3 tips to Create Adventure Goals You Can Actually Achieve

This year is flying!  Now that we're more than halfway through the year, I've been taking time to assess my goals.  I'm right on track with some of them.  For others... not so much.  What about you?  Are you out there crushing your adventure goals?  If so, more power to you!!  If not, let's get our heads together and conquer these 3 tips I use to keep myself on track with my adventure goals:

1.) plan your adventures out in advance

...even if that means "the week of".

At the beginning of the month, I set aside a chunk of time to map out the adventures I plan on doing each weekend.  The adventures might range from long day hikes, short hikes, camping, backpacking, etc depending on what I'm training for.  When my crazy work we has come to an end, I'm not scrambling to figure out which activity to do that weekend since I've already got it planned out!

Of course things come up, plans change, etc.  If that's the case, I'll re-assess my plans mid-week and shift them if I need to.  No biggie.  Your plans are not carved in stone.  But at least planning ahead gives me something to look forward to each weekend; which in turn gets me pumped for the week!

Right now my fiancee and I are training for the John Muir Trail, so we're tackling the 6 Peak Challenge in Southern California.  Each weekend, I've got something planned that helps us train for the JMT: one of the 6 peaks, a backpacking overnight, or a short hike if it's a busy weekend.

Even if you're not actively training for something specific OR you just want to get out and explore, it's great to plan your adventures out at the beginning of the month so that you don't waste time doing research on the day-of.  

Think of it like Netflix: whenever you want to watch something, you spend so much time searching through what's available instead of actually watching something.  Adventuring is the same way: create a calendar "queue" to bypass the searching phase.

2.) Check in with yourself at the end of each month

At the end of each month, assess yourself: how did you do?  Did you over-plan?  Did you under-plan?  Did you do all or some of the adventures you intended to do?  Were you too ambitious with your schedule?  Or were your plans just right?

Take mental notes or jot things down in a journal on what you want to change, improve on, or keep the same.  Utilize those notes when creating a schedule for the following month.

3.) Show yourself some grace

Don't beat yourself up if you fail to keep up with your plans.  Try to learn from it instead.  Before setting any goals or plans, think:

  1. Is this plan something I believe I can truly accomplish?
  2. Am I making this schedule difficult enough, but realistic?
  3. Am I making this schedule too difficult based on my work-load and demands in life? - realistically assess how much time you want to allot to your adventures.

Remember, you're not Superman.  Don't have tremendous expectations of yourself.  Start out adventuring once a week, once a month, or whatever you think you can realistically tackle in the beginning.  Then work yourself up in increments each month.  Don't set yourself up for failure - you want to be your own teammate.  Keep your schedule realistic and show yourself love & compassion when you don't meet your expectations.  We all have to start somewhere and do our best!

What are some ways you hold yourself accountable when creating adventure goals?