Over the past summer, I set out to accomplish something I had never done before. Every day for 90 days I would find a geocache. Looking at my schedule I knew that I would have several obstacles along my way but felt I could be successful. I wanted to take on this challenge for several reasons. First, I wanted an excuse to geocache. Second, I wanted to prove to myself that I could reach this goal. Third, I knew I would learn a great deal about both myself and geocaching along the way.
Below are some of my lessons learned along the way:
- Have a plan, a back up plan and a back up plan to you back up plan. There was one day that I knew finding a cache would be difficult due to international travel, time zone changes and the fact that I would be spending most, if not most of my day on an airplane.
- Telling others what you are trying to accomplish helps to keep you accountable. When I was asked, did you find a geocache today? It was great to say yes!
- The goal must take priority – you cannot allow something else to get in the way.
- It was easier to complete the task early in the morning rather than leaving it to the end of the day.
- The closer you get to reaching the goal, the more momentum I had to finish. Like that extra burst of energy you receive when you can actually see the finish line when running a race.
- Creating calendar alerts, text reminders and other visual cues helped to keep me on track.
- Recording my results each day gave me a sense of pride as I knew I was staying on track.
- Surrounding yourself with others who enjoy the same activity makes it a lot more enjoyable. Joining a Facebook group of geocachers made this easy given that there are not that many who live nearby who enjoy this hobby.
- Weather can be worked around with the correct clothing and tracking apps to let you know current and upcoming conditions.
- Some days you may not have the enthusiasm to continue. On those days have a modified plan that allows you to be successful with a lower effort level. For geocaches that meant finding the easy guard rail or lamp post caches. I planned lazy day options.
When I reached the 90-day mark, I had a hard time stopping. I honestly wanted to continue. I was truly pleased with myself when I completed the goal and now looking forward to the next challenge. Next time it will either be for a longer timeframe or for developing a harder habit like working out every day. Wish me luck!