I love the New Year. It is the perfect time for fresh beginnings. Most of us, I’ll bet, have become cynical about the futility of setting new goals and challenges for ourselves. Let me tell you why you should listen to your inner optimist instead.
The idea of making New Year’s resolutions has started to fall out of fashion. This is mostly due to the aforementioned cynicism. We’ve all had the experience of being excited about the new, great habits we are going to build into our lives only to get to approximately January 4th before we’ve fallen off the wagon.
In 2019 I was greatly inspired by the #150hoursoutsideproject. You can read about this over at yournaturallearner.com. I also summarize our experience with this project here. This was my inspiration to spend more time outside, especially in cold weather. This past year we were out in the snow and cold temperatures more than ever before. This project also played a role in our starting TRAIL FAMILY.
The main problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we forget that new habits form slowly. It takes about a month of doing something every day before that action becomes automatic. And most of us really only have the capacity to form one new habit at a time. So here is my advice on how to ditch the resolutions but still turn a new leaf for 2020.
Let me tell you why you should listen to your inner optimist instead.
Pick one, specific goal. Most New Year’s resolutions sound like, “I want to get in shape” or “I want to eat healthier.” The problem with nebulous statements is that you don’t really know if you have met your goal. Or worse, you can feel like you have blown it when you really haven’t. That first day of missing the gym or not getting out on the trail feels like a huge failure even when it isn’t. Shape your goals so they are specific but long-term.
Our new goal for 2020 is to spend 300 hours outdoors. Lots of this time will be spent on the trail, of course. Although we will also include playing in our own yard, going to the park, swimming at grandparent’s houses, and lots of other outdoor activities. This goal is specific and long-term. Since it will take us the whole year to accomplish, we won’t feel like we’ve blown it along the way. We will just be enjoying our outdoor time together. Our new goal is also specific. We will know when we have succeeded and can celebrate our accomplishments together!
What specific, long-term goals can you set for your TRAIL FAMILY for 2020? Perhaps you can start with #150hoursoutside like we did. Join us is our 300 hour goal, or choose your own goal number. How can you make your goal specific to time spent on the trail? The possibilities are nearly endless. Just remember the guidelines of specific and long-term.
We are looking forward to seeing you all out on the trail in 2020! Follow us on Facebook at Trail Family so we can share trail adventures together.
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