Since the summer of 2017 I have experienced something so profoundly life altering, yet so simple that baffled that every single person hasn’t yet made it a part of their daily life, too.
It’s free, it’s natural and you already have it. I’m just sitting here waiting for you to join me in using it. Are you ready?
It was Memorial Day weekend, 2017, a year into our life in Alaska — and the weather near Anchorage was not obeying my wishes. I had waited a long winter for it to be perfect outside, and instead it was raining on me as I tried to read Harry Potter while wearing a hoodie and a hat on the porch. To say I was in a bad mood is an understatement.
I knew I had to make a decision. I was either going to let a little rain ruin my proverbial parade, or I was going to get with it and embrace Alaska no matter what.
I think you can probably guess which one I chose. After all, I had moved my entire life up here to the Last Frontier to find a fresh start. No way was I going to let weather dictate my success as an Alaskan. I decided that I would spend all the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day doing something outside, even if the weather was gross.
What I learned over those months is that there is a benefit to spending time outside every day that everyone can and should experience. And I want you to join me in my outside habit.
Those 99 days of summer were full of incredible adventures. Some of them were forced, like the time I hiked with friends in the pouring rain to a lake so obscured by clouds that I couldn’t even see it. Some of them were carefully planned and pretty epic. After all, if I was going to do the outside thing in Alaska, I might as well do it. And some of them were simple, like an easy walk in the woods near my house.
The 99 days left me curious. If a summer of outdoor time could have such an impact, what could 365 days do?
What I’ve discovered are benefits to my health and happiness that I’m still working to quantify.
But more than anything else I know this: something this good, this easy shouldn’t be a secret. That’s why I want you to join me in my daily habit of spending at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every day, no matter what.
We think of the start of a new year as the ideal time to create a new habit. But I initially started my outdoor habit on a weekend in May, then kicked-off my 20-minutes a day habit in September.
So why not start now — today? Make today the start of your 20 minutes outside. The only rule is that your 20 minutes must all be consecutive. Otherwise, anything goes. You can spend time in the city, on the tundra, in trees or on a sidewalk. Your time can be in the dark, in daylight, in snow or in sand. Make the time — if I have, you have it, I promise — and spend 20 minutes outside.
Your outside tribe is waiting for you. See you there.