The New Year is time to set new goals and dream out new adventures. It's an opportunity to ask yourself what you've been wanting to do and set up a plan so you will actually do it. While New Year resolutions don't always revolve around the outdoors, we think creating specific ones to get you doing what you love most makes for a fun year. We asked our Outbounders about their New Year resolutions and here’s what they said.
What makes a good outdoor goal? What do you try and avoid when goal-setting specific to the outdoors?
Doris Wang: A good outdoor goal is when you do not set your expectations too high where it is not feasible to meet that goal. You set your bar just high enough, to push yourself a little bit out of your comfort zone, so that when you do meet your outdoor goal, you feel accomplished. Do not set yourself up for failure by setting your expectations too high.
Callie Stadler: When creating new outdoor goals I try to think of things that will challenge me, but will also be attainable. One thing that I try to avoid when goal-setting is being too vague. I like to create goals that I can measure on a weekly or monthly basis, that way I can track my progress!
Rafa Godoi: A good outdoor goal is without a shadow of a doubt “the destination”. Once you find a great destination, it is just a matter of getting prepared and making the most out of the journey. When I set an outdoor goal, I always try to avoid bad weather. It not only jeopardizes the adventure, but also makes it not pleasant.
Allison Waken: To me, a good outdoor goal involves learning or doing something new and just having fun. The only thing I try to avoid is crowded places (popular hiking trails on Saturday etc) and unattainable goals.
Ryan Read: I think choosing a place that is in your own neck of the woods (pun intended) is a good goal to have at the beginning of the new year because it's attainable. You will actually go and you won’t have any reason to come up with all the excuses in the world.
What outdoors New Year resolutions do you have? Why these resolutions, this year?
Doris Wang: My New Year resolution is to become a better skier, so that I can ski in all kinds of terrain in the backcountry. I would love to bring my backpacking gear out with me on skis and snow camp at least once this winter. I am taking an AIARE course in January and feel like I will be better educated in avalanche safety and know how far to push my own limits.
Callie Stadler: One of my outdoors New Year resolutions is to try to be more present in the moment. This resolution definitely stems from having so many unknowns and uncertainties this year. I constantly find myself looking forward to what's ahead and hoping next month, or next year will be better, when I should really be focusing on the here and now. I am very thankful that I still have access to the outdoors during this time and I truly want to be more present in the moment and to enjoy life on a daily basis!
Rafa Godoi: To be honest, I have not thought about any outdoors resolutions yet. Now that you brought it up, I might be considering more long distance bike riding and going with the flow.
Allison Waken: I actually haven't made any for this year yet. Mine usually include trying to get out more each year.
Ryan Read: Get outside more. This is always a goal of mine and it never happens enough. Being in the outdoors energizes me. It connects me with my home. It creates thought and brings out creativity in me that has a long last to it.
Outdoor adventure can include backyard barbecues, or at-home firepit sessions (COVID-conscious, of course). Do you have any goals for the backyard or close to home?
Doris Wang: We have a fire pit in our backyard we have only used once. Would love to use it more often!
Callie Stadler: Getting outside in your own backyard is often the most rewarding adventure. A goal of mine is to discover something new close to where I live. I feel like I have a tendency to take for granted what surrounds me every day and often feel the need to travel far or plan big, extravagant trips. I think this is especially important this year in the midst of a pandemic. There is so much to see and explore in this world, so why not start in your own backyard?
Rafa Godoi: Living in the heart of a concrete jungle (Downtown Seattle), the backyard BBQ is just a dream. The other option was the rooftop, but all are closed due COVID. That being said, my best bet are some parks around the city, following the new normal regulations. Better yet, may be driving nearby in some secluded areas, unloading the packed cooler, setting up the chairs, grilling, and enjoying the day chilling.
Allison Waken: I am lucky enough to live near several hiking trails so I'd love to get out and hike more. As far as the backyard, we have plans to fix up the landscaping and we are definitely including a great space to sit around the fire.
Ryan Read: I always have a goal of inviting friends over for a good BBQ. It is the perfect way to stay in touch with friends and to stay engaged in your community of friends. I always look forward to spring’s first outdoor hang session.
