Guest blog written by avid geocacher Paige Edmiston.
We’ve all been there: only a week into January and your resolutions long forgotten… Good news, geocachers! Whether you’re wanting to get fit or give back, the game you love can help you achieve your New Year’s goals. Geocachers, after all, are nothing if not persistent.
In honor of 2017, here are 17 common New Year’s resolutions — and how geocaching can help you stick with them.
- Lose weight and get fit.
Instead of buying yet another unused gym membership, why not try getting fit with geocaching? In 2014, Texas A&M researchers conducted a study on geocaching and its effect on health. One of the study’s principal investigators, Whitney Garney, M.P.H, said, “The results have important implications for how and why people are physically active. Geocaching is one option for people to have fun and be physically active at the same time without going to the gym and may be just what America needs to get moving.”
For inspiration, read one of the many geocaching weight loss stories out there, like this one or this one.
- Make new friends.
Meeting new people can be downright terrifying. Luckily, geocachers are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Whether you’re in your hometown or traveling abroad, geocaching events are a great way to make new friends — and you’re guaranteed to have at least one thing in common. Find an event and log your Will Attend now.
- Spend more time with family.
If you attended a family gathering over the holidays, you probably know how difficult it can be to find an activity everyone loves. (You know where we’re going with this, right?) Use geocaching to connect with family near or far, just like this father and son.
- Drink more water.
Geocaching gets you moving. Moving makes you thirsty. Carry this official geocache water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated. Added bonus: You’ll look cool.
- Be less stressed.
Remember that geocaching health study? Researchers also found that geocachers reported fewer days of poor mental health.
If you want to experience a new place like a local, find a geocache! Or better yet, complete a GeoTour. These custom collections of geocaches are designed to introduce you to new locations.You’re sure to discover an incredible spot not listed in a guide book!
If a big trip isn’t in the cards this year, send off a trackable with the goal of visiting all the places on your travel wish list. Check out the photos from this trackable’s big adventure for inspiration.
P.S. You’re always welcome to come visit us at Geocaching HQ!
- Learn something new.
To find some geocaches, you’ll need to develop a very particular set of skills. Lockpicking, for example. Same goes for hiding. You’ll have to learn a little thing called “physical computing” to hide a geocache like this one.
- Step out of your comfort zone.
Stuck in a traditional cache rut? Challenge yourself to find at least one geocache of every type. You’ll solve puzzles, answer geology questions, and may even discover a new favorite cache type along the way.
- Get married.
Geocaching can help. Seriously. Watch this video to learn how to make a geocaching proposal.
- Break a personal record.
Visit your geocaching statistics page. Do you want to set a new record for longest streak? (Check out Moun10Bike’s tips for keeping up your streak in the snow.) Or maybe you want to set a record for the most caches found in one year. Write down your goal and share it with a friend who can help keep you accountable.
- Spend less time on social media.
Ok, fine. We admit it: We often encourage geocachers to share things on social media. (Like now, for example. You should share this post with a friend. Do it. Do it now. Unless you’re trying to spend less time on social media. Then, stop right now. We support you.)
- Spend more time in nature.
Speaking of nature, that’s where geocaches like to hang out! To find a great hiking cache, search for caches with higher terrain ratings. When you’re in a park or wild space, the Geocaching® app’s Trails map type will help guide you.
- Give back.
This one is easy: Cache In Trash Out (CITO) is an environmental initiative supported by the geocaching community. Learn how you can get involved.
- Eat healthier.
(Warning: We are not licensed doctors or nutritionists.) The key to healthy eating: planning ahead. Before heading out the door, make sure to pack healthy snacks so you don’t get stuck buying junk food later in the day. Check out these 4 tips to avoid getting hangry on the geocaching trail.
P.S. Please don’t leave snacks in geocaches. Bears love snacks.
P.P.S It’s probably safe to carry snacks. (Warning: We are also not licensed animal psychologists.)
- Start thinking more positively.
Scientists have found that practicing gratitude can lead to higher levels of positive emotions, like joy, optimism, and happiness. When you find a geocache, take the time to express your appreciation. You’ll make the cache owner’s day — and your own.
- Get organized.
We’re not exactly sure how geocaching can help tidy up your life. (We ran out of time to ask Marie Kondo. Ideas welcome in the comments below.) However, we can help you tidy up your geocaching. Try My Lists beta.
- Enjoy life to the fullest.
Geocaching brings people together in pursuit of discovery, exploration, and adventure. ‘Nuff said.
Let’s wrap it up.
The moral of the story: We’re better at sticking to our resolutions when we’re having fun. Geocaching is fun, ergo geocaching can help you achieve your goals. 83% of the time it works every time, guaranteed.
So tell us — what’s your New Year’s resolution?