How to Succeed at Trying Something New (My Ski Story)


If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve done a little skiing this winter. It’s a big leap, going from the flat plains of the midwestern US to the Alps. But my husband and 6-year-old have gotten into it with our unit’s ski club and I found myself feeling jealous of their amazing photos from the slopes.

Pila Playground

Earlier this winter it occurred to me that skiing is an excellent family activity. It gets us outside in the winter. It’s a life-long sport. From the day we get our littlest to ski until we’re too old to hang, it’s something we can look forward to doing together. And, wow! How special is that?

Pila Lift

Frankly, I’ve been terrified of skiing. The speed! The crashes! The couple of lessons I had before this winter didn’t leave me feeling like I could ever ski with control. But then I took on a couple of challenges that taught me to believe in myself and be in my own skin more mindfully, and I felt prepared to become a skier. So I’ve decided to do it.

Clearly there are some people out there who think nothing of going out and just trying a new sport. If you are one of those people, I applaud you! If, however, you’re like me, here are some tips for trying something new.

  1. Identify WHY you want to do it. It doesn’t matter what the WHY is, just have a grasp of it. Maybe it’s because you’ve always wanted to. Maybe it’s because you want to have an excuse to be someplace beautiful. Maybe you want to look cool. Whatever. If your motivation is tied to some kind of personal goal, you’re more likely to stay focused.
  2. Do a little research. Find the experts on YouTube and see what they have to say about getting started. This will help you get the right gear, too.
  3. Pick a goal. This is different from the WHY. It’s a concrete, measurable goal, like “Run a 5k” or “Ski with enough control to get off the bunny hill” or “Bike around the lake 3x each week” or “Do a headstand” or “Compete in Ultimate Beastmaster.” You get the picture.
  4. Make a plan. It can be as simple as blocking off time, or as complicated as crafting a training schedule and a packing list for a family outing, but having a plan will pave a path to your goal. Excuses are easy to come by when you don’t have a plan in place.
  5. Find a cheerleader. Having someone to give you a high five or a pep talk when you need it goes a long way for validating your efforts.
  6. Do the work. This is the magic sauce, really. Practice. Get out there. Do it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
  7. Enjoy the rewards! Maybe the satisfaction of having done it is enough, but it’s OK to have promised yourself a treat for accomplishing your new thing. It’s cause to celebrate!

What do you think? Is there something you’ve thought about trying that you haven’t tackled yet? Are you in the process of trying something new? I’d love to hear about it!

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One thought on “How to Succeed at Trying Something New (My Ski Story)

  1. Good for you! And you are so right – you’ve got to do the work. And then more work. And then even more work.

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