Friday, April 15, 2016

Planning to Avoid August Angst

Last August I wrote about this nagging feeling I get every August - when there are few trips on the horizon, and not enough trips / activities in the rear view mirror. So this year - I'm going to try foresight and planning to help alleviate August Angst. I have been reading here, thishere, this and the book version of here to get me inspired.

First I'll set some summer goals (and talk about my 2016 goals - 3 months into 2016!) and then layout a few options for trips/activities.

2016 Goals
I should start with my 2016 goals since they kind of play into my summer goals and they are much simpler:
  1. Do a race or an outdoor adventure every month of the year
    • Status
      • January 16, MEC Siberian Slide, 10 km run
      • February - None
      • March - March 11, Catskiing (doesn't really count, but I have nothing else)
      • April - April 9, Light it Up, 10 km run
      • May - Camping - Enchantments, Washington & Icefields Parkway
      • June - Potentially Grand Fondo Badlands
  2. Make small changes for a month and then decide on if you want to keep them
    • Status  - Massive failure, January - Get up on the first alarm - success, February and March - I have been trying to go to bed before 11pm - failure, April - Workout every weekday, we'll see!

Summer Goals
The list may seem long, but I think I'm on my way to hitting a few of them, plus it keeps my options open!
  1. Plant a garden at the lake and at home - keep it simple and just let it grow!
    This was two years ago - it will be much simpler this year!
  2. Spend 7 days at a lake, especially shoulder weekends. I'm fortunate to have access to two cabins, and I'm not sure if I'll continue to be this fortunate in the future, so I would like to take advantage of them! 
    • Plan 1: I'm having friends up for the the Canada long weekend, which will give me 3 days
    • Plan 2: I have an option to go to our cabin during the September long weekend, which I would love to take advantage of, but it's definitely dependent on work!
    • Plan 3: Spending weekends at the lake during the shoulder months is so nice - I will be up there in May to plant my garden (see goal 1), so hopefully I'll get another night at the lake then, plust it's only 1.75 hours away, so even just one night is worth it!
  3. Camp in my Siesta for 10 nights
    • Plan 1: I already have a trip planned for the May long weekend to drive the Icefields Parkway, what a great time to use the trailer - the weather is still variable so having a solid shelter is much more enjoyable
  4. Overnight camp in the backcountry for 5 nights
    Who wouldn't want to spend more time in places like this?
  5. Go on 10 hikes / back country mountain bike rides
  6. Have 3 BBQs at my house 
  7. Bike over 200 km on my road bike
    One Ride Down... 
  8. Go to Waterton Lakes National Park - I have been wanting to go here since I returned to Calgary 3 years ago. And 2016 will be the Summer, or Spring (let's hope Spring!)
So this list looks daunting, but I have a few strategies to reach my goals:
  • Start early - we've been having the mildest end of our winter that many hiking trails and biking routes are already snow free - so I'm not going to delay!
  • Keep it simple - it doesn't have to be this crazy elaborate plan, it doesn't need to be a 25 km hike, the goal is just to get out - if that means hiking, biking, or just driving my Siesta to the nearest camp ground, then it all counts! 
  • Have a good planning tool - I'm slightly obsessed with excel, so I have been starting to make excels tables for easy reference. While I understand that the internet is a great source, it can be overwhelming and requires a lot of 'search time'. In having a spreadsheet at my finger tips I am able to quickly pick a locations and just 'go for it'!
  • Invite others - the best way to not sleep in on a Saturday morning is to get a group of like minded people together - if I promise to meet at the trailhead at 9am on Saturday, I will be there! (and not drink too much the night before!) 
  • Just do it - no more excuses, just get out there and try

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