Take the 365 Every Day Outside Challenge in 2014! All you have to do is go outside for at least 30 minutes each day. Consider this a way of life rather than a New Year’s Resolution. You can start anytime, but might want to consider starting on the first of a month, so that it is easier to know when you’ve accomplished your goal. Taking this challenge will create a life-long habit, will help reduce depression, and will improve health and well being. My hope is that this blog will help you reach your goal.
Here are some guidelines and tips to help you succeed:
- The point is to go outside every day. Going outside for an hour today does not count for today and tomorrow. You can’t bank minutes.
- Allow yourself to miss 12 days for the entire year. That’s one day a month, but you can bank these days if you don’t use them. Things come up–kids get sick, you get sick, work takes over–it happens–miss a day and get back outside the next.
- Consider jotting down on a paper calendar what you did and for how many minutes. For example, “Walked in Baxter Woods: 45 min.,” “Tea with Beth on porch: 60+ min.,” or “Nighttime walk with kids and headlamps: 35 min.”
- Walking to and from the car doesn’t count unless you intentionally park far from your destination. Pretty much everything else counts–skiing, drinking wine, running, walking, sitting, picnics, yard work, baseball games, whatever.
- Make an effort to do things outside that you normally do inside such as eat lunch on your front steps, exercise, decorate cookies, or sip your morning coffee.
- If your job takes you outside, make an effort to create special non-work outdoor experiences. If the outdoor experience is for you, versus for someone else, it makes a huge difference. I don’t count my outdoor work time.
I started this challenge in 2012 and did it again in 2013. In 2012 I went out for all but eight days. In 2014 I went out for all but four. In 2012, several of my missed days were because I simply forgot to go outside. In 2013, the four missed days were typically because of crazy busy work days followed by family obligations. Making my journey public by blogging about it here at Everyday Outside has absolutely helped me to succeed. Last year between 20-40 people took the challenge and this year I’m hoping even more will join us. If you started the challenge in 2013, but got to busy to continue, I hope you’ll try again. If you’re joining the movement, consider “outing” yourself on the Everyday Outside Facebook page. The growing community there just might help you meet your goal.
What do you think? Want to join in the fun? Let us know, or just do it on your own! Happy outings!