What does succeeding boil down to? Clearly defined objectives, as these can guide your journey and provide you with the right kind of focus. If your new years resolution was to be healthier and more active outdoors, you should try setting hiking goals for 2017. Here are some tips on how you can set better hiking goals and create the backpacking trips of your dreams this year.
First, it’s important to avoid being too hard on yourself. If you’ve made the same hiking resolutions (spend more time outdoors!) every single year, yet found the trips to be exactly the same (non-existent!) every time, you are not alone. Ever heard of people who make New Year resolutions they can’t keep? Exactly, most of us have done it and the reason is rather simple. The problem is that we tend to set goals, but we aren’t setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. So, what are S.M.A.R.T. goals?
If you want the hiking goal to succeed, you have to define it clearly. Saying you want to hike more doesn’t mean all that much, just as being healthier isn’t really outlining anything. Instead, be specific. What does more look to you? Do you want to make a hiking trip every single weekend? Will you be satisfied if you make two big hiking trips this year – one in May and the other in October? Setting a specific goal instead of a vague one will make it easier to stay focused. You properly establish what you want to achieve and you therefore define your success.
A good goal is also measurable. You can easily find the above example goals quantifiable. First, you can measure if you hiked every weekend or not. You can also quantify, if you made the two trips or not. Furthermore, you can set a specific and measurable hiking goal by setting objectives such as hiking 150 miles or hiking at the Lizard Peninsula. Whether it is a goal you can measure in days, miles, hours, steps or laughs, ensure it can be quantified in this way.
Keep your goals realistic. Yes, it sounds awesome to hike every weekend, but if you have kids, a spouse and any kind of life outside of the outdoors, it might not be the most realistic of goals. Just as it can help to start losing weight by setting a modest goal first, you do need hiking goals to be attainable as well. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream big – you don’t want to goals to be uninspiring – but you need to be able to achieve them. For example, if you feel the goals require a bit of planning and some proper action to attain, yet they also make you feel challenged and excited, then you are in the right direction.
Is the hiking goal something you really want to achieve? Like really, really want to achieve or is it just something you think you should do? If hiking to you is about experiencing something new, then setting a goal of 150 miles might not seem like such a good idea. You don’t want the goal to leave you to go ‘meh’ at the end of it. If you want to experience new things, pick a goal of visiting a new national park such as North York Moors your goal. If you want hiking to help you get fitter, aim to walk 10,000 steps in a month. Make the goal relevant and meaningful.
Finally, your goal should have a time-bound. This means achieving a specific part of it within a certain amount of time, i.e. setting a schedule. You could set a time-bound of two months for doing your first camping trip or aiming to walk 10 miles each week. The key is to have a schedule and a completion date in mind. It keeps you more accountable to go hiking on a specific Saturday, rather than ‘sometime next month’.
Once you have a S.M.A.R.T. goal set up, you can start planning for achieving it. A few things will help make achieving the goal easier and a bit more fun. First, set mini-objectives and map out the things that’ll make your goal easier to achieve. In terms of hiking, this could mean getting your hiking gear sorted with Go Outdoors at Discounted Prices. If your equipment is in order, you are more likely to keep at your goal. Think of the other resources you need. Perhaps you need to book the holiday or sort out a dog sitter. List the resources you need and the ways to sort them out. Do the same for any problems that might come your way. Finally, keep track of your goals and how you are working towards them. Even if your hiking goal takes place in July, keep checking monthly whether you are still on the road to achieve it.
Whether it’s setting yourself a better hiking outdoor goal for 2017 or becoming a healthier or happier person, coming up with S.M.A.R.T. goals is the way to success.
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