Ah, now we have a problem. My homework is piling up. The car needs tuned. The laundry is starting to smell, and the house is wreck. Work called and that project still needs to be finished. The worst part? All I can think of is that amazing new trial I found down by the gorge. I’ll never get out there…
Life can get busy. Be it work, school, errands, or just keeping the family in one piece, life can get a little carried away. Sure, life can get a little cramped with things that interfere with going out and having a good time, but that doesn’t mean that is has to be that way. Having in the past few years started back in college, finding a way to get outdoors is sometimes like navigating in a blizzard in the dark of the night. Here are some tips to make sure you get out more, and actually enjoy that time not worrying about those errands you neglected.
1. Step one. Plan!
This sounds simple and logical, but often enough having a simple idea in mind isn’t enough. Take the time to set a date, at least a week in advance. Mark it on a calender,it’s official! Make sure you know when you’re leaving and where you’re going. This in itself will set a goal. Giving a weeks notice allows you enough time to sort out the daily gruff that needs to be done beforehand. Contact your friend, and make sure they know when you are wanting to go. Make them agree to go or not go. This way you know who you can bank on being there. This often adds drive to complete your tasks on time; knowing others are depending on you.
2. Plan some more!
O.k. I’m not getting redundant here. Just because you have the trip set, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Take a few moments to sit down and write out a list of everything that needs to be done before the weekend(or whatever day you have in mind) so you can have the entire day, or even weekend set aside for some fun. Yeah, that’s extra work, but nothing cramps a trip like last minute errands that you forgot to do right before heading out, or realizing you have to rush back to get that paper submitted by midnight halfway down the trail. Try a planner. This way you can have everything laid out before you. No surprises!
3. Call up the crew.
Contact your friend, and make sure they know when and where you are wanting to go. Ask them to plan ahead and set the time aside. This way you know who you can bank on being there. Some trips rely on having others there be it for safety or just general companionship. Having this commitment set up with others adds drive to complete your tasks on time; knowing others are depending on you to be there.
4. Work ahead.
Pack your bags. Get your gear together. Have water, snacks, and rain gear packed in advance. Plan for any weather so nothing an slow you down. Invest in a bigger daypack if you have to.
5. Get some wiggle room.
If you can manage it, go ahead and try to do tasks that you would normally do upon your return. Get those out of the way. You never know when you may want to divert off the trail to explore that gully, or track down that rare animal who’s prints crossed your path. Having a little wiggle room after the trip can be a real help. Not only can you take your time, but if something goes wrong you will have a safety pocket of time. An extra half day is great, especially if you’re spending the night or doing long distances on a through hike. Another benefit is not having to think about the chores or work you have to do as soon as you get in. It clears the mind and allows you to enjoy yourself.
6. Don’t procrastinate.
Get started now. Have an idea for a trip? Don’t sit around and think about it. Make it happen! You’ll never get out if you don’t initiate. You can’t wait on others to plan that dream trip for you, and your schedule will never clear up if you don’t work it yourself. Make time, and make it now. A little hard work now, pays of with large dividends later.
Now get out there and enjoy yourself!
I hope this helps.