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Seventeen is my number of choice this year; 17 things I would like to try out, conquer, experience, encounter and experience in 2017. The start of a new year always conjures up excitement for me, a chance to reflect on the year just passed and to dream up adventures for the 12 months ahead, so for the first week of January I crack open a new fresh journal and start doodling!

I sketch, list, bullet point, free write - a few hours spent doodling a word splat of all the things buzzing in my mind. Often my new year resolutions involve practical challenges - a marathon to train for, 100 mile bike ride or muddy race somewhere; this year I wanted to balance the physical with everyday things I would enjoy, so learning to cook new yummy veggie dishes, to get my paint brushes out again and read more regularly are in my 17.

Learning to longboard, turn more confidently when surfing, participate in a SUP race and to complete my own version of an Ironman triathlon by traveling around the coast of Wales or Scotland are also on my list of โ€™17 Things To Do in 2017โ€™.  

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Yestival 2016 was such an inspiring weekend โ€“ I left with hundreds of ideas, feeling positive and raring to take on an adventure! After a few months of mulling my Yestival experience I finally feel ready to take on 2017 with an awesome adventure: this year, one of my 17 pledges is to travel 70 miles every month. Come join me!  

Last year was certainly a year of extremes โ€“ I lost my dad at the start of the year, had health related concerns, a relationship break up and more stress than I'd ever experienced, the exciting development of my business โ€“ opening the 4Motion Studio, received our first large funding, became a Mentor and met my adorable new nephew at Christmas. I also completed my Giving It Back Volunteering Project, a 5-week 1,245 mile adventure around the coast of England swimming, cycling, running, SUPโ€™in and volunteering in retirement homes, a donkey sanctuary and schools.

Woo - what a year!

Reflecting on everything that happened last year, I gave a lot of thought to what's important to me, and what I want to achieve and experience this year. I really enjoy the process of transforming my dreams and ambitions into words and action, so I picked up my journal and started doodling!

After attending Yestival in October and feeling utterly inspired by everyone I met, with further inspiration gleaned from the Yes Tribe Facebook page and Tough Girl stories I want to take everything I've learned and truly embrace all the things I love doing whilst still learning, being mindful and making time for family, friends and myself.

My dad would have been 70 this year, so to celebrate his love of being active and outdoors (usually on a cricket pitch!!) I am going to raise money for Parkinson UK and Ataxia by moving 70 miles every month of 2017. This will be by unmotorised travel: either running, walking, swimming, cycling, SUP paddling or even dancing (not sure yoga sun salutations would clock up the miles?!!).

Although of course my dadโ€™s passing was extremely sad and a complete shock, I choose to take a positive attitude and flip my sadness into something meaningful, to carry his life forward by getting out there and making the most of every living breathing moment. Thatโ€™s why Iโ€™ve devised #70mileseverymonth4dads70th and Iโ€™d love you all to join me!  

Don't wait for a loved one to pass or feel ill: grab life by the hands now, fuel it with energy and freakin get out there to make something happen!!

I've got a few events lined up (Coast to Coast of Scotland, a few triathlons, ultra marathons) and I'll be on the road this summer exploring the coast in either Wales, Scotland or Ireland on a mission to give it back (Giving It Back - www.giving-it-back.com), so if you want to join me, or fancy a 70 mile moving buddy - hola!

Let's make 2017 great - let's choose happiness, letโ€™s choose our health, let's choose life.

Elaine

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FB: @Givingitback / @Elainemacey

Insta: giving_itback / elaine_dancingyogi

Website: www.giving-it-back.com

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