for those who love the outdoors

22 February, 2023


Five ways to keep up those New Year resolutions

Stay active and keep the February blues at bay

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It’s estimated that nearly half of us still make at least one New Year’s resolution on the first day of January, even as we (I) grow more cynical with age. (One of my resolutions this year is to do the splits at the grand age of 44. More on that another time.)

But even the most sincere resolution can quickly become a burden as life takes over and slow progress weakens your resolve. If you’re struggling to keep motivated you don’t necessarily have to give up entirely.

Sometimes life events make it difficult or even impossible to achieve your original goal but you can do it your way. It could be a tiny tweak, it could be a complete change of direction, but it’s your goal, so take control and do what you need to do to stay galvanised.

If you aren’t enjoying your running resolution, like a couch to 5k, switch it to a mile every other day or keep Jeffing (which got me through my first marathon) as long as you need to. If you want a rest week, take one. No-one will judge you if it takes a bit longer than the ‘official’ schedule dictates. If anything, it’ll make the run that much sweeter when you hit your target distance for the first time.

If you were aiming to aerobics your way into a smaller clothes size this year, but you’re not enjoying your evening classes, do it your way. Find your own groove and get moving when the mood takes you, which may not be at 7pm every Wednesday night. Get in the garden, plug in your ear buds and have yourself a silent disco. There’s no need to keep it indoors on a fresh day and there are plenty of organised silent discos up and down the country if you don’t want to go it alone.

Did you set out to try a new sport this year? If you haven’t quite got around to joining your local tennis, badminton or netball club yet, why not try something completely different instead. Be the interesting one with your new sporting hobby. Up and coming sports include Pickleball, Padel and Disc Golf. You’ll be the smug one when it’s incorporated into the 2028 Olympic Games…

If you’re trying to get healthier through diet, get inspired with an afternoon of foraging. Countryfile has a fantastic monthly foraging calendar, to help you find your natural ingredients all year round. Be inspired by healthy foodie recipe blogs like Ambitious Kitchen, Hungry, Healthy, Happy and The Fit Foodie, who can arm you with the right snacks for your outdoors experiences.

It’s easy to take a mindfulness resolution outside into the wild. Like most people, I tended to do my breathing exercises whilst sat on my bedroom rug or in the morning sunshine behind my patio doors. But my nearest woodland walk is a mere five minutes away, and there’s a lake within walking distance, so now I make sure I find a new, quiet space to contemplate every other day. Not only do I feel invigorated from the extra fresh air, but I always look forward to opening my eyes to rediscover my surroundings as I ease back into reality.

So let’s rethink those goals.
Don’t give up.
This is your goal and yours alone so do whatever works for you.
And let Outside and Active know how you get along.

Jenny-Anne Dexter

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Jenny-Anne Dexter is a full-time life enthusiast, who likes to say yes to the abstract, the sublime and the ridiculous. A bog snorkeller, trail runner, year-round dipper and sometime cage fighter, she's open to suggestions as to her next challenge...

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