Looking to spice up your life but tired of the usual New Year’s resolutions? Start 2020 afresh by adding more adventure to your life instead!

1. Get physically ready for adventure

When we feel we’re not capable of keeping up with a group or fit enough to take on a challenge outdoors, it can be a barrier to adventure. Get fit outdoors doing the activity you want to get stronger at – hiking, trail running, rock climbing, kayaking, ocean swimming.

Aaron Lowndes rock melbourne climbing school belaying

Photo by Aaron Lowndes

2. Commit to an adventure goal

Having a goal, like a bucket list hike or an adventure race, gives you something to look forward to, and train for. Start with a half day experience, build up to a full day and then an overnight adventure, to practise using your gear and gaining the skills and confidence for your big adventure.


My First Overnight Hike // Mt Barney (QLD), Lisa Owen, scrambling, climbing, steep, hillside,mountainside, overgrown, backpack

Photo by Lisa Owen

3. Get inspired

Add some outdoor books, podcasts, magazines and films to your usual read/watch list. There are heaps of annual adventure film fests to check out, with a tonne of crazy adventures and mind-boggling destinations to inspire you to get out there.  Subscribe to the We Are Explorers newsletter for a weekly dose of adventure!

4. Ask for adventure gear as gifts

Having the right gear goes a long way to helping you enjoy adventure. You’ll be more comfortable outdoors, knowing you are kitted out correctly.

tim ashelford, outdoor retailer australia, new gear, 2018, one planet, hiking packs

Photo by Tim Ashelford

5. Start small

Microadventures are the perfect way to start out. Make a list of all the natural environments within an hour of your home. Pick a few, plan how to get there, what to take and read local guides to the area.

6. Take a hike at sunrise or sunset

There’s something magical about being out in nature when the sun appears over the ocean or watching the sky turn pink as day becomes night. Take a head torch and choose a place that has a good view of the horizon.

7. Take an adventure holiday

Choose to spend your vacation adventurously. Explore amazing new locations in a different kind of way. Trek, kayak, walk, swim, paddle, whatever you choose –  you’ll come back feeling invigorated, rejuvenated and so much more fulfilled than if you’d spent your holiday poolside with cocktails!

How Much Do You Really Know About New Caledonia?, photo supplied by New Cal tourism, kayak, sea, family, rocks, cliffs

Photo courtesy of New Caledonia Tourism

8. Try something new every month

Take yourself out of your comfort zone and try a new activity you’ve never experienced or are even afraid of doing! Abseiling, canyoning, a day hike, an ocean swim, surfing, SUP – there’s so many microadventures to choose from.

9. Set yourself fun outdoor challenges

On your next walk, hike or run, add some fun challenges to your usual route.

For example:
3 x 3 Peaks – Find three big hills or sets of stairs and climb each of them three times (walking or running). Remember to descend carefully.

7 Summits – Find 7 hills/ascents/stairways that you walk or run to on a circuit or distance route and climb each one once along the way. Each week add another summit to each peak. For more inspiration on getting fit for adventure check out Trek Coach.

10. Change the way you start each day

Before looking at your phone at the start of each day, start with meditation or a simple walk. Be present, and try new things, rather than letting your devices influence your daily thoughts. 

5 Yoga Moves For Better Bouldering Mattie Gould, Tim Guthrie, Meditation Pose

Photo by Tim Guthrie

11. Learn to be adaptable and build resilience

Adventure calls for us to be adaptable. You can build resilience by putting yourself in tough situations or trying new activities that take you out of your comfort zone. If there’s a physical or mental element to a new activity that requires you to adapt, when you succeed you’ll feel stronger and more able to get out there for your next adventure.

12. Create an adventure vision board

Create a vision board with all the beautiful outdoor places you’d like to see and explore. Put a date on some of them to help you focus on doing the daily tasks that’ll enable you to get there.

13. Join local clubs and groups

Surround yourself with people who love adventure and can share their skills with you. Maybe it’s bushwalking, mountain biking, diving, kayaking, climbing or surfing. Sign up for regular trips, workshops and outings and let adventure become a regular item in your monthly calendar.

14. Set up an adventure piggy bank!

Set aside some money each month to make your adventures happen. You can adventure close to home for pretty cheap, but if the activity you love requires certain gear or equipment, or you have your sights set on a trip outside your local area, then you’re gonna have to save for it.

15. Think ‘outside’ to experience new cultures and places

When you’re travelling, don’t get stuck indoors! Check out the natural sights and get stuck into an activity you love. You’ll be amazed how much more you’ll discover and experience by setting out on a microadventure in a new place. Meet the locals and find their favourite walking routes, sunrise or sunset lookouts, or activities you can take part in, like yoga on the beach.

16. Just play

Pack a ball and play catch in the ocean with a friend, go rock scrambling at low tide and remember what it was like to be a child exploring the rock pools. Have a lesson on a surfboard or SUP and laugh when you (inevitably) fall off. Enjoy an activity for the sake of it, not for fitness or insta likes but just for the joy of being outside.

Matt Dunbar, Get Barrelled For Good // Sign Up For The SurfAid Cup, surfing, paddle out, woman, smile

Photo by Matt Dunbar

17. Urban adventures

Discover the local laneways, side streets, hidden cafes and other secret walkways through the urban area you live in. You don’t have to be in the bush to have an adventure! Hike or jog to a café or restaurant, or somewhere with an amazing view that you’ve never been to on foot before.

18. Incorporate adventure into your weekly workouts

Instead of just running or walking on your usual route, seek out new nature trails and check out what’s in your neighbourhood to add some spice to your fitness regime.

Salomon S/LAB Ultra // Gear Review, photo by Jonathon Tan trail running month,

Photo by Jonathan Tan

19. Keep it simple

Take your best friends, choose a spot you’ve always wanted to visit and set aside a weekend to get out there. If you can’t do a whole weekend, pack a picnic and head out to a beautiful waterfall. Sometimes simple can be so rewarding. 

Photo by Jarrad Seng

20. Just show up

It’s easy to send a message and cancel plans at the last minute. Commit to trying something new and don’t be tempted to sleep in, cancel at the last minute or delay. You’ll discover adventure, new friendships and master some sweet outdoor skills, if you just commit to showing up.


Feature photo by Jon Harris