If in doubt, stroll it out.
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” — John Muir
When it comes to personal leadership, there’s no arguing with the impact of regular self-reflection. It might just be one of the most valuable habits to build in 2023 and beyond. But what if you’re not someone who resonates with putting pen to paper each week? Or, on the flip side… What if your thoughts have got you excited the year, but also unsure of where to begin?
Well, the answer might just be found in the power of a simple stroll.
It’s one of life’s most underrated activities — free, versatile and completely science-approved. It can take any kind of self reflection to new heights, whilst delivering a whole host of health benefits at the same time. It’s self reflection in motion.
Many of the world’s greatest minds have embraced the power of walking over the centuries. Everyone from artists to athletes, from entrepreneurs to activists. Pyotr Tchaikovsky was said to walk for 2 hours everyday, even in bad weather, before sitting down to compose. Similarly, Charles Darwin would often take to a local trail with his dog Polly to ponder over research data, kicking and overturning stones in the process of problem solving.
As one of the most ancient forms of exercise, walking has withstood the test of time, and we’ve largely got Mother Nature to thank for this! In the presence of trees, skies, seas and wildlife, our bodies release more dopamine and serotonin… And with life moving faster than ever before, we’d argue that it’s never been more important for us all to seek out those greens and blues. By moving amongst the quiet and calm of nature, we’re given endless opportunities to really reconnect with what’s going on inside.
It’s easy to underestimate the humble stroll, but it’s one of many simple but powerful ‘ins’ in our Mojo ‘to be in 2023’ list. Let’s take a look at 4 of our favourite varieties:
THE CONNECTION STROLL
This is all about getting more present, checking in with how you’re feeling within those 4 worlds: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. A connection could also involve someone else, perhaps sharing the stroll with a friend, colleague or loved one.
Going tech-free can be hugely freeing when it comes to a connection stroll. That said, there’s a lot of joy to be found in a phone call, jotting down a fresh idea or listening to music. The key, of course, is intention.
It’s time to whip out that killer playlist, or your favourite podcast! There are literally no rules when it comes to a playful walk, the whole point is to get present, and lean into the things that spark joy. What if you let yourself mouth or sing along to a great song, no matter who’s watching? What if you just took in your surroundings with a sense of curiosity and humour? There’s good to be found in simple, everyday delights… Dogs that look like their owners, weird-shaped clouds, finding the perfect climbing tree, or even just taking a different route to your favourite cafe.
PROBLEM SOLVING STROLL
If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, one of the best things to do is to take the pacing you’re doing inside your mind — and take it for a wander. It’s said that we think most creatively and expansively when our environment mirrors this (wide open spaces). The trick here is to not put pressure on landing on the perfect solution. By moving and breathing in a different setting, you’re simply gifting yourself with literal and figurative space to explore fresh perspectives. And for the teams out there: What if at least one of your weekly meetings was a walking one? It just might become a launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas, and more horizontal relationships.
WIN THE MORNING STROLL
One of the best ways to win the day, hands down! Science shows us that getting outdoors into natural light as early as possible in the morning is one of the best things we can do for our circadian rhythm and a better sleep at night. And if you catch a sunrise, while you’re at it… well that’s just another win.
So, which stroll will it be for you today?
Remember, it’s not the duration or the destination that matters most — if you’re simply moving with your thoughts, you’re already heading in the right direction.
Looking for extra support?
We recommend starting small when it comes to self reflection, taking just 10 minutes every Friday morning to win the morning, and win the day. You can sign up HERE to our free weekly e-newsletter to join us (and many others!) in making self development and personal leadership a simple but powerful habit.
For more, check out the MOJO MINDSET COURSE & APP. Because you can’t work out what you want until you work out who you are. Start your journey now: https://mojocrowe.com/app