
Others, like Roz Groenewoud's, are for the good of the planet. "A few months ago, I decided to use zero throwaway beverage containers (like the one-time use hot beverage cups from coffee shops and airplane plastic cups)," Groenewoud said. "I am also drastically reducing my overall beverage container consumption, even the ones that can and are recycled as they still require energy to be produced, such as pop and sport drink plastic bottles. I am achieving this goal by always having my metal thermos with me. I plan to continue this goal in 2011."
And some couldn't stick to just one. "I have two New Year's resolutions this year," Gus Kenworthy told me. "First, I really want to make a conscious effort to remember people's names when I meet them. A lot of the time when someone tells me their name, it's in one ear and out the other. The second is that I really want to try and stay healthy during the ski season. I am constantly battling with nagging little injuries from skateboarding, ice skating, etc. I'd like to really start evaluating decisions before I make them to see if what I'm about to do is really worth the risk that it presents."
That last one from Kenworthy leads us to ski mountaineer Chris Davenport's resolution. "My resolution is to make it safely through another year in the mountains," Davenport said. And well, I pretty much stopped looking for a better goal for 2011 after that one. Because at the end of the year, we may bite our nails, not stretch, eat poorly, drive our cars too much, use wasteful cups, and forget people's names. But as long as we all make it safely through another year in the mountains, then it's a good year. Be safe out there and happy new year.