Welcome to 2017!
New Year’s resolutions are one of the most widely held traditions. People around the world make promises to themselves that this year will be different, that this year they will do “something”. Friends will often drop hints, telling you to consider losing weight, eating healthy, find a new girlfriend/boyfriend or making more time for yourself. Even if you do not write down a list, most people do make New Year’s resolutions. Every year, I make a few new year’s resolutions. Some of them are scuba diving related.
Consider Some Of These For Your New Year’s Resolution
With the New Year underway, it is not too late to add to your resolutions. Let me impose upon you and suggest some scuba related resolutions for you to consider.
If you have considered becoming a certified diver, then make 2017 the year that you take your Open Water Diver training. Take a look at The DeeperBlue.com Beginners Guide to Scuba Diving to learn more about this sport of scuba diving. Then get started. The online training programs, that most of the training agencies have, make getting started easier than it ever has been. Scuba diving is unlike any other sport you may have ever tried. You will be entering a “brotherhood” that only a small percentage of people will enter. The sport opens up a whole new world full of wonders that you can only imagine. It can also change how you look at life and the world around you. Many divers look back at their Open Water Diver certification dive as a life milestone.
Refresh your training
A few years ago, the Diver Alert Network did a survey. They discovered that 97% of inactive divers still consider themselves divers, and the majority of those plan on diving again. Once you are certified, your certification never expires. However, if you have not been diving in over 18 months consider taking a refresher course. PADI offers a program called ReActivate™ and SSI offers Scuba Skills Update, both of these programs will get up refreshed and back in the water. I am a firm believer that even experienced divers need to go back to the basics occasionally. Spend some time on your next dive, refreshing your basic skills. My dive computer has a “game” app. The game tells you to hover at a specified depth for a prescribed time. The level gives you a range of depths that are acceptable. You are given points while within the range. Enough points and you can move to the net level. The next level will adjust the time and range. You can do the same without an app. Work into your dive plans a few minutes where you will maintain a certain depth. After the dive, check your dive computer to see what range of depths you maintained.
Set a goal related to the number of scuba dives you will do
One British scuba diver created a goal on his birthday of doing 39 dives in a year. Ray Woolley is the diver who sat that goal for himself, at 93 he is the oldest active dive member of the British Sub-Aqua Club (“BSAC”). Set your own goal based on the time you have available and your desires.
Also, consider if there is an area of diving that you might like to try. Maybe you live in an area where it is cold in the winter and you have only dived in tropical waters. In that case, You might want to learn how to dive in a dry suit. The challenges in dry suit diving are vastly different that diving in the tropics.
No, I am not referring to Santa’s naughty or nice list. I am talking about a list that some people call a bucket list. A bucket list is a set of things you would like to do or accomplish in your lifetime. This can be an extension of item 4. It could be a dive site you want to experience, a new certification or maybe something not related to diving. The term “Bucket List” is fairly recent, only being popular for the last decade of so. The concept, however, is not new. Setting goals for yourself has been proven to improve not only the quality of your life but also may lead to a longer life. A study done in 1971 of US military retirees found that those who retired with goals for their future lived longer. Most military retirees at that time retired around 40 years of age. The majority of those without goals were dead in less than 8 years, decades sooner that their life expectancy. On average, those with goals lived a full live expectancy. Set goals in your life and work towards them. If you are around people who are retired, you can see how people with goals are more active than those without. The average age for a scuba diver is near retirement age, a part of this reason is that the number of new divers over 55 is about the same as those under 21. Once you have your bucket list, move towards accomplishing some of the items on the list and then move forward and add more.
Take a dive vacation
Too many people in this world allow themselves to become toxic with stress. Planning a vacation and looking forward to it can help you from becoming overwhelmed with stress. The vacation itself can do a great deal to eliminate the stress and scuba diving is also great for releasing stress. If family members are not interested in diving, then select a location that will meet the needs of both divers and non-divers. Mini-vacations are also something to consider. You might be able to add a vacation day to a long weekend and have a mini-vacation that can include a few dives.
Early last year I wrote an article about becoming a citizen scientist. The United States Government’s NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries is one government organization that welcomes volunteers with open arms. They rely heavily on volunteers, and state on their website; “In 2016, 8,636 of our volunteers supported national marine sanctuary citizen science efforts helping to answer real-world scientific questions with a total of 80,153 hours, which is equivalent to $1.9 million dollars of time”. Divers in the United Kingdom can look to Historic England who need volunteers to look after their historical ship wrecks. There are many other conservation and environmental both government and NGO organizations that can use the skills of certified recreational divers as they pursue their organizational objectives.
I wish you the very best in what ever you wish to do in 2017. Not everything that will happen to us in this coming year is in our control, however, we do have control over much that we do. Make it the best year possible for you, your family and the world.