It’s All About Planning to be Outside

Last week, I asked what kept you from heading outdoors more often, and I received some insightful comments. If you haven’t commented yet, please feel free to do so here. I want to explore some of these thoughts in some upcoming posts.

A couple of issues seemed to resonate based upon the comments – lack of time and planning. Most of us live our lives at such a frantic pace. I feel the constant tug of trying to just get one more thing done. However, being busy may make me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile, but it doesn’t mean that I’m really accomplishing anything.

Since I’m involved in creative endeavors that often involve writing and video editing, I sometimes have trouble breaking away from projects, even when the creative juices aren’t flowing. At some point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. I do myself a disservice by staring aimlessly at the computer screen.

To combat these diminishing returns, I consciously plan time to spend walking/running outdoors a few days per week, even if it’s simply 45 minutes around the neighborhood or at the local park. While I may miss a day here or there, this has become a non-negotiable in my schedule.

I’ve also set a goal for myself to hike or bike one trail per week. I haven’t always kept this goal, and if I miss a week, I pick it up again the next. Most of the time, I try to keep it manageable by keeping the driving time within 30-45 minutes and spending an hour or two on the trail. If I’m feeling adventuresome, then I might drive to the mountains and spend the entire day.

These outdoor experiences are invaluable to me. Without them, I would not be refreshed and re-energized. I am able to return with creative ideas and a clear mindset. You don’t have to concoct some grand plan. Whether just beginning or desiring more consistency, pick an activity you are passionate about. You’ll be more likely to stick with it. Consciously work it into your schedule for the next few weeks. After a while, it will become an ingrained habit and purposefully planned into your life.