By the time January 1 rolls around, those of us who have overindulged over the holidays are filled with regrets and a commitment to approaching the new year a little differently. But many folks set New Year's Resolutions year after year only to find themselves right back where they started just a few months in, rarely committing to these life changes for a full 12 months. If you are like me and ready to stick with your resolutions and make 2019 the best year yet, then it’s time to take them outside.
Luckily for anyone interested in the outdoors, if you take these commitments outside you set yourself up for a great year.
If getting in shape made it on to your list of resolutions this year (I know it’s always been on mine!), then it’s likely you are mentally preparing yourself to join the hordes of like-minded individuals who are signing up for January gym specials and suffering for hours upon hours in a smelly gym. If those indoor hours seem daunting, I have great news for you. The world’s greatest gymnasium is located right out your front door.
Whether you live in the city or a remote mountain town, it’s easy to get fit just simply by spending more time outdoors. Get creative—you can do box jumps on a park bench, your porch, boulders, or the curb of a sidewalk. You can prioritize getting in your daily 20 minutes of cardio just by jogging or going for a brisk walk around your neighborhood. Sure, you might not do as many crunches as you would in your bootcamp HIIT class, but you might find a routine that is more sustainable long-term if you prioritize working out outside.
Plus, studies have shown that time outside is good for your health—not just physically, but mentally as well. You’ll find that you’re more likely to stick with something that makes you feel good, and for most of us, that means getting outside.
This one is a no brainer. Have you ever noticed that the better you are at incorporating both mental and physical breaks, the more productive you are? Next time you need a moment away from your busy lives, instead of scrolling through social media or chatting up your colleagues at the water cooler, try to dash outside instead.
And a great way to truly change your work life balance is to incorporate more microadventures into your workweek. These are short, easily accessible activities that get you outside and sustain the outdoor-lifestyle many weekend warriors want but are often unable to execute because of their busy lives.
Need ideas on where to start? Outdoor Project has compiled guides for microadventures in major cities throughout North America as well as suggestions on how to plan them in your own neck of the woods. Once you start to incorporate more of these outdoor activities into your work week, you’ll create a better balance between the things you want to do and the things you have to do.
Another popular New Year's Resolution includes making or saving more money. The best thing about an outdoor adventurer's lifestyle: it puts your needs into perspective. When you value experiences over material things, it may become easier to downsize your possessions and spend less money on things that you only use every once in a while.
Making the resolution to spend more time outside means that you might have to make an upfront investment, like putting gas in the tank or paying for a parks pass. But compare those costs to other things that you would fill your time with instead, such as going to the movies or eating out. Ultimately, you’ll save money by spending time in the outdoors. Taking your family or friends camping is much less expensive than booking an Airbnb or fancy hotel room.
Making the resolution to get outside more in 2019 is good for the body (and the soul and the pocket book!).