Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year...a C R A Z Y challenge!!

Hello! Thanks for reading my "crazy blog" as my husband of almost 9 years would call it. Jeremy thinks I'm a little loopy for choosing to make a New Year's Resolution that will not only be very hard to achieve but also is very much out of character for me. You see, I have resolved that in 2010 I will get my four-year-old daughter outside to play for an hour a day. In Peoria, IL. You know, now that I read it, I think it's a little crazy as well. I mean it's like 10 degrees in Peoria right now and the wind chill makes it feel like, oh, about NEGATIVE FIVE! So, a wee loopy it does seem to make a resolution of this caliber. But, I am not going to back down.

I am, however, going to construct a few parameters. But, before we get into all of that...let's look at the WHY! I was saddened the other day when I came across the National Wildlife Federation's web site and realized that the current generation is the first to grow up almost completely INDOORS. I also found out that, according to the NWF, the average American child spends as little as only four minutes a day outside!! I remember thinking, "How could parents allow their kids to stay inside all the time? Don't they know that kids need to be outside...that they need to connect with nature...that they need sunshine and Vitamin D...that they need to get their bodies moving?" Then I had to take a little look-see in the proverbial mirror. And, well let's just say, OH BOY! I far too often find at the end of any given day that Alyssa and I haven't taken time to get outside at all. She now asks first thing in the morning, "Can I have a picnic and watch a little TV?" And, I have never in my life been accused of being an outdoors enthusiast! So, it's not "those parents"'s ME. I am a huge contributor to the fact that our nation's kids are growing up not even realizing the huge outdoor adventure they're missing.

So, it's time to get serious. And, the way to get serious is to make a goal. I've learned at my Weight Watchers meetings that you can't just say what you'd like to see happen, like, "I'd like to lose 50 pounds." You have to identify the steps you're going to take on a daily or weekly basis in order to make that goal happen. So, I want Alyssa to grow up loving the outdoors and spending lots and lots of time there. How am I going to make it happen? Well, now it's time for those parameters.

The Goal: Getting my daughter and myself outside an hour a day to play in 2010

Parameter Number One - This applies to the weekdays (Monday through Friday) only

Parameter Number Two - This applies to weekdays when the high temperature is at least a balmy 25 degrees and less than 100 degrees. And, of course, if it's dangerous to be outside because of a tornado warning or a heavy thunderstorm, I will not put my daughter in harm's way.

Parameter Number Three - The goal is to spend at least 60 minutes outside but I will not beat myself up if winds up being 30 or 45 every now and then due to schedules or whatnot (I like that word and never really used it before...whatnot).

Parameter Number Four - I can spend the entire time playing WITH Alyssa or I can pass off a portion of the time to Daddy (Jeremy) on vacation days or we can schedule an outdoor play date during which she will play outside with her friends and I will have some much needed time to sit outside and chat with mine (the other mommies).

Parameter Number Five - I will endeavor to introduce new ways of playing. For example, I've never taken Alyssa sledding. The winter's definitely the time to do that. And, we have friends who do an annual outdoor treasure hunt using their GPS devices. I want us to try at least ten new ways to play outside in 2010!

So, there ya have it. Crazy or not, this is my goal for 2010. I'd love to know what you think and if you'd like to take this loopy challenge with me!!!

Even if you don't wanna sign on for ALL the craziness, maybe you can just decide to get out there more this year in a way that works for you. Take a picture of yourself (with your friends or family if you want) playing outside this winter and send it to us. If we post your photo on the 91.5 WCIC web site, we'll send you a reusable bag with the station logo, a t-Shirt, and some other fun stuff! The easiest way to get your photo to us is to email us through the Doing Life with the Traceys page on! Have fun playing!