Big Ideas For The Year Ahead: VisualIZE Your 2021 Goals

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Dec 30, 2020 9:50:18 AM

New Year's Resolutions 2021 – Visualize Your Goals

If we’ve learned anything from this heck of a year, it’s that making plans doesn’t always work out, well, as planned. There may have been certain holiday traditions you had to forgo this year, but one that you should still make an effort to uphold is making your New Year’s resolutions for 2021. Even those might look a little different this year after taking time to reflect on all that was 2020. After a year nearly stuck on pause, there’s no time like the present to tackle your goals and focus on self-improvement, one resolution at a time.

Each month of 2021, we will reveal a Big Idea word designed to help you get motivated and make the most out of your year. This month’s Big Idea is VisualIZE – our way to help you dream up your aspirations for the coming year, and rise to meet them. If this year has you feeling a little less inspired to set some exciting goals for the next year, we’re here to help with some suggestions.

 

Get Fit + Don’t Quit

Fitness New Year's Resolutions

Likely the most basic and fundamental resolution is health and fitness related. Perhaps this past year has you thinking about making healthier life choices, or maybe you need to get back into the swing of an exercise routine after spending too much time in comfy pants. Whatever your reason may be, set your sights on a goal that is personally attainable. If you’re new to a fitness routine of any kind, an Ironman triathlon might be a bit too ambitious. Maybe aim for a 10K or half marathon instead this year, and work up from there. 

If you’re training for running or cycling, you might have to spend some early mornings or evening hours in the dark. Some new light-up gear to help you stay seen and safe at night might actually help motivate you to get out there too! Try a SlapLit LED Slap Wrap or a rechargeable TagLit Magnetic Marker to keep yourself seen and safe while you run, and a headlamp to light your path. If you’re getting into cycling, make sure your bike is outfitted with front and rear lights (for both day and night safety), and a rechargeable SpokeLit for side visibility.

Utilizing a fitness tracker or smart watch can be a big help in keeping you motivated and meeting your goals. If you’re currently missing classroom-style workouts, try a virtual one! If joining a membership-based program is out of your price range, there are great workouts you can find for free on YouTube. Even a half hour of yoga three times a week is a simple enough resolution that is fairly easy to keep, but can make a big difference in how you feel.

 

Tackle the To-Do List

Home Project New Year's Resolutions

Do you have a home project you’d like to accomplish but have been putting off? This might be the year to make it happen. Again, make your goals realistic. If you’re looking at a busy year already with work and/or family commitments, now might not be the right time for a complete remodel, but maybe you can start small with a bathroom, or a simple room repaint. Check out this list of 50 DIY projects that you could even complete in a weekend. This could also be a good year to finally plant a vegetable garden. Check out our tips for how to get started on one here

However big or small your aspirations are, get yourself the right gear to tackle the task. Once you’re fully invested, taking the next steps to complete your project will come easier.

 

Clean Space, Clear Mind

Organizing New Year's Resolutions

Do you feel slightly more anxious or stressed when your space is a mess? You’re not alone. Living with clutter can sometimes take a mental toll. Make a plan to organize your home (or even just a part of your home) in 2021. Kick the year off on the right foot by organizing your holiday decorations before storing them away. Buy some plastic tubs or drawers if you don’t already have some, and label them so you know exactly what’s in each. Use Gear Ties to wrangle your strings of lights – you’ll thank yourself next year!

If setting a goal of organizing your entire home is too daunting, maybe resolve to organize your garage, home office, closet, or even just the junk drawer. Just knocking out one of these tasks can help you clear your mind, and feel more accomplished. To get the ball rolling, check out these seven unique products to help organize your life here.

In this technological modern world we live in, we have to deal with all sorts of digital clutter in addition to the physical. Consider making a tech goal for yourself, such as regular hard drive backups, organizing and storing your files, or upping your online password game. If you have older but important files laying around on outdated external hard drives, consider investing in a brand new drive and migrating your files. Nowadays, solid state hard drives are more reliable, durable and have longer life expectancy than the older versions. For the more physical tech clutter, commit to keeping your charging cables tangle-free and fray-free. Preserve your cord ends with CordCollars and wrangle your cables with Gear Tie Cordables.

