By: Alyssa Miele

For years I tried to make a huge list of New Year’s Resolutions. I’d sit down a few days before the apple dropped, conjure up a list of 10 to 20 items, as excited as every prior year. Waking up on January 1, I’d feel ready to take on the new year, keep my resolutions, and accomplish waaaay more than the year before. But then something would come up—a birthday party, where I wanted to eat the cake my resolution restricted. Or I couldn’t find the perfect book to read, so I’d think, “How am I going to meet my ‘read 20 books’ resolution if I can’t find ONE book to read?!’”

Then I found it. The. Perfect. Resolution. Get outside more. Simple, yet beneficial. Nothing over-the-top, but still something a lot of people struggle with. I’ve made it my top resolution for the past two years, and it’ll stay at the top of the list for 2019—I can always improve. Here’s why it should be your top resolution, too.

The best thing about making getting outside your #1 resolution is that you can mix in all your other resolutions. Want to work out more? Take a hike or bike ride! Want to eat healthier? Visit your local outdoor farmer’s market for local fresh fruits, veggies, and more. Want to spend more time with your family? Take a walk around the neighborhood with them. The point is, while working toward the resolution to venture outdoors more, you can multitask by adding another resolution to the mix. Talk about productivity! Try it with any of your resolutions—they can all be done in the fresh, outdoor air!

January 2017. One of my 2017 resolutions was to explore Arizona while I lived there. I was living about an hour from The Grand Canyon, so what better way to get outside AND see Arizona than to visit the big hole in the ground? (disclaimer: it’s NOT just a hole. It’s beautiful. Like, happy-cry beautiful.)

Another thing that makes getting outdoors the most important of your resolutions is there’s no downside to it. Some other resolutions require you to give something up in place of the resolution. Think of the top two resolutions made every year: 1. eat healthier, and 2. get more exercise. By eating healthier, you may be giving up cookies and pizza, which you love. Getting more exercise, although wonderful, ultimately cuts into your Netflix time. But what are you losing by venturing outdoors more? The only thing I can think that you’d be giving up is the smell of the stale, recycled air coming through the vents in your house. Most would not consider that a loss.

Getting outside doesn’t necessarily mean doing something physical. My friend Samantha and I were antsy from spending so much time in the library during finals week, we decided to get out and take some pictures up at Arizona Snowbowl.

The final reason I’ll address is venturing outdoors doesn’t cost muchThings like hiking or spending time at a park cost a whole $0. If anything, all you’ll be paying for is a new pair of hiking boots or kayak rentals—a small price to pay for a ton of outdoor fun, and even those things cost less than your average gym membership. 

Sedona, Arizona (May 2018) Total cost for this outdoor adventure: $20 for parking, split between my three friends and me. Not too shabby, if you ask me.

See, it’s simple. Just spend more time outside. You can mix it in with your other resolutions, there’s nothing to lose, and there’s little to no cost. Join me and make venturing outdoors more your top resolution for 2019.