The challenge: Spend 30 minutes outside every day.
The results: 90% success rate (27 of 30 days)
As I started off the month, I was reaching for something that I couldn’t quite define. I started this challenge because of two influential books: Lost Connections & The Nature Fix. These two books inspired me to find a long-term, sustainable solution for my mental & physical health. The theory I had was that spending more time outside & on walks was a missing part of my life, and by prioritizing it, I would achieve the health and joy I was seeking.
- Day 1: Starting with a clear objective & lots of energy.
- Day 2: Taking my leash-aggressive dog on a walk, with good success.
- Day 3: Making space to be as close to nature as possible.
- Day 4: Sitting under the bright sun, in silence, thinking.
- Day 5: Wandering the streets of downtown Austin with coffee in hand.
- Day 6: Feeling on the edge of burnout and deciding to take a nap.
The burnout I felt coming hit me hard during these days. A depression fell over me & I slogged through work and life with great effort. But on the last day, the rain and depression departed. It was a stark, glorious contrast to the days before.
- Day 7: Going on a walk, to get out of my own head.
- Day 8: Reconnecting with people I love & reconnecting with myself.
- Day 9: Choosing to come home, throw on my shoes, and workout and sweat. And be strong.
- Day 10: Doing something a little different & cleaning my car for 20 minutes.
- Day 11: Going on a walk before settling into an evening of relaxing
- Day 12: Experiencing the freedom after a week-long depression was lifted.
I settled into a routine during these weeks. I napped, took advantage of the freedom I have at work, and just dedicated myself to the challenge. This was a turning point of the month & was a true testament to why you should see things through to the end.
- Day 13: Missed day. Staying inside to nap, because I was hungover. It was a great decision.
- Day 14: Spending 30 minutes, alone, away from a screen, reading Buddhist philosophy.
- Day 15: Learning to work with what you have.
- Day 16: Finding a routine that revived my spirit & allowed me to find balance.
- Day 17: Leaning into my favorite things & the routine I made for myself.
- Day 18: Dedication myself to my challenge & nothing more.
These days were full of fun and adventure. Walks, volunteering, visiting family in New Braunfels. Toward the end, my step kids came for the summer, which gave us even more of an excuse to spend time outside.
- Day 19: Telling myself: Stop what you’re doing & just go on a walk.
- Day 20: Repeating habits to unlock magic: Work. Home. Walk. Journal. Eat. Sleep.
- Day 21: Taking advantage of flexibility at work & going on lunchtime walks.
- Day 22: Volunteering at the Community First! Village.
- Day 23: Missed day. Preparing the house for my step kids.
- Day 24: Driving the gas-powered John Deere cart & making Woodford chase us.
The month finished with a long weekend in New Braunfels with the family. We spent basically all day outside the whole weekend, and it was amazing. Coming back to work, I felt energized and empowered.
- Day 25: Basically outside all day long & it was a glorious start to summer!
- Day 26 & 27: Spending Memorial Day weekend in New Braunfels with a ton of family.
- Day 28: Finding the third option.
- Day 29: Immediately putting on my shoes when I got home from work & going on a walk.
- Day 30: Missed day. Spending time after work hanging with my man & his kids.
I loved this challenge. It brought the best out of me in a time where I felt the worst coming to the surface. As day 30 rolled around, I was satisfied with my results. I achieved what I’d set out to do. And so much more.