What concrete steps are you planning to take to make your goals happen? Any big hurdles you anticipate?
Doris Wang: I am enrolled in an AIARE 1 Avalanche Safety course in January. I plan to ski as much as I can this winter. Biggest hurdle would be weather permitting it.
Callie Stadler: I think a big part of making your goals happen is to write them down and create them to be measurable. I like to create a plan where I can measure my progress on a weekly basis. I think the biggest hurdle that I can anticipate is just not knowing the state of the pandemic and what travel regulations will be in the coming days, and months.
Rafa Godoi: With all the uncertainties happening in these unprecedented times, planning ahead and wisely picking the right location will be the key to making a great escape to the outdoors so my goals can happen successfully and safely.
Allison Waken: Right now, I'm researching AZ state parks and trails to see which ones I haven't done and make a plan for when I can try new ones.
Ryan Read: Make a plan and put it on paper. I know for me and my lifestyle, if it's not on paper — it ain't going to happen. The hurdle is just making time for things that matter most to you. I have a goal for 2021 to say yes to the things that add to my life and no to the things that don’t. It’s that simple.
Are there any tips or tricks for folks who plan on spending more time outdoors this year?
Doris Wang: Always be prepared. Pack the 10 essentials. Bring an extra trash bag and pick up trash you see on the trail. Be mindful of others.
Callie Stadler: My tip for people who plan to spend more time outdoors this year is to go for it! There are a lot of different outdoor activities to choose from and I would encourage everyone to get out and try new things!
Rafa Godoi: I would say avoid the well known areas. Not only will you be avoiding the crowd, but also giving yourself new opportunities to discover unexplored locations and new gems along the way. Many places have been saturated by the amount of visitors. Go on your own terms and time, physically and mentally adjusting your body as you go. Having a good understanding of necessary gear is crucial for your safety and comfort.
Allison Waken: Find what YOU love in the outdoors. Ease yourself in and slowly build up your gear. Take your time finding what you love in the outdoors and finding what gear improves your time outside.
Ryan Read: The only trick is to keep it simple and to keep extending invitations. If your hiking buddy says no the first time, try asking again. Eventually they will give in. And once you have them locked in THAT’S when you make those memories that will last a lifetime.
COVID19 has made adventure look a little different in 2020. You pick up any new activities in 2020 that you plan to continue to in 2021? Have you found any outdoor pursuits that particularly help ease the pandemic blues?
Doris Wang: I have stayed more local this year. We had big travel plans to Vietnam, Taiwan, Hawaii, and many other far away places. But due to COVID19, I have mainly adventured in Washington this year, and there’s always new places to explore! I have explored so many more local trails and camping spots all within an hour or less from my house!
Callie Stadler: COVID19 has definitely made adventures look a little different this year, and has created the need for some out of the box thinking! This year my husband and I found a new passion for chasing the northern lights. We like to check the Aurora Kp index on weekends and if there is a chance they might be out, we head north in hopes we might catch a good light show!
Rafa Godoi: I certainly found myself getting into kayaking more. All of the social distance guidelines made me think about what will be the best and safest place to enjoy the outdoors. And what better than lakes and the ocean? I guess I made the right call with the paddles because what started as a COVID escape now became a new hobby, which I love more and more.
Allison Waken: We definitely kicked up our camping in 2020! We bought a rooftop tent and have added lots of new gear to make getting out further and farther away from people easier and way more fun.
Ryan Read: One new activity that I have picked up is solo trips to the Smoky Mountains. Even if I stay in my car the whole time and just drive with the windows down taking it all in, that gives me life. I plan on doing that still in 2021.
What goals are you going to make this year?
2020 was a year of many cancelled plans and having to adapt to new guidelines and restrictions in order to be safe. As we head into a new year with many of the same restrictions, it’s even more important to create New Year resolutions and goals surrounding your favorite activities. The pandemic may make it a bit more challenging to do this, but we hope our Outbounders have inspired you to believe that getting out is more than possible with a little bit of creativity and dreaming. From learning about avalanche safety, to finding new trails, to taking more scenic drives, the opportunities to explore in 2021 are endless. We encourage you to create a few and leave us comment below letting us know what you plan to accomplish!
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