Although I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, I do welcome the opportunity to start each year with a clean slate.
I love the possibilities that a new year represents. It’s a time to dream of the way you’d like your life to look at the end of this year, then try to figure out how to get there.
The good news is, you’ve got 12 months.
Since life is merely a work in progress, there’s no need to strive for perfection. Instead of trying to make a huge change all at once, take a few baby steps throughout the year instead.
Want to spend more time outside in 2012? Here are 12 resolutions for getting outside you can actually keep. There’s one for each month, so no need to rush.
1. Keep it simple.
The simpler the activity, the more likely you will be to do it – and do it regularly. Getting outside can be as simple as playing in the dirt, going for a walk or watching a sunset. (If you need more inspiration, check out 50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard.)
2. Keep it fun.
The more fun something is, the more likely it is you’ll want to do it again, right? Enjoy the time you spend outside with your family. Seek out adventures that make you laugh and bring you joy.
3. Schedule time to get outside.
You schedule everything else in your kids’ lives; getting outside shouldn’t be any different. Got a daily or weekly to-do list? Make sure spending time outside is on it.
4. Walk more.
Walking is a simple way to connect with nature – and with each other. It’s as easy as heading out your front door. (If you're looking for a few ways to liven up your usual routine, head over to 25 ideas for turning a neighborhood walk into a nature adventure.)
5. Learn at least one new outdoor activity.
It's a great excuse to spend more time outside! Younger kids may want to learn to ride a bike, scooter or skates; older kids may enjoy skiing, geocaching or gardening. Decide together on something of interest.
6. Take a local field trip to nature once a month.
Your hometown is undoubtedly full of natural spaces just waiting to be discovered. Pick a few you’d like to see in 2012 and go.
7. Plan an outdoor adventure playdate.
No, going to the park with friends doesn’t count. Be adventurous! Invite friends to join you on a hike, picnic, beach trip or snow play outing.
8. Visit a place you’ve never been.
Think of somewhere new you’d like to explore and go. It doesn’t have to be a far off adventure; visiting a new-to-you local spot works, too.
9. Do something you’re afraid to do.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a bit. Got a brown thumb? Plant your first garden. Never tried skiing? Make this the year you do. You’ll be setting a great example for your kids.
10. Schedule a one-on-one date in nature with your kids.
Is there something your little one especially enjoys doing – maybe hunting for bugs, skipping rocks or hiking? Make a date to head outside and do it together.
11. Start (or keep) a nature journal.
Consider this a place for your child to record your adventures. The tangible memories will continue to inspire you to spend time outside in the years ahead.
12. Make time in nature part of your holiday traditions.
The holidays tend to be a whirlwind of activity. Spending time in nature helps slow things down. It’s also a great way to connect with friends and family and focus on something other than food and gifts.