Does it seem like doing anything on the internet these days has you in a constant state of password hell? Either you fall into the trap of using the same password over and over (not recommended), or you are constantly clicking that “forgot password” button. Make a goal to organize your passwords – you can even consider a password management system. There are many out there, so read some reviews before you commit to one. It might take a day to set everything up, but it will save you time and headaches in the long run.

 

Dream Up a Getaway

Travel New Year's Resolutions

It might be finally safe to travel later on this year (hooray!), so now is a good time to start thinking about where you would like to go. Research has shown that even thinking about an upcoming trip can boost your mood. Give yourself something to look forward to by planning a getaway for when you think you will be safe and comfortable to venture out. You can certainly plan a camping trip now, and the sooner the better. Campgrounds have been booking up faster than ever before, so make your reservations as early as possible. If you’re planning to visit a National Park, you will also need a reservation these days, so don’t put that off either. If you’d prefer to use wheels than wings to travel, check out our 10 tips for planning the perfect road trip.

 

Try Something New

New Hobby New Year's Resolutions

Research has shown that people who regularly learn new things are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Keep your brain synapses firing full throttle by teaching yourself something new in 2021. This could be anything from taking a painting course, learning a new language, or cooking your way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’ve been meaning to get into journaling for a while, make this your year. If you’ve never held knitting needles in your life, maybe set a goal to learn and craft yourself a piece of clothing by the end of the year (or give some as gifts next holiday season). You could even go big and treat yourself to a Masterclass subscription and learn loads of new skills this year! These virtual classes allow you to learn directly from the experts you trust in a wide variety of categories. For instance, you can learn photography from Annie Leibovitz, cooking from Gordon Ramsay, basketball from Steph Curry, or dog training from Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan.

 

Include Rover

New Year's Resolutions For Pets

Speaking of dog training, maybe make a New Year’s resolution that includes your best four-legged friend, too! If you feel like you’ve been slacking in the walk department, shoot for daily walks, which will benefit both of you. It’s easy to blow them off during the winter months when it’s always dark and cold (do we really have to get out?), so help motivate yourself with a NiteDog light-up collar and leash! Not only will this make you visible to oncoming cars or bikes, you’ll be surprised how many compliments you receive for looking so cool. Check out our other ideas for New Year’s resolutions you can share with your dog here!

 

So what do you visualIZE for 2021? Once you’ve landed on a resolution (or maybe a few, if you’re ambitious), take a moment to write it down. You might start a new journal for the new year and put your resolution(s) on the first page, write them on a notecard and stick it to your fridge, or even a sticky note on your computer screen to help remind you throughout the year what you are working toward. And don’t forget to check out our VisualIZE collection of curated products to help you reach your 2021 goals, and check back next month for February’s Big Idea! We’ll be here to help you realIZE your goals all year long.

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Run Safety, "travel", DIY, Home, Fitness, Pets, dogs, Surprize

5 Ways To Embrace “Fall Back” Time

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Oct 8, 2020 5:14:46 PM

5 Ways To Embrace “Fall Back” TimeVery soon we’ll all be setting our clocks back an hour on a Saturday evening, relishing an excuse to get an extra hour of sleep, yet dreading everything else that comes with the end of Daylight Savings Time. Most of us don’t tend to look forward to shorter days, and have trouble adjusting to the change. It’s amazing how just an hour of time can make that much difference, right? Along with that extra hour of z’s, there might be a few things to actually look forward to when we fall back, as well as several ways to help breeze through the adjustment better than ever.

 

1. Enjoy That Extra Sleep (Responsibly)
Steelie Pedestal Mount

Most Americans are already sleep deprived, so it’s likely you could use a little extra shut eye when you can get it. Although it may sound like a good idea to stay up late the night before while enjoying an adult beverage or two, resist the temptation. Get the most out of that extra hour by not shifting your bedtime schedule too drastically, and for a more restful night, limit caffeine and alcohol intake. Practicing good sleep hygiene is important for a good night’s sleep, and better sleep leads to better health. Check out these tips for better sleep from Healthline.

 

2. Savor the Sunlight
Ways to adjust to fall back

Seasonal depression is real, and it tends to make an appearance as the days get shorter, with less sunshine to soak in. Not only will getting out in the sunlight before and after we fall back help you sleep better, it can also improve your mood. Knowing that it will get dark earlier, plan to get outside in the morning or mid-day. Consider taking a walk, run, or bike ride at lunchtime. Getting out in the sunshine will also help your body absorb vitamin D, and align your circadian rhythm with the solar clock, which will aid in better sleep.

