Outdoor Diary: New September, New Starts

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Who even decided January is the perfect time for fresh starts? Here’s why September makes more sense, and the new habit you should start — or double down on — today.

Some of the good stuff:

[:26] The best time to begin
[2:27] Amy’s way to track your habits
[2:55] How to keep yourself accountable
[3:15] Amy’s upcoming surgery
[3:38] This week’s Outdoor Hero

Connect with this episode:

Register for our newsletter to win a decal: https://humansoutside.com/contact-us/

Follow us on Instagram and share your outdoor life with the hashtag #humansoutside365.


Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary on The Humans Outside Podcast. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.


They say “new year, new you” in January, but I think that’s a big mistake. What about September for fresh starts? What about today?

Hear me out on this. We spend summer relaxing and readying our minds for a new school year, a new chance to tackle our goals after vacation, a fresh start after Labor Day. We feel refreshed. We feel ready to get after it. I’m ready to try harder, go longer, do more, focus on me, chase a big scary dream, do all the things. 


You know when I don’t like that? January. I’m exhausted from the holidays. I’m cold. I want to snuggle by the fire and read a good book. I don’t want to start fresh things or new goals. But there we are, it’s the “new year,” and we feel obligated.

To that I say — enough. Why are we doing that to ourselves? Why aren’t we making September the start of a new year?

I’m not the only person who feels this way. After I started thinking about this, I found Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project, talking about the same thing. And then last week, I heard Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, say the same thing on her Unlocking Us podcast.  This just makes good sense.

September is the time for new habits. And I know you know what kind of habit I think you should start or double down on right now, today. Going outside! Since that’s already my habit, I’m working on something a little more motion-oriented. I wear this Apple Watch which has “rings” on it that track standing for 12 hours a day, exercising 30 minutes or moving for 550 calories. I’ve started working to close them every single day for a year, something I don’t always do, especially on rest days. I decided this was my new goal before I was scheduled for hip surgery, so we’ll see how feasible it actually is. I’m going to try for it. 


Sometimes habits are easier to do when you have a way to track them. For that, I have made you an outdoor habit tracker with 365 slots you can mark or color in over your year. All you have to do is sign-up for the Humans Outside newsletter at HumansOutside.com/newsletter and we’ll send you the link. When you sign-up for the newsletter  you’re also entered to win one of our decals as part of a weekly drawing. They’re awesome if I do say so myself. 


Another thing that makes habits easier to keep is knowing that other people are doing it, too. That’s why we have a whole group of people posting their daily outdoor time on social media using the hashtag HumansOutside365. You can see what other folks are up to in their corners of God’s good green earth. It’s a lot of fun.


And oh yeah, speaking of surgery, I’ve got that coming up really soon. If you think I’m going to skip my outside time because of out-patient surgery, you’ve got another thing coming. I have a porch. I can make this happen. You can follow all of my outdoor exploits, including those after surgery however limited they might be, on Instagram at HumansOutside or on the Humans Outside Facebook page.  


And before surgery, I’m headed out for a three-day adventure with a few friends. You knew I would. Among the things I”ll be packing is my Jetboil stove, which I use to heat water for my camp coffee, arguably my most important camping thing. The jet boil is easy to pack, heats water in a flash, and has been one of my favorite gear items for years. I highly recommend and you can find an affiliate link to one in our show notes. 


So what are you doing to get outside this week? Share your latest outdoor time with us with #HumansOutside365 and until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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