Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011: The challenge

Got it! My challenge for the year 2011. Notice the word “challenge”, not “resolution”. I never had any success with resolutions so have decided they’re a thing of the past. A challenge is much more exciting, and more often than not, can be something that doesn’t allow for deprivation (as many a resolution can do). Although that said, my first New Year’s challenge in the year, 2009, was to go 365 days without chocolate. If that’s not deprivation, then I don’t know what is – although I did it! Then rewarded myself with three months of chocolate just before my wedding. Perhaps not the smartest of moves but I lived to tell the tale.

The next year, 2010, was my year of running. I was inspired to read an article about a man in Hamilton, New Zealand – my home time. Reported in the regional newspaper and my former place of work, the Waikato Times was a news story about a man who had spent 600 days running. A half hour run every day – including the day his daughter was born.

A half-hour run each day? Surely that’s manageable. Even in rain, hail or snow you can handle going out for half an hour. So January 1 2010 rolled around and off I ran, straight up to the top of Mt Victoria, overlooking the beautiful city of Wellington that is the capital of New Zealand. It was a slow start, but a rewarding one, and so the runs continued, more on flat terrain than uphill but runs nonetheless. Until the flu took hold 83 days later.

As I looked back on yet another year, wondering to both myself and anyone who would listen “Where has the year gone?” I began searching for my next challenge. And there it was. Since arriving in London almost four years ago, I’d started collecting books. My local charity store sold books for £1 – and given that it was just down the hill from Hampstead, the books were of high quality. I wasn’t ashamed to be reaping the rewards of the Hampstead housewives, that’s for sure!

Yet the rate at which I collected books was in stark contrast to the rate at which I read them, so what better challenge to give myself than a literary one. 2011 is my year of books.

Challenge: to read 111 books in the year 2011.

NB: I've since found out I'm not the only one!


  1. The 3 kids damage my intention to read - especially when I've taken up the challenge to run 5K and go out training for that. I still fit a book in now and then but the book HAS to grab me first chapter or I don't persevere with it. Which is a bit of a shame as there have been many books ive loved where it has taken longer than that to fall into.

  2. Good luck with your challenge. It looks like you are gaining ground already.

  3. Your blog looks great.

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    Ken Eason
    Bostick Communications