Motivation is one of a few key ingredients for success. I stay motivated by having goals to train for and think about. Additionally, I try to plan some short weekend trips as well as a couple larger road trips. These are at the core of what motivates me to stay active because in order to be successful on the road, I must be prepare during the spring and summer. I think of my trips as “final exams” where I put together months of hard work and enjoy some of the premier climbing destinations and routes in the world. Once I’ve worked hard, I can truly savor each climb and know that I’ve prepared myself to the best of my ability.
Thinking more locally, I always have a “project” that I am working on. In non-climber terms, this means that there is a really hard route that I am figuring out the moves on and working towards climbing it with no falls-that could happen the next week or the next year. Whatever your recreational outlet is, set a goal that is attainable but is beyond what you’ve ever accomplished before. You must also believe in yourself and your ability to attain levels that you’ve never thought were possible.
My advice to anyone that is looking to stay active outdoors is to find an outdoor sport or hobby that brings you joy, satisfaction, and meaning. Getting “burnt out” out happens all too often because people do not love what they are doing. If you do not love running, don’t run. Instead, walk, play soccer, bike,….the list goes on. Try many different activities until you find the one or two that really seems to fit you, your family, and your lifestyle. At the end of the day, you should feel like you spent your time doing exactly what you wanted to do.
Find some people to be active with. One of the most enjoyable parts of climbing or skiing for me is the fantastic company that I get to do those activities with. Lastly, keep a journal where you write down the date, what you did, length of time, and any other short notes you want. I’ve found the key to keeping a training log that you actually use is to keep entries really short. That way, you are more likely to continue using your training journal if it does not require much time to maintain it. This written record of activity is a good visual reminder of how many days you’ve been active in a week. It can be a reminder that you are working hard and where you want to be or a reminder that you need to get outdoors more and get some physical activity.