This week’s goals are going to be the same every day—Go Outside!—but with a new thinking point each day.
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” – E.O. Wilson
You’ve spent a week observing, now it’s time to make some changes. Day one of get outside more: Go Outside. Write about what you did. Was it impromptu? Planned?
“When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.”- E.O. Wilson
Write about when you went outside today. Write about what you did, how you felt while outside. How do you feel when you are outside in general? Better, stressed, at peace, calm, on edge? Really pay attention to YOU and how you feel during your moments outside this week. Check in with yourself first.
Then turn your focus toward your children while outdoors. How do they feel? Tired, free, creative, high energy, timid, energetic? Write about your observations. (Optional: write about how everyone felt during each outdoor time this week).
“Man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; [the Lakota] knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.” — LUTHER STANDING BEAR (C. 1868–1939)
Write about what you did when you went outside today. Did you plan it? Was it spur of the moment? Do you prefer to use time in nature to de-stress when you’re in the middle of tense moments, or do you feel better if you plan ahead?
How do you think this preference could be worked into your outdoor goals? (i.e. If you’re a planner, making it a habit to step outside and take a deep breath first thing in the morning or scheduling in a park playtime or picnic. If you’re more spur of the moment, simply knowing you can announce “everybody outside!” when crankiness takes over).
“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” – Thomas Berry
Write about your time outside today. The when, why, where, what, who. Now think about this: what do you consider quality outdoor time? Do you feel the need to plan an “outdoor adventure” when trying to get outside more? Or do you feel the benefits of simply going into the yard are enough? Do you feel the need to be prepared?
“Many children… delight in the small and inconspicuous.” – Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder
Do you feel like you need to have an excuse or reason to go outside? (i.e. walk the dog, playdate at the park, mow the lawn, etc.) Do you make excuses to not go outside? What are some excuses you’ve made to go outside? What are some excuses you’ve made to not go outside?
“Adults forget the depths of languor into which the adolescent mind descends with ease. They are prone to undervalue the mental growth that occurs during daydreaming and aimless wandering” – E.O. Wilson
What are your favorite memories from childhood? Do those memories involve a sense of danger, take place outside, and have no grownups present?
“Why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it? More important, why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching?” – Richard Louv
How much do you show nature to your kids? How often do you look up nature topics that interest you and/or your kids? Ever been curious about how to open a coconut or how pineapples grow? Ever wanted to grow herbs or start growing vegetables, trees, or roses from a cutting? Want to know more about the moon cycles? When your kids ask about natural occurrences, foods, trees, weather, etc., do you take the time to research these topics with them? Write about it. How do you involve them while encouraging a sense of wonder?
“You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.” – E.O. Wilson