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??

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Forward21 – 21 Days of Health, Happiness & Commitment

Keep Moving Forward

It’s only days into the New Year and I’ve been balancing between over-indulgence and wellness. There’s been quite a few brewery visits, rich meals eaten out, and more beers. On the other hand, I’ve spent time out in nature, hiking, and have been to a wellness retreat at my local Yoga Studio which has revived my wellness spirit and helped to inspire my new 21 day challenge.

#Forward21

I’m not much of a new year’s resolution person, although I do like to set goals for myself. Having small, attainable goals on a daily basis has really worked well for me and has helped me feel and be, productive.  Setting my mind on positive intentions on a daily basis goes hand in hand with this productivity and goes straight to the core of my well-being. If I’m focused on a few things I know will propel me forward (no matter how big or small) I’m already having a good day. That’s why I wanted to construct a 21 day challenge that invites others to join me!

Starting January 11th, I’m kicking off #Forward21, a 21 day challenge to keep my goals in check, keep me moving forward, and keep my mind and body healthy and happy.

Each day will have a theme – something specific, yet attainable to focus on – that incorporates a positive, healthy goal. To be the best version of yourself (shout out to Rick Roll for giving me that message) don’t discount the work you need to put into getting where you want to be. It starts with a small step forward, so join me to become healthier, more focused and more dedicated to Your Happy! By inviting a community, there’s support, accountability, a network of like-minded individuals all moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling way of life.

Here’s how the first week of #Forward21 breaks down:

Monday, January 11th – Meatless Monday. Try a new meatless dish packed with veggies. Incorporating more whole, fresh, meatless foods has incredible health and environmental benefits. Your body will thrive with less processed food.

Tuesday, January 12th – Treat Yourself Tuesday. Today is about pursuing something that you may feel you don’t have time for, for putting yourself first, for investing in yourself. Go get a pedicure, so you can stand strong for yourself and your family. Head to the lake for a leisurely walk by yourself and spend time with an amazing person. Grab a good book you’ve been meaning to make time for.

Wednesday, January 13th – Workout Wednesday. Today, get your endorphins raging! Head to the gym, get on your Yoga mat, grab your sneakers and hit the pavement. Appreciate your body in motion!

Thursday, January 14th – Thoughtful Thursday. Living by forward motion for me means thinking beyond myself. Reach out to someone in need, open a door for someone who’s struggling, write your grandma a letter. By thinking of others, your world opens up and you invite grateful.

Friday, January 15th – Fit Friday. Whip yourself into shape today! That could mean upping your miles on the treadmill, trying that boot camp, or eating really clean all day. Be fit, mindful of your body and push yourself!

Saturday, January 16th – Soak up the Sun Saturday. Get outside today! Yes, it’s winter, yes it’s cold (or maybe it’s warm where you live!) but making time for nature, for fresh air, unplugging from technology has true benefit. Make sure you make time for it.

Sunday, January 17th – Sunday Funday. I usually have my meal-prep planned for Sunday’s so I crank up the tunes or put on a movie and spend my day in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals to set me up for the week. Make time for your health and healthy eating!

Whether it’s a Meatless Monday, a Workout Wednesday, or a Fit Friday….join me on this 21 day journey! I’ll post the breakdown for the week of January 18th in the next few days.

Follow me on Instagram for daily updates & use the hashtag #Forward21 to share your posts with the community. Or request to join the Facebook group.

Will you join me!?

Happy Forward21!