“So this is the new year, and I don’t feel any different.” These words from a Death Cab for Cutie song come up in my mind every 1st January for years. Maybe because they resonate so well with me about how it’s just a date change, like every day is, and not this one chance in life to make changes. The new year is less about a dramatic shift and more about continuing our journey, focusing on living more mindfully and embracing personal growth. Each year, like waking up to a new day, offers a fresh opportunity to reshape our lives, form new habits, be more self-aware, and work on our happiness. As we embark on this new year, we’re also eager to hear from you. What does the start of a new year mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

New Year’s Resolutions and Their Pitfalls

Every year, we make resolutions and set goals with enthusiasm. Still, more often than not, we end up returning to our old habits. This is a common experience, and I find it amusing how typical New Year’s resolutions can sometimes feel unrealistic, grandiose, and almost impossible to achieve. To address this, we’re taking a different approach. We’re setting attainable and more realistic goals based on our current circumstances.

Sometimes, we set goals that may not align with the reality of our lives. For example, aspiring to be in peak physical condition at a time when our bodies have evolved and changed can lead to unnecessary pressure. This kind of introspection teaches us an important lesson: it’s not always about striving to outdo ourselves or reach constant optimization. Instead of trying to be a ‘better’ version of ourselves, based on past benchmarks, it’s essential to recognize that being as good as we are is enough. We want to emphasize the importance of accepting ourselves without the constant need for improvement. We can be content with who we are in the present, drawing upon our life experiences and wisdom. It’s about finding satisfaction in our current state, acknowledging our journey, and celebrating our unique selves without the pressure of perpetual self-optimization

Jana, too, shares a similar sentiment. ‘Instead of lofty resolutions that often lead to disappointment, I believe in setting smaller, more achievable goals that are in harmony with my daily life. It’s about making gradual changes that contribute positively to our well-being rather than striving for drastic transformations overnight. This approach removes the pressure and allows for a more sustainable, enjoyable journey of personal growth and discovery.’

This year, our resolutions are more about introspection and mindful evolution. We’re focusing on meaningful changes that resonate with who we are today, rather than who we were yesterday. 

Personal Goals for 2024

As we enter 2024, it’s a time for us to live more consciously. It’s an opportunity to make choices that reflect our true selves and to grow in ways that are meaningful to us. This year is all about embracing change and focusing on what genuinely matters. Reflecting on last year’s short-lived career shift, I realized the immense value of personal space and time for growth. This experience has inspired me to approach this year differently – not necessarily ‘better’ in the traditional sense, but with a mindful awareness of what brings real value to my life.

Jana shares a similar approach but with her unique perspective. ‘2024, for me, is about learning to handle my challenges better and growing from within. It’s not about competing to be ‘better’ than others or even my past self. I am already complete as I am. This year is about changing my perspective, doing things differently, and being true to myself. I intend to spend more time on my hobbies and those quiet moments of self-reflection – to understand who I am and how I truly feel. I want to cultivate new, positive habits, focus on my well-being, and not be swayed by distractions. Most importantly, I aim to recognize my strengths and resist the pressure to conform to external expectations.’

Our collective goal is to lead a life that is not just about conforming to societal norms but is a tapestry woven from our passions, experiences, and personal growth. We want to embrace the journey of self-discovery, find joy in the simplicity of life, and celebrate the unique paths we each tread. It’s a journey about recognizing our individuality and cherishing each step we take to pursue a fulfilling and authentic life.

We would love to hear about your personal aspirations for this year! Please share in the comments, and let’s inspire each other.

The Importance of Core and Stability Training: Embracing a New Discipline

We are integrating core and stability training into our fitness journey. This addition to our routine is not just a choice; it’s a necessity, especially for me, considering my personal history. The loss of my father 17 years ago to heart issues at the age of 55 is a sad reminder of the importance of comprehensive health care. This year, I’m more determined than ever to make core and stability training an integral part of my life. It’s a way to honor my father’s memory and to address the health risks that became his reality. Even though I’m aware of the fact, I’ve been making this promise to myself quite a few times already and have yet to really follow through. 

For a long time, this aspect of fitness has been absent in our lives. Now, recognizing its significance, I am committed to developing a consistent practice. Each session is a step towards a healthier heart and body, a commitment to change, and a reflection on the preciousness of health.

Jana shares this commitment with her unique perspective, albeit from a different starting point. ‘In the past, I’ve often fluctuated between wanting to improve my fitness and falling prey to complacency. This year, however, inspired by Björn’s heartfelt dedication and the powerful story behind it, I feel a renewed sense of purpose. While core and stability training has not been a part of our routine, I now see its value in our overall health and well-being. I aim to reincorporate yoga into my daily routine as a physical exercise and a holistic practice to enhance my overall well-being. This change is about more than fitness; it’s about creating a balance in our lives, honoring our bodies, and nurturing our health in the broadest sense.’

