Project #GoOutside


Being outside tends to make people happy. I’m no exception to this.

I discovered on our 10-month RV trip that being outside is one of the best ways to give me a quick mood boost and keep my depression at bay. I rediscover this every time I head out of the house for a midday meeting or to run errands in my neighborhood.

When I leave the house:

  • My creative juices start flowing.
  • My energy levels soar.
  • I sleep better at night.

And yet actually getting my butt outside on a regular basis is a constant struggle for me.

Why don’t we do the things we know are good for us?

I have a long list of excuses.

There are a few factors working against me.

  • I work from home.
  • We have one car, which my husband uses for work.
  • My kids take the bus to school.
  • We live in an age that allows just about everything to be done with the power of the Internet.

All of that adds up to me being able to go days without having any reason to leave the house – other than my survival, that is. (Apparently not putting on real pants trumps mental well being.)

Am I the only work-at-home mom who finds herself homebound?

yoga pants

Not according to Twitter.

I’ve decided to set a goal that will help me get out of the house more. Of course, “get out of the house more” is a horrible goal that’s destined to fail because it isn’t specific or measurable.


I will go outside for at least five minutes every day in December.

Why only five minutes?

Because baby-sized goals are less intimidating and easier to follow through on. Because if I commit to going outside for five minutes, I’m more likely to go outside for an hour – but saying I have to go do something for an hour might feel so unmanageable that I do nothing at all.

“You can do anything for five minutes.” – my mom

Five minutes a day for 31 days.

It does get cold in December, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to appreciate this winter. Fortunately, I own a winter coat and lots of knitted accessories designed to keep me warm in the cold.

I can do this!

Will you help me?

Accountability is always a powerful motivator for me, which is why I’m sharing my goal with you. I’m also going to try to take a picture when I’m outside and share it on Instagram and Facebook. Look for me there and feel free to harass me if you don’t see me posting proof of my adventures in the outside world.

You could also join me – power in numbers! – and tag your own photos with #GoOutside.

Yes, I know this is a little sad.

Leaving the house should not be a project. It should not be hard.

But it is currently a challenge for me, and I don’t should on myself.

Instead, I accept what is, identify what I want it to be, and make a plan to bridge the gap. I’m tackling this plan five minutes at a time.

Are you with me?

7 Daily Happiness Affirmations

Start your day with 30 seconds of positive intention, free when you join the In Pursuit of Happiness Newsletter.

  1. Carrie says:

    Yep! I hate winter. There – I said it. I really do. I have NO problem getting outside when the weather is temperate, but Georgia winters are wet, gray and bleh – there isn’t even any snow to make it pretty and fun.

    So I definitely need this. I tend to get winter blues if I don’t take great care with things like this.
    Carrie’s most recent post: Giveaway: TWO $50 ALDI Gift Certificates

  2. Carrie says:

    .. I don’t do Facebook or Instagram, would tweeting #GoOutside be good?
    Carrie’s most recent post: Giveaway: TWO $50 ALDI Gift Certificates

  3. Danielle says:

    I need to do this.

    I find it hard to get outside this time of year. I live in Canada (near Toronto) and while it’s hardly the arctic, I tend to only go to and from my car from November through to April. There are winter weekends where I come home Friday night and do not get a breath of fresh outside air until I leave for work again on Monday.

  4. Naomi says:

    My solution to this has been to sit outside and do my morning work — instead of sitting INSIDE. My location lends itself well to that though … but I need to get back into physical activity outside … so I’ll join in, on that front.
    Naomi’s most recent post: eMeals to the rescue

  5. Tammie says:

    My husband and I also love going outdoors. But we also love being indoors as long as we’re together.
    Tammie’s most recent post: The ONE Thing That Keeps People Stuck

  6. Emily Marko says:

    I am so happy to hear I am not the only one who DOES NOT like winter! This is a great challenge and I will be implementing it. I especially need this once the holidays are over and I am craving spring time.
    I like the idea of appreciating this winter too.
    Thanks :)

    • Britt Reints says:

      Oh you are so not alone. LOL I think people who naturally love winter are in the minority. ;-)

      I just keep picturing my daughter’s face when we’re out sledding or ice skating every time I’m tempted to bitch about how cold MY face is!

  7. Karen Murphy says:

    You just must go outside eveyday. 5 years ago I started a job that overwhelmed me because the culture was so negative & people did not work as a team. I had to regroup & gather strength with a walk evryday.When I became a Mom I had to go out for a walk each day to get out & away from the house & diapers. I needed it the boys loved it. Getting outside is key to living real, getting exercise & keeping perspective. Promise yourself to do it!

    • Britt Reints says:

      There are a couple members in our Happiness Tribe that have been looking for ways to cope with a negative work environment. A midday escape into the outdoors is a great idea.

« « Guilt and Depression | What Happiness Looks Like: Emily Levenson » »