The 365 Every Day Outside Challenge

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!


17 thoughts on “The 365 Every Day Outside Challenge

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  2. What a great idea! I am joining in your challenge. I also miss the childhood days of exploring outside all summer.

    p.s. Congrats on being named Down East Readers’ Choice Awards for favorite blog! That is how I found your blog.

  3. Wonderful! I was just planning a trip to Maine and I am so grateful I came across your blog. I am starting today. Excellent idea and thank you.

  4. Erica,
    Simply wonderful! You have inspired me! Your blog is beautiful, thoughtful and creative.
    Love it!


  5. well, julie is on the path with her daily early morning dog walks, but we definitely need that kick in the tush to take other things outside, even just hanging out and reading on the benches across the street from our apt instead of indoors on the couch, or taking a blanket to the park nearby to eat lunch!

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  7. This sounds like a great accompaniment to my commitment to my personal health & well-being this year. I know it may sound cliche, but as a mother of 3, I have been putting my needs way behind others for much too long. I love the idea of getting outside for me!

  8. This is a huge step in the right direction for peace of mind and wellbeing!
    I struggle with being couped up inside no matter what the much so,i bought a 3m by 10m white marquee from the hardware store&it is permanently installed in my garden so that in winter I can sit under a blanket in the rain sipping tea amongst my trees!
    I also host curry nights in it on chilly nights complete with candles&”nanna rugs”for my guests..i point the chimenea towards the opening&we are toasty!….let’s get the children away from the screens&back in to nature…muuuuch better x

  9. GREAT idea, great tips. Gonna do it and take 365 photos to prove it, my year will start on the first day of Spring, when better?

  10. I am super excited about doing this challenge! I am a stay at home mom and have time to go out but chores call me to them so o don’t get out as much as I need;( I’m starting today as a test run and hope to continue till newyrs of next year. So yes this is my official day!!! 13months and 5 day challenge for me! Hope to continue this for my health and wellbeing. Depression calls to m even though I keep fighting I and moving on. Hope to meet other people doing this challenge!

    • Hi Lenah! I’m so excited that you’d like to do this challenge. As you may have seen on my blog, it has been awhile since I’ve written a post. But I do keep the Facebook community page alive. Please like the Everyday Outside Facebook page to keep up to date with posts. You’ve inspired me to make sure I remind people of the challenge as we role into the new year where people make commitments to improving their lives. Going outside every day is one of the greatest gifts I’ve given to myself as a busy parent. Even though I’m not keeping up with the blog, I go outside every day. The more I go out, the happier and less stressed I feel. Keep in touch!

  11. The problem I have with getting outside, is in the summer its so hot! I have two babies, I live in Florida and its just so hot outside. The babies get tired of water play. What can I do?

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