It’s that time of year again. The time when we begin reflecting on our resolutions from the previous year and coming up with goals for the year ahead.
Find out below how getting outside is the only resolution you need in 2019!
1. Challenge Yourself
As humans we are creatures of habit. We sometimes feel that staying within our comfort zone is where we are safest. We’ve learned, however, that experiencing new adventures is wholeheartedly fulfilling. So, this year let’s conquer those outdoor adventures that we’ve been putting off. From taking a walk in the woods with your camera to tackling the Appalachian Trail, challenge yourself by setting reasonable goals no matter what your skill level is. However, if you’ve never been on a hike, we don’t suggest putting the Appalachian Trail at the top of your list. Start small and work your way up. As long as you’re making progress, you’re on the right track!
2. Save Money
Although outdoor gear can be expensive when first starting out, there are plenty of ways to get outside without spending a ton of money. Try replacing your weekly trips to the mall or movies with a camping trip.
Borrow a tent from a friend or family member. Keep an eye out for camping gear at your local thrift shop and save hundreds of dollars. Ditch your Friday night at the bar for a night by a bonfire with your friends. Put the money you save into your savings account or towards that sweet hammock you’ve been eyeing for the past few months.
Take a mini road trip to a place you’ve never been and take lots of pictures along the way.
“Traveling is the only thing you can spend money on that will make you richer.”
3. Get Better Sleep
Grab a sleeping bag or hammock and head to your favorite star gazing spot and let the relaxing sound of nature be your lullaby. Wake up to the crisp morning air and start your day feeling refreshed even if that means occasionally setting up a tent in your very own backyard.
4. Exercise More
As tempting as making it to the gym by 6:00 a.m. each morning might sound, why not make getting in shape fun? You can burn just as many calories exploring the outdoors as you can in the gym if you put in the effort. Pick hikes that are a couple of miles longer than the ones you usually go on.
Ride your bike to work every once in a while. Take your yoga mat to an outdoor spot you’ve never explored. Replace your painfully boring treadmill routine for fresh air and breathtaking panoramic views.
5. Spread Your Love of the Outdoors
Sometimes exploring the outdoors is our own personal escape and way to get away from it all. This is a great and healthy physical and mental exercise that we highly encourage and do ourselves.
However, every other time or so, why not invite someone who doesn’t seem to get out of the house much? If you have a friend who seems down, take them on your favorite hike. Sometimes sunshine is the best medicine and if you’re lucky you might even make an adventurer out of them as well.
6. Connect by Disconnecting
The internet is an amazing tool that allows us to connect and stay in touch with friends and family members from around the world, however, it often disconnects us from the friends and family members who are sitting right in front of us. Have you ever found yourself searching the hashtag #sunset on Instagram rather than just looking out your window to watch the one that’s happening outside? When your logged in, you log off to what’s going on around you.
This year, challenge yourself to log off for a specified amount of time each day. Turn your phone on airplane mode and go on a walk. Focus on taking in your surroundings and try to notice something different each time you take the same walk. This exercise has been proven to increase mental health and will allow your brain to take a break and reset.
7. Explore a New National Park
National Parks make some of the best hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, and outdoor spots accessible. They make planning an adventure easy and affordable and there are 59 different ones in the United States alone. Add visiting at least one new park for the first time to your New Year’s resolution list!
8. Give Back
Be Happier: Did you know you can lower your stress levels and increase your self-esteem, all from just helping someone out or contributing to a cause you are passionate about?
Go paperless: Switch from mailed bills and bank statements to paperless digital bills.
Reuse: Ditch the plastic shopping bags for reusable canvas totes.
Get Involved: Volunteer for a local clean-up project. Join an outdoor preservation society such as Leave No Trace. Getting involved in your community.
Plant a Tree: Trees absorb carbon dioxide and potentially harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air and release oxygen. Did you know one large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people?
Shop Local: When shopping at a locally owned business, you are not only showing your support to your community, but you are also giving back to your community. Local businesses often began as a hobby, talent, or passion and are what keep our cities and towns vibrant and charming.
Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.
We hope our Outdoors New Year’s resolution list will take you on many incredible adventures, encourage you to explore new places, and improve the overall quality of your life.
Before you jump right in, a good way to start making your New Year’s resolution list is to reflect on your resolutions from the previous year and ask yourself what strategies were most effective and which ones weren’t. Sit down with a friend or family member and revisit and write down your favorite memories from 2018 as well as the challenges you faced and how you handled them. Organize your thoughts, focus on your priorities, and make a plan for 2019.
Happy New Years everyone!
Have more great outdoor resolution ideas? Share them with us in the comment section below so we can add them to our list!