Austin Kleon reminded me recently of the importance of walking in the morning – every single day – in his awesome book, Keep Going. I’ve been trying to keep it up, even during these quickly changing seasons in Breckenridge, CO.
I LOVE to walk. As an introvert, it’s a time for me to process all the feelings, conversations, ideas, and events of the day. I love to reflect on the meaning and impact behind things, and that’s not always possible throughout a work day. My brain needs time to just decompress without having to jump to the next task at hand. A walk is the perfect remedy.
Don and I have always had walking meetings together. Why sit when you can move?! We used to live in a more suburban neighborhood, and now we live in the Colorado mountains. Regardless of location – city or country – I think walking meetings are amazing. I’m a “maximizer,” so I love checking two things off a list at once!
Life is Bigger Than a Computer Screen
The virtual reality of life through a screen is just that – virtual. We can confuse it with being real. Granted, I know that much of our work is done on the screen, especially if we are in online marketing, professional services, or anything tech related.
However, we can get sucked in to a 12×8-sized reality and exchange real beauty for Instagram photos of nature, coffee dates with real friends for Facebook Friend messages, life-sized possibilities for financial data on spreadsheets.
We have to take a walk to unplug and regain that perspective, keep it real, and remind ourselves how big the world is.
Nature Is Fascinating
I remember before Don and I were dating, we were on a hike somewhere outside of Binghamton, NY. He was pointing out a few different things to me along the way, like plants, trees, and maybe even a butterfly. I indulged him a couple times and feigned interest, but then I broke down and chose to show my true colors: “You know, I have to be honest, but I really don’t care about nature that much.”
Wow! I still can’t believe I said that!!! I’m so glad he still chose to date me! If any of you know me now, you know that anything could be further from the truth. I LOOOOOVE nature. I wish I could be outside all day long. I am curious about all living things, plants or animals, and am intrigued by the mysteries of seasons and space.
Nature is fascinating! There is so much wonder and unknown. I’m amazed by the complexity of design and beauty of creation. Being outside keeps the kid inside me alive. It helps me pause and observe and notice things. Nature slows life down and helps us to take it all in.
A morning walk in nature can set the day off right. Regardless of sun, snow, rain, or cold, we can observe so much during every season. That simple habit of pausing to observe can translate to great reward in our careers as well.
New Ideas Come At Unexpected Times
Most of my great ideas happen when I’m not working, like when I’m cooking, taking a shower, or driving around.
I have found that they also come when I take a walk. My brain has the freedom to relax and wander, and I find that many new ideas begin to flood in. I think of new projects, new people I want to connect with, articles I should write, and things I could do for others to make their day.
Bottom line is that a morning walk has so many benefits for ourselves, emotionally, physically, and even professionally. Try committing to it for a week and see how it impacts your days.
Keep a small notepad handy to jot down new ideas or actions that came to mind during your walk. Smile at everyone you see, be open to stopping to connect, and don’t be surprised if you meet a new friend or run into a new opportunity.