New Year: New You. Isn’t that what they say? Resolutions around this time normally include eating less junk food, drinking less alcohol and doing more exercise. But not for me this year!

Of course those goals are very worthwhile, and last year I even wrote about how to make them more realistic and achievable, but this year I am making a different set of promises to myself.

photo 24 - CopyWith the recent launch of our new Tribal Fitness Adventures I have really grounded myself and taken note of how fast life can become and how very easy it is to lose sight of what is really important. So for 2014, I am not only focusing on becoming healthier, but I’m also actively dedicating time to ensuring I’m living my life to the fullest.

Most of us have the same daily routine in life: Get up. Eat. Work. Eat. Sleep. Do it all again tomorrow. Agree? But I’m sure we also all ask ourselves in despair from time to time, ‘surely there’s more to life than this?’.  And of course the answer is YES. There IS. The excitement, the adventure, the freedom, the happiness. It’s all there. We just have to CHOOSE to chase it down.

For me the feeling of being truly alive comes when I am engulfed in nature. The tremendous, magnificent, powerful and awe-inspiring great outdoors. How easy it has become to crave material items in search of happiness. We even feel the need for this to achieve health and fitness. But we don’t need treadmills, fitness apps, or the latest gadget that promises to jiggle off a pound of fat a week. Nature provides us with everything we require, and with the added bonus of improving mental health too. You can go it alone to get away from it all, or share fantastic experiences with friends in the absence of the never ending interruptions of busy lives and technology.

I hate the feeling of being stuck in a rut, whether it be in daily life or my exercise regime. I’m sure lots of you do too. So one major benefit of the great outdoors for me, is that even if the same location is visited repeatedly, the experience and memories taken from it will differ each and every time, as our surrounding environment constantly changes. It’s amazing how the same hike can offer such a different range of feelings and emotions by a simple change in the weather!

How sad it is that it has become so easy to forget about this amazing nature that surrounds us. About the enormous range of benefits it offers us – and all for free. It is ours to interact with, to learn from, to grow with. We can strengthen our bodies, our minds, our relationships. We can enhance our inner happiness. Yet we have nearly become programmed to block it out and walk straight passed it, missing that wildlife, that scenery, those stars and all the other immense and wondrous aspects of a secret world that is staring us in the face.

Whether it be on the summit of a mountain at sunset, in a canoe on a peaceful lake, on a cliff face in a storm or just on a park bench by the sea: sitting, staring, thinking, smelling and feeling everything around me, in complete peace, is a gift that is available constantly, but one which hasn’t been taken advantage of as often as it should have been.

So whatever, and wherever you find your real, true, smile-from-the-inside-out happiness, why not make a promise to yourself this New Year, to choose to search for it again. Regularly. Because this one shot at life is not a dress rehearsal.

My dad always says: Live your life on purpose and live your life with purpose. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Happy New Year.