Get Outside: The 100 hour Outside Challenge

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 challengespre-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.

(Doing some porch yoga after a stressful day)

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.

(Rainy weather? No excuses! Get Outside!)

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??

Spring into Action

I’ve not written a blog for over 3 months – talk about needing to spring into action! The past few months have been filled with skiing, our engagement (yup, Mike popped the question!) family trips, hikes, snowshoeing, Colorado adventures, cooking, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.

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Spring has sprung and I’m ready to dedicate, activate, commit to a healthy intention and spring into action with a 21-day challenge. I find that dedicating 21 days to make a positive change resets my mindset and creates a positive flow of energy in the right direction. Need to jump start a good habit? Want to commit to a healthy goal but only have found excuses? Want to incorporate a daily practice but haven’t found the right time? Join me in this 21 day challenge to Spring into Action!

I’m kicking off my challenge tomorrow….no time like the present, right!? Below are the next few days laid out – feel free to comment with questions, suggestions and how you’re doing!

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Day 1 – Set an intention, goal, something you want to commit to for the next 21 days – write it down and find time to do it! My intention is to train for a season of hiking, by incorporating a daily yoga practice, weekly hikes in the foot hills of Colorado, and adding a daily circuit workout to weight train. My goal is to get stronger, lighter, more agile so I can have a summer full of healthy adventures!

Day 2 – Start Early. Whether it’s an exercise routine, a commitment to eat better, practicing yoga, or a meditation practice, try starting first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. Fix your mind around positive change and positive change shall follow you.

Day 3 – Close out the day. Ending your day with intention, with the mindset that you can accomplish all you set your mind to, should be how you end each day.

Day 4 – You’ve got a friend. Our friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Today, share your commitment with a friend, ask them to join you, support you, perhaps to make their own commitment.

Day 5 – Share the love. Whether you bring your husband to the gym with you or onto the yoga mat, leash your puppies and take them hiking, or cook a healthy meal with your kids, bring your loved ones into the mix. The network you surround yourself should strengthen you!

Day 6 – Step it up. Today, take your plan of action and kick it up! Add a mile onto your run or do a longer yoga class, try a new workout, add a morning and evening routine, or meal prep for the next few days. Whatever your intention or goal, crank it up today!

Day 7 – Keep it simple. I often get caught up in an elaborate, over-the-top plan to get where I want to go, so much so that I end up not ever starting or getting burned out quickly and abandoning ship. Today is about going back to the simplicity of your intention or goal, shaving it down to the roots. You do not need to overthink the steps to get you where you envision yourself. All you need is to take one step after the other.

That’s the first week – join me!

 

Week 2 of the #Forward21 Challenge

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to create a positive habit, but I’m not sure it’s as simple as all that. Positive habits require commitment, repetition, dedication. To package it all up in 21 days seems great, so easy, do-able. And guess what? It’s a start.

Positivity begets positivity and once we start incorporating more of it into our day to day, habits can form. I always say healthy isn’t a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle, so I try to put together challenges that emphasis that. And today we start Week 2 of the #Forward21 challenge!

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Monday, January 18th – Meatless Monday. Try a new meatless meal, chock full of veggies! For inspiration, try to think of a dish you love that contains meat (chili, burgers, skewers, meatloaf) and try to make it with beans, lentils, veggies – whole food! Here are a few amazing recipes I’ve tried for those meaty favorites, sans the meat:

Mushroom Stroganoff
Lentil Loaf
Crispy Orange Cauliflower

I’m going to try a new recipe & will be sure to post a video! What will you make? Post pictures, tag #Forward21!!!

Tuesday, January 19th – Take it to the mat Tuesday. Today, find time to take your troubles, your stress, your thoughts, your anxiety, to your mat. Yoga has such an amazing way of allowing yourself to melt,, going back to your breathe and simply being. Better circulation, released waste from exhaling, increased flexibility, tension and stress release are all major benefits from rolling out your mat and spending time on your health. I’m going to be doing a Yogaglo class!

Wednesday, January 20th – Workout Wednesday. Sometimes you just have to sweat it out! When we work out, endorphins are released along with a feeling of euphoria. Plus, working up a sweat, working the muscles in our body keeps our heart healthy and our weight down. Try heading outside for a jog, lifting some weights, or a circuit workout (50 jumping jacks, 50 lunges, 50 situps, 50 squats, then do it again!)

Thursday, January 21st – Thankful Thursday.

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

When is the last time you sat and gave thanks to exactly where you are? To give thanks to all you have, instead of thinking of all you want? Today, write a list of things you’re thankful for in your life. Give tribute to the abundance that surrounds you. Take notice of the simple things and suddenly gratitude fills you. When you have your list, tape it to your fridge or somewhere you will see it regularly. Remember to live with a thankful heart.

Friday, January 22nd – Feel Good Friday. It’s the end of the week, you have two days off (hopefully!) and it’s time to take that Friday feeling to the next level. Today, do the things that make your body sing, that make you feel alive, that allow you to shine. Start your day off with a wholesome breakfast, full of vitamins (a smoothie, avocado toast, chia pudding, or overnight oats). Keep positive thoughts in the forefront of all you do today, creating a positive vibe that follows you wherever you go. Avoid negativity at all costs, excusing yourself from cranky co-workers, changing the subject to uplifting thoughts with a pessimistic friend or family member and focus on your good qualities, instead of negative talk. What makes you feel good? Don’t be shy, ride that good feeling!

Saturday, January 23rd – Sample Saturday. It can be difficult to dive into something new with both feet. That being said, fear of new should never stop you from trying something and variety is the spice of life! Today is dedicated for sampling something you’ve wanted to try. Sample a zoomba or hot yoga class, try a new recipe with an ingredient you’ve never cooked or baked with, or sample a new activity with your family or friends. Sky’s the limit – what will you sample today?

Sunday, January 24th – Sunday Funday. Today’s meal prep day! I usually set aside a few hours to plan a few meals, grocery shop, then cook them. When the week gets hectic, with work, chores, errands to run, kids to cart around. A healthy, simple dinner may be the last thing on your mind (and who has the time!). Try picking out 2 recipes and prepping some vegetables to use throughout the week. Here are some posts about a few meals that keep well in the fridge or freezer: Weeknight Meals & Soups galore.

Share how your week is going on Facebook Group, follow me on Instagram for daily updates and be sure to let me know how you’re doing with the challenge!

Happy Forward21!