Making resolutions and keeping them are two different things. If you’re a hunter, the consequences of these resolutions will become very real the next time you're in the field.
What’s your goal for the New Year? Is it learning how to call elk? Is it a float trip down a river in Alaska? Or perhaps it’s your first big game archery animal. The resolution itself should function as a pathway to reaching these very specific goals. That pathway requires dedication, training and focus.
Whether it’s reaching a better level of fitness and nutrition, learning a new skill or improving with your weapon, here are a few ideas for making (and keeping) goal-oriented resolutions...
Make Realistic Goals
Get to work on your New Year’s resolutions just like you would when setting any other goals. Start with the end result and then work backwards to create a roadmap to reach that desired outcome.
If you want to push through a DIY backcountry hunt next fall, developing the physical capabilities to make that happen is a very realistic goal. We still have plenty of time to train for our fall adventures. Having a spring bear hunt on the horizon can expedite this process, but most of our big game hunts will begin in August or September.
As you outline goals for the New Year, create realistic milestones that will help turn resolutions into realities. For example, if you struggle to hike three consecutive miles at an incline, make a resolution to cover that distance after a few months of training. That is a specific and attainable goal that you can reach. Then, you can expand that goal into longer distances. Of course your ultimate goal might be to harvest an elk, but use those stepping-stones throughout the year to work toward the larger goals.
Consistency is the Key
Achieving any goal requires training. It’s a process, and the rewards may not come quickly. The downfall of many resolutions is a big initial effort, followed by a plummeting drop back to square one. Skip the big burst and work gradually toward your goals. If running a few miles is your limit but you attempt ten miles out of the gate, your body will have a negative response. Set a training plan that revolves around consistency and gradual improvement rather than immediate results.
Consistency outweighs short-lived tenacity. It’s true for physical training and it’s also true at the archery or rifle range. Try shooting just a single arrow every day. Or set aside a couple of days each month on the calendar to go to the rifle range. Set a goal that you can maintain consistently from now until opening day. Small gains add up to big improvements over the course of a year.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Long-term resolutions are great, but short-term goals will help guide your journey. If your ultimate goal is a big game hunt, what is required to reach that goal? Build out a quarterly or monthly training plan that starts small and leads to a peak during the hunting season. If you start now and stick with it, you can be your best by September.
Check out this recent article, 5 Ways to Start Planning for the 2022 Hunting Season. We hope you have big plans for great adventures in the coming year. Set goals and share them with a friend to keep you accountable.
Cheers to new beginnings and Happy New Year from all of us at Caribou Gear!
By Zach Lazzari | Photos by Ryan McSparran