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Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.
So you started the year with a focused outdoor habit, intent to spend at least 20 consecutive minutes outside every day. How’s it going? Have you kept your resolution?
According to some studies, about 80% of New Year resolutions fail by mid-February. That means if you’re among the people who have had a hard time keeping your well-intentioned outdoor habit, you’re probably in really good company. That’s because keeping a hard resolution, like spending time outside every single day even if the weather is extremely terrible or if you’re really busy, or sick, or tired or just straight up not wanting to is, well, hard.
The good news is that even if you’ve had trouble sticking to your new outdoor habit, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t get back on target today, right now. And if you haven’t yet started an outdoor habit, there’s no reason you have to wait for a new year, a new week or a new month. You can start right now and make today day 1 of the new or re-eneergized thing you want to do.
I’m tackling a new version of my outdoor habit right now, actually. Call it complacency or lazinessness, but I’ve let my outdoor time often morph into just another thing on the to-do list. There are days that it’s great and full of value, of course. But often I’m just straight-up distracted. Maybe I’m thinking about all the things I need to do the rest of the day. Maybe I’m stressed by life in general. Maybe I just want to get it over with.
Or maybe I’m distracted by the tech in my pocket, and not even noticing the goodness of nature around me. When I stopped to think through this problem and what was making me feel like my outdoor time, almost 1,300 days of it, had become just another task, the distraction of tech felt like one easy thing I could kick to really amp up the benefit I was getting from going outside. In our recent episode on unplugging, episode 95, I talked to unplugging experts Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohammed about what it takes to unplug and why doing so is so hard.
They helped me come up with an idea for a 7-day unplugging challenge, where I am leaving behind my phone over my outdoor time for a week so that I’m not tempted to bust it out. You can jump in on this at any time, or start your seven days right now. If you’re not comfortable leaving your tech completely behind, stash your phone somewhere and commit to not touching it unless there’s a major emergency. No matter how you do it, spend the 7 days unplugging over your nature time. You can find a fun 7-day unplugging tracker through a link in our show notes.
Last week’s outdoor time was full of snowy adventures for me. I did multiple days of cross country skiing in some really great snow we’ve been having, proving that practice really does help when you’re terrible at something the way I am terrible at cross country skiing. We even met a podcast listener on the trail during one of our trips, and she got to hear me unraveling over not having a map or knowing where we were first hand even before we connected the dots on how we’ve know each other in passing. Hey, at least I’m on brand in my hot mess status.
Then, over the weekend, my family and I took an overnight trip to snowy Talkeetna for a fun adventure provided by the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce. We stayed in a great cabin at the Talkeetna Cabins, had dinner at the Denali Brewpub and went on a much longer than anticipated ski with the kids — a great length for the adults, but hard for them. It was fun to get a little bit out of town to enjoy some completely new to us trails. We’ll definitely be repeating this trip in the future.
I’ve got a roll-up on the Humans Outside blog right now recapping all of the things we’ve covered here over the last few months as what to wear in the winter. We’ve got a link in the show notes, and you can skip over there to see this roll-up of our outdoor heroes. Check them out!
You can, of course, see pictures of our adventure to Talkeetna and plenty of skiing pictures on Facebook or Instagram, and, as always, I want to see photos of your outdoor time. Share them by tagging #humansoutside or #humansoutside365 — and until next time, we’ll see you out there.