As we welcome in 2018, it's likely that you've had a chance to reflect on your past year of climbing (amongst other events, of course). Not everyone takes pleasure in strict adherence to 12-month 'chapters' of goals and ambitions, but for those who are already writing their list, here are some suggestions for a fulfilling and successful climbing year...
Happy New Year from the UKC/UKH Team!
1. Set realistic goals
An obvious one perhaps, but something that really helps to focus your efforts. "I want to get stronger" isn't a very precise goal, but aiming for a particular realistic grade or a climb which keeps you motivated to put some work in is a good starting point. Make short and long-term goals to keep you on target throughout the year. Write them down and put the note in an unavoidable place in the house - that way, you're more likely to stick to them!
2. Manage your fear of falling
Note "manage" - as fear of falling is rarely overcome, rather you need to learn to work with your fear. What exactly are you scared of and why - is your fear rational? This UKC article by Madeleine Eppensteiner should point you in the right direction.
3. Get over your fear of failure
Something that holds people back even more often than fear of falling, is fear of failing. Setting goals is all very well, but don't be afraid to fail. Give it your all and have fun doing so - that's the most important part, whether you're redpointing, onsighting, trad, sport or competition climbing. Check out this UKC article by Theo Moore on success and failure in climbing.
4. Book a climbing holiday
What a great resolution! Having a climbing holiday somewhere exciting will inspire you to train for it (if you're keen to push your grade) or just reignite your love for climbing. Combining a hobby and a holiday is a great way to de-stress. Check out our article on getting the most out of a sport climbing holiday.
5. Work your weaknesses
That old adage once again. Face up to what you find difficult - don't like crimps? Avoiding what you need to work on isn't the path to success (unless you get lucky). Have a look at some of our training and skills articles to guide you through your weaknesses.
6. Recycle or donate old gear
It's that time of year when unwanted old gear is getting replaced by the shiny stuff you got for Christmas, or maybe you're following the tidying, sorting and re-arranging trend. Recycle old kit at your local wall, or donate to an outdoor centre, youth group or a friend - as long as it is in safe, working order. Alternatively, if you're feeling creative, repurpose your old gear. Some ideas can be found in this UKC article.
7. Be proactive in injury prevention
Have you been nursing an injury all winter? In order to prevent some long lay-offs in 2018, make warming up properly, working your antagonistic muscles, stretching and taking care of your body a priority. Our series of UKC articles by Robin O'Leary and Nina Leonfellner on injury management and prevention discusses key areas of the body in detail: fingers, elbows, shoulders and a special article for junior climbers.
8. Introduce a friend to climbing
With so many New Year's Resolutions involving fitness and health goals, why not introduce a friend (or family member...) to climbing and help them achieve a goal? Perhaps you'll earn yourself a new climbing partner at the same time...
9. Try a new discipline
Bored of just being a one-trick pony, or want to shake up the routine a bit? Try out a different style of climbing and keep your enthusiasm fresh. It's amazing what taking some time out to do something different can do for your motivation.
10. Give back to the community
Start the year off with a good deed and donate to a climbing charity - your local Mountain Rescue, Climbers Against Cancer, ClimbAID or Urban Uprising to name but a few, or donate to your local bolt fund or the BMC's Access and Conservation Trust. Alternatively, organise or volunteer at a local crag clean-up, which leads us on to (if you'll allow for a number 11)...
Do your best to leave things better than you find it at the crag: pick up litter, brush off those tick marks, and have a general tidy-up before you leave. Take part in our #RespecttheRock social media campaign to spread the word and improve the state of our crags! Have a read of our article on the topic.
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