15 Practical Ways to Motivate Yourself to get Outside

Even the most die-hard outdoor enthusiasts find it hard stay motivated all the time. Everyone can use a little extra motivation sometimes! This article covers 15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside.

It happens to everyone! Sometimes we feel tired, lazy, or just plain unmotivated. We know spending time outside is good for us but just can’t seem to make it happen. Keep reading for 15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside that you can start doing today!

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside hiking buddy

1. Have an Outdoor Friend

You know that awesome outdoor friend that is so enthusiastic about all things outdoors? That makes you want to go outside non-stop? Call that person up and plan an adventure with them. This will remind you of how fun being outdoors is and why you want to do it in the first place.

Need to find one? Try out a local outdoor group to find new friends and motivation.

2. Set a Routine

Sometimes when we are trying to decide to do something or not, we do nothing. Don’t waste your decision making power on deciding if or when to go. 

Setting a routine avoids this dilemma. A routine like going hiking every Saturday and Sunday morning takes away the indecisiveness about when to go. Set up a routine that works for you!

15 ways to motivate yourself to get outside routine
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside old photos

3. Look at Your Photos of Previous Adventures

Whip out those old photos of a hiking trip our family camping weekend. Look through them and think of the great memories. This will definitely make you nostalgic and motivated to have more fun trips. I sometimes spend hours on this. It is so motivating to remember great trips!

4. Look at photos of the places you want to visit

Check out photos of a location you really want to visit. This can be very inspiring. I randomly ran across photos of Havasupai falls on Instagram and instantly started thinking about my next big outdoor trip.

If you have a big trip plan check out photos of that area. It will definitely be motivating!

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside beautiful locations
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside goals

5. Set Clear Goals

Set an outdoor goal that you will be proud of achieving. Make it simple and reasonable. Perhaps you want to section hike a long trail, hike over 50 times in one year (that’s mine!), or visit 5 National Parks. Completing challenges, such as an Ironman Competition or the hike 52 challenge, is a great way to stay motivated! 

Having a goal to work towards is motivating. Be creative and celebrate the small wins. 

6. Track Results/ Your Goals

Setting goals is just part of the story, you should also track your results. When you are feeling low energy, pull out your hike tracker, weight chart, etc, and look at how far you have come! Reviewing your results or seeing how close you are to a goal will inspire you to do more.

Here is a free hiking goal tracker for download!

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside hiking tracker
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside somewhere new

7. Mix it up

Try going to a new area instead of your go-to spots. The change of scenery can be refreshing and remind you of how being in nature is wonderful. Perhaps there is a hike you have been hearing about or have an area you have been meaning to go to forever. Get out of your rut by seeing something new!

8. Go to an Area you Love

Do you have a location that is really special to you and that you love? Like visiting new areas, revisiting places with sentimental value can be motivating. It will remind you of why you love being outdoors/your goals/why you want to get outside more and hopefully rekindle your motivation. 

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside somewhere you love
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside read a book

9. Read a Book / Watch a Movie about the Outdoors

Reading a book or watching a show that features nature can be very motivating. It sparks the imagination and gets you thinking about being outside. Here are some books you may consider reading to inspire you to get outside!

10. Follow Outdoor Groups & Hashtags

Active on Facebook? Join local outdoor groups to remind yourself about cool adventures in your area. I love the local AZ hiking groups, like this one! If you are planning a trip, join the groups for that area. You will be able to ask for advice and see what the locals are excited about.

If you are an Instagrammer, follow outdoor hashtags or areas you plan on visiting. Stalking Havasupai Falls on insta was so inspiring for me. I thought I want to be there!

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside butterfly in Big Bend
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside visualize

11. Visualize your next trip

Visualize your next hike/camping trip/outdoor adventure. Think about being outdoors, what you will do, and how great it will make you feel. Be as detailed as possible. Athletes use this technique to improve performance and I use it at work for high stakes product demos. It really works! And will make you want to get outside. Read more tips here.

12. Use Positive Self-talk

Ditch all those negative thoughts in your brain. They are incorrect, not helpful, and steal away your motivation. I sometimes catch myself thinking, “I will NEVER get outside again.” That’s just plain not true. It’s up to me to make it happen. Instead of being negative Nancy, think positive thoughts. Like all the health benefits of being outside, how it will make you feel more relaxed, or that may see a cool animal while you’re out. 

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside camping mt cook
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside Bryce

13. Keep a Journal / Start a blog

Journaling or blogging about your outdoor life is motivating in 2 ways:

1. It allows you to see your progress (see #6)

2. Keeping your journal/blog current will inspire you to do more

I often think, “Oh, I should go camping/hiking/off-roading so I can add it to my blog.” It really works!

14. Be Easy on Yourself

Having the expectation that you will meet every single goal and be perfect all the time is unreasonable. If you miss a day, don’t hike as far as you intended or just feel really tired, that’s ok! Be easy on yourself and then get back out there.

 Refer back to #12 and use positive self-talk. Tell yourself that it’s no big deal to miss a day and to just keep going. 

15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside be easy on yourself
15 practical ways to motivate yourself to get outside do it for your dog

15. Do it for your dog

Think about your puppy dog and how much fun he/she will have romping around in the outdoors. Spending time outside is good for them too! It will make both you and your dog happier and healthier.

… every dog owner knows a tired dog is a happy dog.” 

Conclusion: 15 ways to motivate yourself to get outside

Don’t beat yourself up if you are low on motivation and not enjoying the outdoors as much as you’d like. The tips outlined in this article will help keep your motivation levels high!

What’s your favorite way to stay motivated to get outside? Share in the comments!

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