“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a big hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Conrad

I’ve never been much of a resolution maker, let alone a resolution keeper. January 1st would arrive with the usual, “eat better, exercise, drink more water” and I’d down 40 oz. of H2O just long enough to wonder if the hydration to bathroom ratio was really worth it (it kinda is).

Everyone looks at resolutions differently. Some ignore the practice altogether, shunning the “new year, new me” mentality as a lesson in futility. Some see it as a fresh start, a time to make actionable goals or resolutions for your future self. Others choose to set “intentions,” a method of focusing on who you are at present moment and highlighting certain personal values as inspirational and motivational reminders. Regardless of our approach, they can all leave us feeling unfulfilled when we don’t follow through.

2019 was different. This year we embarked on this Berkshire Family Hikes journey, and my, what a year it’s been.

January came and I set my intention. I asked myself: What traits within me could I cultivate this year? The words that kept popping up were Balance, Joy, and Space. I wanted to create more of those in my life.

The next step was to give those three words actionable power. Again I asked myself: What ways can I integrate these values in my daily practice? I ran through a list of goals, asking myself if they matched the intent behind each one of those words. Would it bring balance? Would it spark joy? Would it create more space? Most missed the mark and while some matched with one or two intentions, I was hard pressed to find something that simultaneously met all three.

Down at the bottom of the list, haphazardly scribbled under “start a workout routine” and “more QT with the kids” was “get outside more – and BAM – lightning struck. Checking all three boxes, we made our commitment, put one foot in front of the other and soon we were walking out that door (think: Winter Warlock style).

In its intrinsic simplicity, that basic goal of just getting outside more became the key to unlocking so. much. more.

  • We gained more confidence outdoors than we ever had.
  • Our relationships became tighter, more fulfilling and that “QT time” I was looking for – BINGO
  • They tell you that being out in nature positively effects your mood AND IT DOES. Hiking made us happier, more peaceful, gave us more energy, helped us “tune-in.”
  • We got active (workout routine not required) and saved some dough.
  • We got better at being flexible (NO EXPECTATIONS) but also better at planning ahead.
  • We learned A TON about the world around us and it’s sparked so much more curiosity.
  • We took time away from our regularly scheduled programming and our devices and enjoyed the ride.
  • It led to new goals, ideas, opportunities, connections, and inspirations.

Check out a few of our favorites :

Family Favorite Hike 2019

Field Farm, Williamstown MA

One Word: BEAVERS

Dad’s Favorite Hike

Steven’s Glen, Richmond MA

“From soup to nuts, this hike’s got it all.”

Best Hike Beyond the Berkshires

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton MA

There’s a treehouse!

Still To Review Hike

Kennedy Park, Lenox MA

Red newts coming soon…

Best Place for A Trailside Meltdown

Old Mill Trail, Hinsdale MA

A hike to remember.

Twenty-six hikes later and it seems like with that one step we spanned the globe. This deceivingly small adjustment had such a waterfall effect on our every piece of our lives in 2019.

Thank you to all of you who joined us on our adventures, in-person or from cyberspace.

Our goal for 2020 is to complete 50 hikes!

Drop us a comment below with your hike ideas and/or thoughts.

Happy New Year! Barbara Connors Photography