Plans for New Adventures: Connecting and Exploring

This year is ripe with opportunities for adventure and exploration for us. Beyond the thrill of cycling, we are excited about the deeper connections these journeys will foster. Our plans are not just about traversing new landscapes, but also about strengthening bonds and creating new ones.

Denmark remains a dream destination for us to return to, as it was such a great experience back in 2022. We long to immerse ourselves in the tranquility of its coasts again and embrace the complete freedom it gave us.

London has held a special place in our plans for quite some time now, but we have not had the chance to go there together. And it is not just for its historic streets and vibrant cycling culture, but as a hub for reuniting with friends. We will meet some of them for the first time in person, transforming online connections into real-life friendships. The excitement of exploring London together is amplified by the prospect of shared experiences and memories with old and new friends.

We’re also reaching out to you for suggestions and insider tips. Have you experienced the unique cycling spots in Denmark or the hidden trails of London? Do you have recommendations for places where we can meet fellow cyclists and friends and share tasty vegan food with them? Your insights are invaluable, adding a rich layer to our travel plans. Let’s make these trips not just about the places we visit, but about the people we share them with.

The Future of THE EVERYbody Rides: Empowering Women

In 2024, our ambition for EVERYbody Rides takes on a new dimension, especially regarding inclusivity and empowerment. We are dedicated to making these rides more than just cycling events; they are platforms for community building, support, and enjoyment. Regularizing these rides on the fourth Sunday of every month is our first step towards creating a predictable and welcoming environment for all.

A particular focus for this year, as emphasized by Jana, is to encourage and empower more women to participate. ‘As a woman in cycling, I understand the challenges and apprehensions that can come with it, especially for those more introverted. I aim to create a space where women feel encouraged and supported and can find camaraderie and confidence. EVERYbody Rides is not just about the physical act of cycling; it’s about creating a community where every woman feels she belongs and can thrive.’

Our vision is to see EVERYbody Rides grow into a diverse and inclusive community where new faces, significantly more women, feel welcomed and valued. These rides are about enjoyment, community, and shared experiences, transcending the traditional competitive aspect of cycling. We believe in the power of cycling to bring people together, create lasting friendships, and foster a sense of belonging and empowerment.

To our community: Your participation and enthusiasm make EVERYbody Rides unique. We invite you to join us in this journey of inclusivity and community spirit. Let’s make 2024 a year where we share the road, support, and empower each other.

We’d love your input with our focus on making EVERYbody Rides more inclusive. Do you have ideas or suggestions to help us create a welcoming environment for everyone? Please share them with us in the comments!

A More Mindful Approach to Life – Balancing Movies and Books

In 2024, we are taking a deliberate step towards a more mindful approach to life, especially in how we engage with our media consumption. Our goal is simple but impactful: to reduce the frequency of turning on the TV. In an age where streaming apps and YouTube channels constantly vie for our attention, it’s easy to get lost in endless hours of watching. We plan to be more selective with our screen time, using watchlists to know what we want to watch, thus avoiding the trap of aimlessly scrolling through options. If we find ourselves reaching for the remote out of habit or uncertainty about what to watch, that might be our cue to turn it off.

Instead, we would like to devote more time to the numerous books and magazines that await our attention, enjoy time outside together, off the bike, or do whatever comes to mind. Too often, we end up staring at the screen on the sofa. We want this to change. This conscious shift aims to use our time more effectively, fostering new inspirations for our personal lives and my photography work. It’s a small change, but one that can significantly impact our daily routine.

This balanced approach extends beyond just cutting screen time; it’s about enriching our lives with diverse experiences. Our goal is to find a harmony that nurtures our curiosity and creativity.

As we embark on the journey of 2024, we are filled with anticipation and excitement to share more of our experiences with you. Our adventure with RIDE PUNK RIDE has always been a collaborative journey enriched by your stories, experiences, and wisdom.

We once again (yeah, we won’t stop reminding you) want to emphasize the importance of mental health and remind everyone that the best comparison is the one you make with yourself – and even then, only to acknowledge how far you’ve come. Remember, we are unique, and progress comes in many forms.

We wish you a fantastic year ahead, full of adventures, personal growth, and joyful moments. Your thoughts, suggestions, and experiences are a great inspiration for us. We encourage you to share in the comments what you’re planning, looking forward to, or what’s on your mind. Social media is about exchange and inspiration, a reminder that we’re not alone in our thoughts and challenges.

Let’s create a year filled with new experiences, deeper connections, and genuine community spirit. Here’s to 2024, where we share the road, our journeys, and our dreams.

– Björn (on behalf of Ride Punk Ride)

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