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5 Tips for Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions to Get Outdoors More
It’s that time of year again — time to make some New Year’s Resolutions that you may or may not stick to. If one of your resolutions is to get outdoors more, either by yourself or with your family, how can you stick to that resolution? To help you get out of the house more, here are a few tips and tricks to help you pick a resolution that’s achievable — and stick to it!
1. Pick SMART Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions almost always seem doomed to failure — people swear on the altar of the Time’s Square mirror ball that they will lose weight, eat better, or get outside, and by the time January is over, they’ve already given up, cancelled their gym membership and gone back to their pizza and beer diet. That’s because they don’t make SMART resolutions — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
This acronym for goal setting was coined back in 1981 by the Management Review journal. Let’s break it down:
- Specific — Don’t be vague about your New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t say “I want to get outdoors more.” Be specific. “I will go on at least one camping trip or other outdoor activity each month in 2018.”
- Measurable — This might not apply to a resolution to get outdoors, but if your goal is to lose weight or get healthier, make your goal specific enough to be measurable. Make a goal to lose 2 pounds a week, 8-10 pounds a month or another measurable amount.
- Achievable — Don’t reach for the stars, at least not at first. If you have a great big goal or a really expansive resolution, break it down into smaller, more achievable parts. If your goal is too big, you’re more likely to give up.
- Relevant — Don’t make a resolution just because all your co-workers are. Make your resolution relevant to you.
- Time-Bound — In addition to setting your goals, you need to create a timeline for achieving your resolutions. Tie this in with making an achievable resolution and create a timeline for your smaller goals.
Now that you’ve got a brief outline for making and sticking to resolutions in general, how can you stick to your specific resolution for getting outdoors more?
2. Take a Class
Getting out into the wilderness can be intimidating if you’re not used to it. If that’s the only thing keeping you indoors, your first stop should be your local sporting goods store where you can take classes on camping, hiking, rock climbing, or other outdoor activities. (Canadians, click here.)
This can also be a great way to meet other people who share your interests — and camping and other outdoor activities are always better with a buddy.
3. Go on an Outdoor Vacation
One of the best ways to help you spend more time outside is to take a little time to surround yourself with the outdoors. Taking an outdoors-centred vacation can help you jump into your resolution with both feet.
Camping sites can be especially helpful with this plan. Camping sites can offer a variety of options from deluxe cabins to tent sites that will help you camp to your comfort level. Extended stay trips can even help you go on a long family vacation for far less money than if you were to stay at a hotel or vacation home.
4. Start Preparing
Getting ready for your camping trips or other outdoor adventures can be just as fun as the trip itself, and it’s a great way to get your kids engaged as well. Spend some time preparing your gear, setting up and waterproofing your tents, or even drying or dehydrating food to take with you when you’re camping.
This can be a great way to get your kids just as excited as you are about getting outdoors — and if the kids are excited, you might be more likely to keep up with your New Year’s Resolution.
5. Plan Local Activities
You don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to get outdoors or stick to your resolutions — start by planning some outdoor activities you can do in your own backyard. Nature-themed scavenger hunts, looking for bugs at night, or creating board games from the things you can find in your backyard are all ideas that can help get your kids engaged and might even entice them to want to join you on your next camping or hiking trip.
Getting outdoors in the new year can be a great way to get healthy, engage with your family and just break out of the normal 9-5 grind. If you’re not sure where to start, try taking a class or just looking into preparing for a trip — you may find that it’s a lot easier than you expect.