Living in Colorado, I am outside a lot. Probably more than most. The mentality of those who have transplanted from other areas of the country seems to be: live to get outside. And we are of the same mind-set. So when I saw the post in Minimalism and your money, it struck a major chord. Especially because I’ve been contemplating, feeling guilty, and totally admitting something to myself. I have a horrible habit, one I need to break. Yes, I am a Netflix binge-watcher. And the only way I know I will be successful with cutting back to a healthy dose is to occupy my time elsewhere. I am a sucker for a good challenge, as I do find them useful in upholding a good habit and keeping myself accountable. If you blog it, it’s so. I’ve created food challenges, pre-surgery challenges that again incorporate food, challenges that keep you moving forward in a positive direction, Yoga challenges fueled by plants and other Yoga challenges that I partnered with friends with….needles to say, I like the commitment and external accountability.
So breaking down the challenge, I have to spend an average of 3 hours outside each day. When I sat and thought about my day though, that seems a bit challenging. Work takes up the majority, I’m an early riser, but also go to bed early, typically sleeping for 8 hours at a minimum. But, it also made me look realistically at my day, the amount of time I was wasting on the internet, watching Netflix, being unfocused. I took a hard look at the times I did grab my phone to scroll twitter or Instagram, looking at this time suck activity as robbing me of my outside time. And that made me want to restructure how I set my day up.
The to-do lists go on and on, but the key to making sure you get to the truly important things? Prioritize! There are professional projects and tasks I need to move forward, everyday, in my day job. There are personal things I want to get done everyday that help as well as life things that need to happen in order for me to function (eat healthy food, do wash occasionally, shower occasionally, feed the dogs, grocery shop) and these all need to be prioritized or none of them get done. In looking at this new challenge, I had to come to the realization that wasting time in the ways I had been, won’t be an option if I wanted to accomplish this goal: 100 hours outside in the month of May.
When you choose one thing, something inevitably goes away. In this situation, that was a good thing! By choosing to spend more time outside, I was opting for less tv, less scrolling and less wasted time, due to the fact that I am committing to being outside more. By prioritizing outside time, it’s helped me front-load my day so that I got everything I needed to get done in the beginning of my day, re-think how I’m using my down time and think about my time differently. Being outside, whether it’s doing physical activity, enjoying one of Colorado’s many mountains or trails, or enjoying the oasis Mike has created in the backyard, these are truly the things that make me the most happy. So why wouldn’t I be planning my day around them?
A recent article about Millennial Burnout talks about the importance of carving out alone time and switching off technology, two things I am in much agreement with. And the physical and mental benefits of being outside are plentiful, especially if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, squirrely. A recent post I wrote outlined what I do instead of complaining and literally picking up and going outside is the most effective way, I have found, to remove myself from negative energy. So this challenge has all of the goodness I seek!
I’ve told a few close friends about the challenge, so we’ve started a spreadsheet to keep track of our hours, plus I’m using Strava to track my mileage. External accountability helps me stick with things, plus it’s fun to see how far and often I’m out and about. I’m posting this because I think this challenge is an amazing way to not only spend more time in the beautiful, great outdoors, but a way in which I prioritize and think about my time, so I make sure I’m spending as much of it as possible doing what I love.
How are you getting outside??