As a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. Most of the time, they become a rod for our backs and cause us to feel guilty when we don’t stick to them. However, given that the New Year will mark three months until our hike, it might be a good time to evaluate how our preparation is going. It also probably coincides with the need to focus more on team rather than just individual. Here are some ideas which you might not have considered. They are not meant to be prescriptive, just possibilities worth exploring. They might also prompt some other thoughts …

  1. Set yourself a target body weight to begin the hike at. Something which is achievable and realistic. Of course, it will require some commitment. What body weight do you think you need to be to carry the pack with maximum comfort? What will you need to do to get there? Will you tell anyone else about your goal as a way to keep yourself accountable?
  2. Make a sacrifice. Perhaps you could give something up for a time, in order to be better prepared. It might involve a change in diet, or a change to your weekly routine to allow more time for training. You could make a personal commitment toward specific training venues or targets.
  3. Contribute something to the group – something which has benefit beyond that which you gain yourself. Take the lead on arranging a group training exercise or an overnight camp out. Put your hand up to help organise group requirements like the hike menu, first aid or transport arrangements. Put something on the website or run a social media campaign.
  4. Search the Bible for passages which speak of God’s creation and how we experience him in the wilderness. Scripture is full of examples of people who went into the wild places to be met by God. Compile a list. Share it. Gain inspiration. Here’s a favourite of mine to get you started – Amos 4:13.
  5. Commit to prayer. This is something we are often flippant about. Consider getting serious. Maybe you could liaise with a prayer partner or team. Consult other team members in regard to specific prayer needs. Prayer is potentially a powerful tool to enhance our preparation.

So there you have it. Don’t feel pressure to have to do specific things, just be open to possibilities. Often we have to be intentional in order to get the best results.