2016 will be the year I explore Suffolk
For someone with an unhealthy obsession for lists, a New Year presents the ultimate task of setting targets and deadlines.
For the last few years, I have come up with resolutions on January 1st, working on around an 80% success rate of sticking to them.
Most of the time, this is because they remain the same, or very similar, from year-to-year.
Work hard to provide for my family, be the best dad I can be, try and keep a good work/life balance. They are my annual consistents.
Last year, I also wanted to get fit. I started brightly, going for a run on an icy New Year’s Day, before quickly going downhill. Fast.
Now approaching 37 years old, more of that in future columns I’m sure, that need to get fit just grows more and more important.
I make excuses for not playing five-a-side football/not joining a gym/not getting on my bike/not getting my running shoes on. They have all applied over the last 12 months.
My most common reason, ok excuse, was that I don’t have loads of free time and I want to spend every second of it with my boys.
But a good friend simply countered that by doing some sensible exercise, I should ultimately have more time with them as the years go on. Sally – I was listening.
So with my templated resolutions firmly in place, and generally stuck to, I guess getting fit and losing a little bit of weight should be a new number one priority.
But there are others. Making more time for my good friends, reading more books, taking up a new sport all feature.
And so would exploring more of the county in which I have been fortunate to live for all of my adult life.
I have two Suffolk calendars in my home, one in the kitchen, one in my one-third office/two-thirds games room. One was a freebie, I should add.
Staring at me as I write this is Maggi Hambling’s scallop sculpture on Aldeburgh beach. I can tick that off the list marked ‘seen’. The same applies for the beautiful images of Southwold and Framlingham.
But I’ve never been to Orford or Blythburgh. Closer to home, there are many places I have passed through without really exploring.
Whether walking on my own or taking my young family around the county (both the obvious and off the beaten track), an aspiration of mine for 2016 is to get to know Suffolk even better.
Weekends are a precious time for me and while it would be easy to stick with what you know – I’m incredible lucky to have a National Trust property on my doorstep for instance – I think it is about time that I explore the greater outdoors.
Happy New Year to you all.