Resolutions have a tendency towards the negative. We make up these rules that we're going to stop certain habits, cut back on things, consume less. Here's a better idea: change that "less" into "more." Go for more walks, make time for more adventures, put a little more mud on your boots. Explore new places, try something you haven't done before — just do more, be more, make more.
It's one of the easiest things you can do this year. Spending more time outdoors isn't always about epic adventures that require months of planning or weeks of time off from work. You don't need a huge gear closet or extensive knowledge about the backcountry. Frankly, you don't even need to leave your neighborhood.
I challenge you to resolve to just go outside.
If the sun is shining, you ought to be out enjoying it. Make your cup of coffee in the morning, and drink it out on the front porch. Need to unwind after a long day of work? Refresh yourself with a stroll around a local park, or take your dog on a walk through the neighborhood. Instead of doing your evening yoga in your living room, relocate to the backyard and breathe some fresh air while you practice downward dog.
Admittedly, with the thrill of doing more just outside your front door, you'll start feeling an itch for something bigger. So this year, resolve to use every single one of your vacation days. That trip you've been dreaming about for the better part of a decade? Take it. If there's a picture of a grand mountain peak hanging over your office desk, but you've never touched foot on its soil, make this the year that you replace that framed image with a photo that you took while you were there.
Just do it. Stop making excuses, stop holding yourself back, and don't for a minute dare to compare your adventures to anyone else's. So what if you can't afford a plane ticket overseas to bag a legendary peak? Focus on what you can do — and do it.
One of the most frustrating things I've heard during my yearlong road trip is, "Man, I wish I could do what you're doing." I'm not special, I don't have a magical bank account, and I'm certainly no more of an adventurer than anyone else I meet. I made my adventures my own. I just did it. I wanted to go, so I went. Sometimes, my destination is a place I've only heard of in climbing magazines — sometimes, it's a hammock stretched between two trees outside of my local rock gym.
The point is: I just go. I want to spend more time outside, so I do. And if I can do it, you can too.
-Katie Boué is a southeastern climber who documents her travels, photography, and outdoor lifestyle on The Morning Fresh — including a yearlong road trip spent living in a big yellow van to explore America's greatest climbing destinations and National Parks. You can follow her adventures through her blog, or on Twitter via @TheMorningFresh.