Tag Archives: goals

For 2022, set the goal that’s right for you

Now’s typically the time we start thinking about goals for the year ahead. We all do it. By and large, it’s a good thing. By and large, because we get locked into a way of thinking that doesn’t always reflect what our true goals are.

For instance, when we think of goals we tend to think in terms of physical goals. New Years goals over the years have come to be associated with our health, specifically with weight loss. So while our stated goal may not be to lose 35 pounds by swimsuit season by hiking, that may well be our underlying motivator. “I’m going to hike twice a week,” or I’m going to hike 20 miles a week,” may not be overtly about weight loss, but that might well be the underlying factor. The problem? Having such a metric-driven goal may diminish the joy you get out of hiking. Rather than looking for 5-mile hike with lots of scenic stops for a given Saturday, you may opt instead for a longer hike where you’ll burn more calories. Eventually, it becomes like going to the gym. And we all know how successful that New Year’s goal generally is. read more

Your goal: Make 2019 a year to remember

On Tuesday’s GetHiking! New Year’s Day hike, I was struck by how many of the hikers had hiking goals—ambitious ones—for 2019. Vaughn committed to five backpack trips in the first half of the year, and Linda was good for at least three. Deb was booked for an adventure in South Africa, and was planning to visit New Zealand. One hiker planned to complete a section hike of the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail.

New Year’s Day is filled with hope, and these folks had already taken a first step toward  seeing that hope become reality. Their secret? They’ve made it a habit over the past several years to make plans early, so they didn’t wind up on December 31 thinking, “Where did the year go?”

For a variety of reasons, not all of us excel at planning ahead. Sometimes, we simply don’t know where to start to plan an adventure. Sometimes, we hesitate because we aren’t sure we’re up for the challenge, and sometimes we pick a challenge that may not be realistic, at least in the way we envision tackling it. Sometimes, we aren’t even sure what it is we want to do. Here are four thoughts on how to make 2019 a year to remember:  

  • What’s realistic? You say you want to spend 50 nights in a tent, but is that feasible? What about your other obligations, your family, for instance? Do you have enough time off from work to get 50 nights in? You can quickly derail a goal by setting it, realizing it’s not possible, then abandoning it altogether. Better to set realistic, but still ambitious, expectations. Start with, say, one night a month in a tent.
  • Where do I want to go? Let’s say one of your goals is to take a weeklong backpack trip. Here are some questions to ask: Where do you want to go? Do you want to go alone? Would you like to go with locals familiar with the area? What season is best? And what specific gear will you need for where you’re going?
  • I want to experience “the best.” Maybe you want to hike the best trails in the state. So, er, what are the best trails? And by “best” do you mean trails with the best views? The best waterfalls? The best old growth forest? Try to define what’s most appealing to you to find your personal best.
  • How do I prepare? Here’s a popular goal: Climbing a fourteener—that is, a peak that tops out at 14,000 feet or above (there are 54 in Colorado, prime country for achieving this goal). So ask: Where can I find trails around here that will prepare me for the elevation gains I’ll face? What about the altitude issue — how do I prepare for that? And what’s a good fourteener to start with?
  • read more

    The One Thing

    “The one thing,” Curly tells Mitch, displaying his black-gloved index finger. “Just one thing.”

    “That’s great,” says Mitch. “But what’s the one thing?”

    “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.”

    The mystery of  “the one thing” is what drove “City Slickers,” the 1991 comedy about three New Yorkers taking a dude ranch vacation to find the answer to life’s most persistent question: What is the meaning of life?

    The answer is no mystery. It’s really pretty obvious. The meaning of life?

    Be happy.

    Last week, we shared a week’s worth of tips for living healthier in 2017. We offered specific tips (eat smart, eat simple), we offered philosophical tips (don’t just set a goal, set the right goal), we offered direction (in the form of First Day hikes to help you get your year off to an active start). But it all starts with being happy, because if the path you choose doesn’t make you happy, you won’t be on that path for long. Contrary to puritan ethics, happiness is not a demonic indulgence. It is the key to survival.

    If you truly aim to be healthier in 2017, let happiness be your guide. There are a surprising number of ways to eat healthy and happy. Eat simple foods, sure, but indulge every once in a while. Experiment. As our blossoming awareness of food allergies attests, different foods work for different people. A happy body will let you know the diet you need to embrace. Listen.

    The same with movement. The reason so many workout resolutions fail so quickly (most fizzle by the third week of January) is that they feel like just that, work. Being active is about so much more than sweating and losing weight: the physical benefits are important, but so are the mental benefits of a mind freed by movement (a mind that’s not so free when it’s focused on pain). One of the reasons we avidly promote hiking through our GetHiking! program is that even when a hike does feel like work, that work is often leading to a worthwhile goal: a mountaintop vista, a waterfall, an old-growth forest. Even then, the distractions of the woods — the solitude, the quiet — free your mind to go where it rarely gets the chance.

    So if the cottage cheese diet is fulfilling, go for it. If working the Abdominizer puts a smile on your face, good for you. For you, those are the smart choices.

    And the happy ones, too.


    If you missed them, here are last week’s posts for a healthier 2017: