Congratulations! You’ve completed your first (or second, or third, or tenth) Hike It Baby 30 challenge! Perhaps you made it to the 30 mile mark, perhaps you achieved your own ambitious mileage goal, or maybe you simply got outside more often than usual. Regardless of the number of miles you logged this month, kudos to you for intentionally making the time to go outside with your little ones.
I’ve read one motivating comment after another about how many people were surprised at the distance they could cover when they traded driving for walking and how this particular challenge has changed the way they live day to day. It has been fun watching others discover new places around them through the photos they’ve shared in the challenge group on Facebook. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from those who live closer to me and have found a handful of new favorite parks and hikes in my neck of the woods. The support, encouragement, and enthusiasm during this challenge, both online and in real life, has been incredible.
So, now what?
If you’re like me, completing the Hike It Baby 30 lit a fire to continue with the habits I created during the challenge month. Without the drive that naturally comes from participating in an organized challenge, how do you keep up the Hike It Baby momentum?
If a tangible mileage goal motivates you to keep moving, set a personal goal for the month. Ask supportive family and friends to help hold you accountable or even join you in your effort. Log your miles, just like you did during the Hike It Baby 30, and watch them add up.
Join your local Hike It Baby branch or start your own. Commit to participating in a group event regularly. Not only will you meet other outdoor-loving families and discover new places close to home, the group setting will help hold you to your commitment.
Invite your family and friends to meet you for hikes in your local parks or for walks around town. Return to places you’ve visited with your Hike It Baby branch with other people, or use the events you missed as a jumping off point when planning outings of your own.
Brainstorm ways you can trade driving for walking in your day to day life. Can you walk to pick up your older kids from school? Is it possible to walk to the store instead of hopping in the car for smaller grocery trips? Are there local parks or outdoor spaces within reasonable walking distance of your home you can head to when the kids need to get their extra wiggles out?
Make a habit of going for a short family walk after dinner. Not only will this guarantee you get outside at least once per day if all else fails, the cool and quiet will help you unwind and set a calm tone for the rest of the evening.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can continue to make spending time outdoors a priority in your life. How do you plan to keep up your Hike It Baby challenge momentum? Share your plans in the comments!
Jessie Emslie writes from her home at the foot of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, her son, and her dog and cat. She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her newest little adventurer in February. She is happiest exploring the outdoors with her toddler on her back, her husband by her side, and her camera in hand. Jessie documents her everyday adventures on Instagram and her blog, See Luke Go, where she shares stories, tips, and guides to inspire other young families to go outside and explore the world together.