One of the easiest ways for me to find balance within my mind, body, and spirit is to step outside. Whether it’s a walk on the farm or spending time in the fresh mountain air; I find peace within when I engage all my senses, breathe in deep, and move my body. I want to instill these kinds of habits and intentions with my daughter, Anna-Lucia. I want to teach her to listen to all aspects of her being, so she always knows what she needs.
At the beginning of the year I started a goal of intentionally spending 1,000 hours outside with Anna. At first this seemed like a bigger goal than I could reach until I set the number to something more reachable daily. If we spent a little over 2.5 hours outside every day, by the end of the year we will reach our goal of 1,000 hours. Even though framing my goal in this way helped to make it seem more reachable, I didn’t anticipate the winter weather, even here in the desert. January was colder and wetter this year than it has been in the past. So, I had to get creative with our goal. On top of exploring our environment here at home, we go to the library for story time, we go to mommy and me tumbling class and we go to the open gym for toddlers; I count all these activities as outside time for us. It gets us out of the house, we move our body, and we’re intentionally spending time together. On nice days, we’ll even stop at the park for a bonus hour.
Following my daughter around has giving me an opportunity to really see who she is becoming. Anna is resilient. She will fall, she’ll skin her knee, she’ll cry and get mad that she’s hurt; but we practice taking big breaths and she’s ready to run again. Anna is brave. She chooses the paths we walk together. Anna is curious. She’ll follow the same walking paths for awhile and then she sees a new tree or a new dirt hill and now she has forged a new path.
In January I counted 26 hours towards our goal. This is less than half of our monthly goal. It could have been easy to give up and just not worry about how much time we’re spending outside together. But I have learned so much already and I’m not giving up! I know we’ll make up hours along the way.
Here are some of my favorite snapshots of our time outside together in January.
Follow along our journey as we reach our goal of 1,000 hours outside in 2023.
What adventures awaits us?