By Ian Standard, Contributing Blogger
Ah, the winter solstice, a new year, and a brand new start. Everyone is looking ahead to 2023 with the chance to travel and explore more.
A fresh start means making the resolutions that will help to shift perspectives and our experiences throughout the new year. One of the best possible ways to do that is to increase your time spent outside in 2023. It can sound hard to do, but luckily there are plenty of ways to make it easy!
One of the biggest mistakes people will make when trying to get involved in the outdoors is to aim big. They make it a goal to climb Kilimanjaro rather than the hill in their backyard. While big goals are great for some, they can be defeating for many others.
Norway has one of the most beautiful words that is all about how people get outside. Frilufstliv (free-looft-sleeve) translates directly to “open-air life”. There are a ton of different ways to practice it, but in essence, it’s about being outside and simply enjoying it. This is the main aim of starting to get yourself outdoors more. No big goals, just being outside.
Being overly critical of your performance with new resolutions can be natural in the new year. It’s important to remember that you’re learning. Starting a new hobby or activity is just training yourself to do it over and over. Remind yourself that we all make mistakes. If you make it outside for 15 minutes instead of an hour, congratulate yourself and work towards a longer time tomorrow.
Make it Routine
Begin your day with a walk around the park, or even just your neighborhood. Maybe it’s best to place your daily walk at the end of a long workday, providing for time to decompress and relax. Whenever you decide to place your outdoor time, make it a part of your routine.
A routine helps us get into the flow of things and ensure that we practice something new consistently. If it’s outside of your routine, it’s much more likely that you’ll forget to do it. Before too long, you’ll start to head outside for your walk without even thinking about it. More importantly, people that are close to you will recognize it’s a part of your daily routine and possibly ask to join.
Friends make the world go round and life more enjoyable. The same goes for outdoor time. If you have a friend group that is interested in resolving to get outdoors more in 2023, organize a weekly walk or hike.
If your friend group prefers malls, bars, or the couch, look for local hiking and walking groups. They’re a great place to gather a community that encourages you and holds you accountable for getting outdoors more. I’ve found that these groups are some of the friendliest and most welcoming groups of people to be found. They don’t care if you slow them down. They just want you to meet your own goals of getting outside.
Discover New Places
We all talk about seeing new places and traveling around the world. We collectively dream about visiting Nepal or walking the streets of Paris, but these dreams somehow make their way to the back burner all too often.
Getting outdoors allows you to start discovering new places that are right next door. It’s surprising how often we fail to visit the beautiful and rich hidden gems we have close by. Once you start looking for places to go on walks, you’ll begin to discover trails and paths that don’t require an overseas flight but can take you to another beautiful spot.