Motivation is one of the biggest barriers to walking regularly, particularly at this time of year when the weather can be cold and miserable.

If your New Year’s resolution is to get out in the countryside more often, we#re here to help! Here are Borderlands Outdoor’s top tips for motivating yourself to get out there and achieve your walking ambitions this year.

Set Goals

A sense of achievement makes you feel good!

When setting a goal, it is important to keep it realistic and achievable within a specific timeframe.  You could decide to walk for half an hour every day or sign up for a charity challenge.  You may want to complete a navigation course or walk somewhere you have never been before.  Whatever you choose to do, make it measurable so you can clearly see your progress.

For bigger goals, break them down into small milestones to complete along the way.  Achieving each one will give you a boost and keep your motivation high.

For the tech-savvy walker, a fitness tracker or GPS device could assist you to maintain your walking motivation.  Apps like Map my Walk and the Fitbit mobile app can even provide more advanced information such as graphs and statistics to help keep you on track.

Join a Group

Joining a walking group has many advantages.  The walks often take place at designated times.  You are more likely to persevere with any new activity once it becomes part of your routine.

Clubs add a social aspect to walking.  You will have the opportunity to meet new people who can offer encouragement and support as well as enjoyment and fun.

Visiting new places each walk will help to sustain your motivation, so you’ll benefit from having enthusiastic walk leaders to introduce you to a variety of locations.

Check out the Ramblers and Walking for Health websites for details of groups close to you.

Focus on the Feeling

Always remember how good walking makes you feel.  It releases hormones called endorphins that will naturally boost your sense of wellbeing. Just take that first step and you’ll be hooked!