Lacing Up My Skates For The New Year

An article by Erik Ortenhoekey that was featured in the Washington Post, and a Ted talk by Matt Cutts that we viewed at our annual company retreat inspired me to try something new this year.  Erik Orton and his wife Emily are co-authors of “Seven at Sea: Why a New York City Family Cast Off Convention for a Life-Changing Year on a Sailboat.”

Each year, they celebrate their wedding anniversary (January 2nd) with a New Year’s first – trying a new restaurant or doing something they’ve never done before, like shopping for a boat, which eventually inspired them to sail around the world.

Instead of giving myself a long list of things I want to change in 2019 (i.e. ‘resolutions’), I decided to try one new thing too. It’s an easy, simple, and rewarding way to start the year, whereas New Year’s resolutions all too often lead to disappointment.

And, as Matt Cutts explains, adding a new habit (or subtracting a bad one) is easier when you stick to one small change rather than trying to tackle everything all at once.  One year, he tried something new every month for twelve months – activities ranged from taking a photo every day to giving up sugar for 30 days. The idea behind a New Year’s first is to get out of your comfort zone, not miraculously become someone who quits hitting the snooze button and gets up before dawn to work out seven days a week.

So, what’s my New Year’s first? I’m playing hockey with an adult league for the first time. I played hockey in high school and recreationally in college, but I haven’t been on the ice in decades. And I realized that I had missed it. So, I looked into adult leagues in the hopes of finding people in my age range who are still interested in getting out on the ice. As it turns out, there is an over-30 league. And although I’m likely a decade or two older than some of my new teammates, I’m giving it a shot.



Even though hockey is an old hobby of mine, this feels very new. I have to buy all new hockey gear and introduce myself to a whole new group of people. I’m sure I’ll be a little rusty – and nervous – on my first day out. Don’t worry, though, I haven’t gone completely mad – this is a non-checking league. I know my limits. And, since I’m twenty-some years beyond the ‘over-30’ mark, I’m not looking to be taken out on the ice by a Chuck Norris wannabe.


Here’s my challenge to you: Pick a New Year’s first. It can be small, or big, but it has to be something you’ve never done before. Then, go do it. And don’t forget to share the experience with me!  I’ll be sure to update you on my new adventure.

Fuel for Thought,