Why being ‘better’ is the only new year’s resolution you should make…

It’s the 4th of January, 2020. Four days into the new year and a time when many of us will have already failed our often lofty, invariably unachievable resolutions for the coming year.

We’ve talked about new year’s resolutions before, but they so often turn out to be difficult pass-fail challenges that send us spiralling into pit of shame when we inevitably fall short.

“Better”

The past year has been an interesting one. As most years do, it had its ups as well as its downs; its trials and its tribulations, but having crossed my 40th year on this planet, I can say with experience, that’s just what life is.

From a cycling perspective, it was not a great year. I did barely any, but most of what I did was to carry out errands when public transport would have been impractical. However, I’ve been thinking a lot more about riding in recent months than I have done in a long time and hope to continue to carve out more time during my lunch breaks to grab a sneaky hour riding around the woods or lanes near home.

I’m not putting a target on it, I’m just going to aspire to do better.

Every day is a new opportunity to do something a little better than before –to be a bit more active; to eat a little better; to go for that walk at lunchtime; to cull those infernal subscriptions you’re probably not using; to spend a little more time with a loved one; to read a book that broadens your horizons; to talk to someone about something that is troubling you; to learn a new skill or recipe. Perhaps it should be a new day’s resolution?

The ‘socials’

These past few months I’ve been taking a breather from the social media channels. I can honestly say it has been a revelation.

What may have started out earnest and fun, most of the social media channels have turned into a cesspool of anger, bitterness and 2019’s weird fixation with eyebrows. The algorithms fuelling all of them have a way of making the detritus rise to the top.

How it works for the Cardiff By Bike twitter feed is as follows: Someone three-times-removed from someone we follow decides to start an argument with someone who tweeted an ill-advised and often irrational comment aimed at people who ride bicycles. That ensuing spat then gets liked and re-tweeted by others before getting pumped into our timeline and crowds out anything good that may be happening in that moment.

By not checking the feeds I don’t have to deal with any of that. I don’t see it, it doesn’t affect my mood; my perspective on the world; or drag me into an argument that isn’t going to change anything. Just like 24-hour news broadcasts, we were never designed or equipped to know everything (or at least, the ‘everything’ we are given) at all times. Instead, I can focus on what is good about the world –that my mate Dave recently celebrated a milestone in his growing bicycle repair business; that more pieces of the primary route puzzle have been completed; and that we are at the start of another year in which we can strive to do better.

Facebook, oddly, has improved slightly. It doesn’t pollute my feed with the anger it once did, but it does notify me when events are happening in Cardiff that you may be interested in, so we’ll pop in from time to time and re-share events into the timeline of our page that may be of interest to you.

Plans

In the coming year I’d like to ride more, write more, and when words fail me, make videos for the YouTube channel.

Also, now that I’m heading rapidly into midlife-crisis territory, I’d still like to pick up a fat bike…or at the very least a 27.5+ bike. It’ll certainly be a lot cheaper and healthier than a Porsche…

Happy new year, everyone.

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