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Resolving to do a few new things outdoors in 2014

It seems like I was writing the 2013 list of “Into the Outdoors” resolutions just yesterday. This past season went screaming by like one of the many freight trains that rip through Coal City every few minutes.

It’s always fun to try and gaze into the crystal ball and see what the upcoming year may hold, but before I do that, I would like to ponder the past 12 months and see what I did and did not accomplish.

For the longest time, I had wanted a new boat. I was perusing a New Year’s resolution article from 2012 and saw that I was writing about a new boat then as well. I wanted something that the family could enjoy before the boys head off to college in a few years.

Well, 2013 did see a full year with “Big Red,” as we affectionately call her. The newest family member made its way with us to Panama City, Fla., last March for a fishing trip. It also spent some time in Wisconsin this year fishing at Lake Onalaska. Besides taking a few road trips, it logged many, many hours here at home.

I was able to spend lots of time fishing with my family or just puttering around the lake soaking in the sun’s rays and waving to friends as they pass by. I am happy to look back at the past year and say that the boat resolution was a successful check in the accomplished column. 

I looked back at some of the other things that were memorable this year and think fondly of all the outdoor gatherings, or parties, we hosted. We love to have people out for a cookout, swim at the beach and just hang out on the water. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with friends. I’m not sure that particular goal was on my list of things to accomplish for this last year, but we did it anyway and hope to continue those gatherings in 2014.

With that said, what are some things that I would like to see come to fruition in the next twelve months? That list is long and seemingly impossible to make happen, but there are a few things that I would like to try and mark off. 

The first thing I want to do this year is to take my boys turkey hunting. This last spring, I had tags for both of them but never set foot in the woods to try and call in a gobbler. Their spring school schedules, along with sports activities, were chaotic. We just never had the time to fit it in.

I want to do better with that. I’ve decided if that means taking a day off work, that is what I will do. Sometimes family has to come first.

I also would like to film at least four episodes of our family’s little reality web series that we are doing now. For those of you that haven’t heard about it, the show is titled “Catching with Cody.” You can see the pilot episode on my website at We all love doing this together, and it allows us to go and do things in the outdoors as a family.

Of course, there are lots of little things, like spend more time fishing, hunting, etc. But I find that if I write down specific, reasonable resolutions then I am more likely to accomplish them. 

What are your hopes and dreams concerning the outdoors for this next year? Are you planning a camping trip? Is there a particular hike that you have always wanted to try? Is there a bird-watching location that always seems to be on your list but you just haven’t made it there yet?

The New Year affords us all the hopes and dreams of things yet to come. This is the time to plan. This is the time to set those goals and move steadily toward them. And for whatever reason if we fall short come next December, like the Chicago Bears, we can always say there’s next year.

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