What my hiking shoes taught me about productivity.
Ten things to remember.
I got new hiking shoes for a trip to Colorado and Utah in 2015, I had no idea where they would take me.
Our first adventure with these shoes was to Denver, Boulder, Aspen, all five National Parks in Utah, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Escalante National Monument, Deadhorse State Park and Las Vegas. It filled me with awe, enjoying views I had never experienced here in New England.
A year later these shoes took me to OR, WA and HI. On this trip I hiked in forests and saw the pacific ocean as never before. I crossed the Kilauea Iki Crater in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, just as Kilauea was becoming more active a few miles away.IMG 4727
Closer to home they traveled to wonderful places in the White Mountains, Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park in Maine, for sunrise and sunset and more.
These shoes are trusted friends I fell in love with the first moment I put them on. Comfortable, sturdy, dependable and ready when adventure calls.
So why am I writing about these shoes today?
In the past few months, since Covid 19, they have supported my journey differently. They have become a habit. One that supports my better days. Up in the morning, coffee, breakfast, get dressed, shoes on and walk 3 miles. It is a habit; it is consistent. There have been a few inclement days that have caused us (my husband walks with me) to miss walking, but those are rare and have not stopped us from resuming the next day. Walking has been a significant activity to spark conversation, and also to enjoy nature we have seen deer, bunnies, turkey, blue herons, geese, ducks, hawks, turkey vultures, turtles, and a multitude of songbirds. All these and more just outside our front door within that three-mile walk. It is inspiring to see the flowers bloom and the foliage change.
When I reflect on this time outdoors, I am reminded, time in contemplation is a fantastic thing. No cell phones, no internet (except to use Lens to identify a plant I don't recognize or the camera to take a photo of something that makes me smile.) Many days my cell phone stays home and I count only on my mind to capture the beautiful things around me. It's satisfying to just enjoy the moment, make the memory, and not worry about getting the "shot."
The other thing that happens during this simple time are the ideas that show themselves: a topic for a blog, and a new tag line for a friend, a way to create something for my client work, or a new program I want to start. It may also be a revelation that occurs when something finally becomes clear.
The way ideas just flow may have to do with the setting, the activity, the meditative sound of the tap, tap, tap of your shoes on the pavement or the crunching of the leaves under your feet, but it happens.
I have also noticed that in the days where walking happens, more gets done! My mind feels sharper and more focused when I arrive at my computer. I get more done because I took the time to exercise, not less. My mind is not all jumbled with no direction. I pick my tasks and they get DONE!
Last week in our Productivity Matters Webinar we talked about creating a Vision Board. Many of the beautiful places I just mentioned are all things I envisioned on prior boards. It may be difficult to travel to far-off places for now, but I will still dream and cast my vision to the future.
Here is what I want you to remember.
1. Start with intention.
2. Add that one thing that ties to your intention; put on "your shoes."
3. Get outside and move.
4. Miss a day, that's OK, just start again tomorrow (once you see how good you feel it is hard to miss a day, I promise.)
5. Take time to notice what is wonderful around you.
6. Go tech free and see where your mind takes you.
7. Create your vision, understand your why.
8. Do your activity with someone else. Accountability, gentle nudging, reminders all help. You will feel better when you move.
9. Enjoy nature.
10. Get active, gain clarity.
Put your shoes on, take a walk and see what happens!