52 Hikes Progress Report

This weekend marks the end of summer, the beginning of school, and a time I look at as a second new year so to speak. I like to re-evaluate goals I’ve set and where I stand. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to go hiking (or snowshoeing, depending on the weather) once a week making a grand total of 52 hikes for the year. Of course, life got in the way and had its own ideas but I’ve come pretty close despite the various health setbacks and horrid air quality thanks to all the wildfires everywhere.

I’m at the halfway point of 26 hikes just a little behind at 35 weeks. With the temps cooling down and the air clearing up and a few weeks of travel and extra hikes planned I think I may still make it to 52 before January. Regardless, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my health and stamina and am even down a few pounds (and hoping I can be down a few more before the holidays set in!)

I love being able to gage measurable progress even if its something relatively subjective. I’ve been doing a modified keto diet as part of the health overhaul and have been nowhere near perfect (I followed up today’s hike with a delicious serving of frozen yogurt!) But I’ve definitely been more conscientious about what I eat and how I treat my body and it’s making a difference. I still have more I’d like to do but the progress is there and that encourages me to keep trying.

I’ve also made a conscious effort to unplug more and connect with the people around me. As a result, I’ve done more reading, crocheting, writing and improving relationships. I still spend way too much time attached to my phone but the awareness is there and that alone has made a difference. The hubs and I have also made a great effort to stick to a budget…again, no where near perfect but being able to watch the savings grow and the debt shrink even a little is such a powerful motivator!

What motivates you to stick to your goals? How do you evaluate your progress? Do you do a daily/weekly check-in? Do you set multiple goals or work on one at a time? I’d love to hear about what you’re working towards and how you’re doing. Share your experiences, successes and setbacks in the comments below!

 

Waterfall Sign

Bells Canyon Waterfall

Out and About ~ 52 Hikes Update

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you might remember my goal from the beginning of the year to go on a hike a week (or go snowshoeing if the weather doesn’t permit a hike) bringing the total to 52 hikes for the year. I ended up getting sick and falling a little behind my goal but I have been slowly making strides to catch up and wanted to share a few of my favorites up to this point.

We had a few weeks of unseasonably warm weather this winter so when we would normally have been snowshoeing we had plenty of sunshine and dry ground and we tried to take advantage of it when we could. In February the hubs and I drove to the south end of the valley to explore the canyons there. Starting at the Orson Smith Park trail head we took the nearly 2 1/2 mile loop to the Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge. It’s a relatively easy climb (you could definitely tackle it with kids) and the bridge is a fun little surprise along the way. (We’ve since been back and the gulch below was brimming with greenery, the hillsides covered with flowers thanks to the spring runoff.)

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge

We also tried the Dimple Dell Trail which winds its way right through the heart of Sandy/Draper cities. It’s got various trail outlets along the way in neighborhoods, behind schools and adjacent to shopping districts. We saw a sign and decided to pull over and give it a try rather than continue driving another 10-15 minutes to get to the canyons. Again, it was an unseasonably warm February day so the scenery left a little to be desired (lots and lots of drab brown) but it was a quiet trail that you’d never guess was in a neighborhood.

Dimple Dell Trail

I’m no where near caught up to where I need to be to hit my goal but I’ve already done more hiking in the last 4 months than I did in the previous 8 so I’ll consider that a success. (We won’t talk about the bulk of my other New Year’s Resolutions…yet! 🙂 How are you doing with the goals you’ve set? Do you have any tricks that help you build habits? (The public accountability definitely helps me.) I’d love to hear about your progress. Or any hiking suggestions you may have!

52 Hikes

Rose Canyon
Rose Canyon

Hikes 1 and 2 are down for the year. Since I’m still bouncing back from a million things my lungs and legs are not working at full capacity yet these first two were closer to home and a little on the shorter side. But they’ve already started to do the trick of making me feel better mentally and physically!

For the first hike our weather was a little sketchy and the teenager was complaining so we didn’t get up too high, but it was a good start. There was a little bit of snow, a little creek, and a biting wind. For hike two we had gorgeous weather but a shorter time frame so we explored a little and got our heart rates up. There was a lot of mud but a fun suspension bridge.

One of the greatest things about living in Utah is the access to the mountains. And I definitely don’t use them as often as I should. I’m excited to explore a little more this year and find some new favorite corners of this great state. Tell me, where do you call home? Where are your favorite outdoor spaces? Where do you like to explore?

Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge
Bear Canyon Suspension Bridge

New Year, New Adventures

 

Snow Shadows

I love New Year’s. I love the idea of a fresh start, a time to re-evaluate and re-focus on where you want your life to head. I’ve always been a goal maker and list maker for as long as I can remember and the fact that my birthday rolls around near the beginning of New Year’s has always given me a greater sense of starting fresh and feeling rejuvenated than just making traditional resolutions.

I’ve got a bunch of things I’d like to work on this year including finishing a book I’ve been working on for ages (and ages!), getting my finances in order (marriage does funny things to your money :/ ), and getting back to a healthy place physically. The last few years have been rough on me physically and emotionally. I’ve moved 5 times, been unemployed more often than not, gotten married, turned 40, dealt with a bout of serious depression, lost several close loved ones and gone through a host of smaller but still trying issues. And all of that has wreaked havoc on my health. I’ve never had to worry about my weight before and it’s not taken me much to bounce back after an illness or something but that just isn’t the case anymore and it’s kind of killing me. I’ve been looking at several eating plans to get me back on track and have set several goals to push me physically. And what better way to hold myself accountable than to publish them here for all to read!

As far as the eating goes, I’m watching portions/counting calories (I’m not obsessing over it, mostly trying to become more aware instead of continuing to eat like a teenage boy), cutting carbs (no sugar, 1 serving/day of grains or starchy veggies–breads, rice, pasta, corn, potatoes), upping all the other veggies and protein. I hate the idea of ‘dieting’, I’d rather focus on eating healthy and balanced but right now I’ve got about 20 pounds to lose before I can work on maintaining. And since I’ve never really had to work on losing before I’m not sure how well that will go. So, any tips, tricks, recipes, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The exercise goals are a little easier to track. I’m working on a 30 day yoga challenge (Yoga with Adrienne is my favorite!), I want to run four 5Ks this year (one each quarter), and I plan on hiking once a week. Another one of the issues I’ve dealt with is the depression and I’ve realized that not being in nature or the mountains has added to that depression. So this one is a two-fer, it should help me get back into shape but also help stave off the depression. What’s your favorite way to get motivated to move more?

You’ll probably hear more about this year’s goals as it goes on. I’d love to hear about yours!  Share them in the comments. Happy New Year!