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An Outdoor Resolution I’m Glad I Made

New year resolutions can seem corny, no question. But I lived up to one last year, and it was a personal highlight of 2012.

So, what's your outdoor resolution for 2013? The satisfaction I enjoyed fulfilling mine last year is motivating me to motivate you as follows: Pick an outdoor goal of your own for 2013 and get after it.

My 2012 goal: Hike the Wonderland Trail, the 92-mile route that circles Mount Rainier, and do it in 5 days. It ain’t Everest, but it sounded like a decent challenge for a dedicated hiker.

wt-sign-thumbnail

I had last gone the distance in 1999, and several factors were working in my favor:

  • I stay in shape.
  • Mount Rainier National Park is about a 2-hour drive from my driveway.
  • Living close by meant I could watch for a window of good weather and try to score a last-minute permit in person at one of the park’s wilderness centers.
tw-reads-sign

It all fell into place in early September. The details (plus a slide show) are in this past REI Blog post. Note: After 2 days I changed my permit and added one more day to my itinerary. Smart move; a 6-day plan (about 15 miles per) was just right for me, and the weather and late-blooming wildflowers were as close to perfect as I may ever see.

Added bonus: The scenery was terrific, but I also had some human encounters that made the trip particularly memorable, as explained in this REI Blog post.

sunrise-trail-view

I’m still pondering a couple of options for 2013, but again it’s going to be a big hike somewhere wonderful—maybe in the North Cascades or maybe the Sierra. My imagination is already fired up by the possibilities.

So I suggest treating yourself to the same mental rush of anticipation. Come up with something good in the outdoors for 2013 and then chase it down. Got a big skiing dream? Want to try snowshoeing for the first time? Yearn to hike to a high point near your front porch? Get goin’. Planning is fun, and taking action is really rewarding.

st-andrews-lake-sunset

People smarter than me offer game plans for making goals become reality. Check out a list assembled by Forbes, 7 Strategies for Highly Effective New Year’s Resolutions. They could help. Or, as I did, flip through some maps, photo books and trail guides and let your heart take charge. It worked for me, and it was all fun stuff.

What was your favorite outdoor resolution you accomplished in 2012? What do you have on tap in 2013?

All photos © 2012 T.D. Wood

Posted on at 10:00 AM

Tagged: Hiking, Mount Rainier National Park, New year's resolutions, Wonderland Trail, goals and resolutions

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Ethos Adventures

Yes! I love it! Resolutions that encourage you to get out of the routine and push your limits. Specific, achievable and inspiring is definitely the way to go!! Along the lines of trying something new for the first time, like snowshoeing, I also like to think about trying something new every month or every two months. You never know what you might find you have a passion for!

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