New Year New Goals

02 Jan New Year! New Goals!

It’s that time when we think about making goals, and what we’d like to do differently in the year ahead. For me it’s about making a plan, setting some goals, and having the insight to move the posts and outcomes if I need too.


I think of setting goals as a bit like preparing to climb a mountain; the goal is getting to the top but that’s not always possible. It might be that mother nature puts an obstacle in my way, or it could be that my body is sending a warning message. Whatever it is I’ve learned to tune in, listen, and reassess what I can do or how I can re-approach my goal.

I recently returned to the Dome Shelter on Mt Ruapehu, the place where, 10 years earlier, I was caught in a volcanic eruption and lost one of my legs. The journey was an important goal for me. Although I had visited the mountain since my accident, I didn’t know if I could get back up to that special place; the place that had both saved my life and trapped me 10 years ago. 

The night before the last climb back to the Dome Shelter we made camp with the plan to rest and scale the last part in the morning. That night the weather began to pack in. Lying in my sleeping bag surrounded by the elements, my heart sank; I would have to relinquish my goal. I fell asleep restless but contemplative and reflective. I have always set goals and reached them, just not necessarily in the way I had expected. My goals have included everything from getting out of that hospital bed where I lay, all broken and battered, to climbing back up to that mountain, climbing Mt. Scott in Antarctica, establishing a youth development programme, inspiring others through speaking, meeting my wife Bex, and having our daughter Harriet.

Early the next morning, a break in the weather let us make the final climb to the Dome Shelter. I had achieved my goal.

So why not take some time over the next couple of weeks before you and the kids get back to school to set some goals? You don’t have to scale mountains, but you can find your own peaks to conquer.  


What are some goals we can set for ourselves and children this year?

I highly recommend swapping some screen time for outdoors or mixing with your community. Why not have a screen amnesty once a week when you can turn them off, put them in drawer and head outside?

Being more curious is a great goal setting activity. When you’re outside with the kids, get them to observe what’s going on when you’re walking through a bush – suggest to the students they make a shelter from what they can find on the forest floor, or in the park see who can find the best place to hide and stay dry.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding goals you might set for the year ahead is simply to #ExploreMore. I’d love to hear what you and the kids around you are up to, and what you discover on your journey.

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