 

3. Brighten Your Nights
Pet lights

Just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun outside. With the right accessories, you can still get out for your evening activities. For bike commuters, check out our Radiant Rechargeable Bike Lights and Rechargeable SpokeLits, so you can see and be seen from all sides on your ride home. If you prefer to run after work hours, be sure you’re staying safe and visible. Our Rechargeable SlapLit LED Slap Wrap and TagLit Magnetic Marker are both great for staying visible after dark, and a headlamp will help light your path. Heading out for your nightly dog walk? A Rechargeable NiteDog Collar and Leash will make sure you and your pup are seen by oncoming traffic. Check out all our other ways to illuminate your pup here.

 

4. Winterize Your Attitude
Help adjust to fall back time

It’s time to get cozy! The annual time shift might be a good opportunity to officially change your wardrobe over to winter mode. Find those comfy sweaters at the back of your closet you forgot you owned and bring them back into rotation. A good way to think about the time change is how it symbolizes the start of the colder months and holiday season. While that might not sound exciting to everyone out there, we imagine there is something fun to look forward to for each of us – whether that be plush blankets and a roaring fire, cooking your favorite cold weather meals, decorating for the holidays, or indulging in an occasional pumpkin spice latte. Plus, you can start your movie nights earlier without having to employ the blackout shades.

 

5. Make An Annual Home Checklist
Annual home checklist

Okay, so maybe this one isn’t exciting in nature, but it is a good habit to form. Consider making the end of daylight savings a reminder to perform some annual maintenance around the home. Here are some tasks you might want to include in your yearly rounds:

    • Change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Clean your gutters (or use a service to have them cleaned)
    • If you live in a region that freezes, winterize your sprinkler system if you haven’t already 
    • Change your air filter, and check your furnace and water heater
    • Check and restock your home emergency kit and/or go bag
    • Flip and/or rotate your mattress
    • Reverse ceiling fans for winter energy efficiency

Daylight savings time change

And finally, make sure you set your clocks back! Although most of our devices will set themselves on their own, check your wrist watches, and clocks around the house and turn them back on Saturday evening so you won’t be confused when you wake up refreshed from an extra-long night’s sleep.

Topics: Visibility and Safety, outdoors, LED Pet Products, Run Safety, Home, Pets, LED Products, daylight savings

5 Ways To Stick With Your Fitness Resolutions Beyond January

Posted by Cassie Ryan on Feb 6, 2019 9:50:05 AM

 

FitnessBlog-Featured

 

January 2019 has come and gone in a flash. So how are you doing with those New Years Resolutions a month in? At the start of each year, many of us set goals to become healthier versions of ourselves – whether that be to join a gym, go to the gym more often, eat better, bike to work at least once a week, and anything in between. The Holidays typically have us stressed with the pressures of society combined with an abundance of decadent food, resulting in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle at the start of the new year. But as time slips by, it’s all too easy to fall back into old, bad habits while you get swept up in your busy day-to-day life. So what can you do to keep yourself in check for the long haul? Here are 5 things you can do to keep your motivation flowing:

 

1. Use a Fitness Watch

 

FitnessBlog-Watch

 

If you don’t already own a fitness tracking device, this is the perfect time to pick one up. Luckily there are plenty on the market these days in a range of price points, so you’ll likely be able to find something that works for you and your budget. These devices are great for setting goals, keeping track of your step count, seeing how far you’ve run, how much elevation you’ve climbed and more. Think of your smartwatch or fitness tracker as your personal coach – and you don’t want to let them down.

 

2. Get a Workout Buddy

 

Fitness-Runners

 

If a piece of technology isn’t enough to keep you motivated, find a real person who will! Having a partner makes your workouts, runs or rides more fun, and you’re less likely to skip a day. Perhaps your significant other, friend or family member has similar aspirations. You can both benefit by keeping each other on track. If running is your jam, sign up for a race with your workout partner so you have a set date to train for.

 

3. No Excuses! Even When It’s Dark

 

Fitness-TagLit

 

Just because it gets dark early or the sun hasn’t risen when you actually have time for your morning run or bike ride doesn’t mean you should blow it off. Nite Ize has great products for lighting your way and staying safe when you’re outside in the dark. For runners or walkers, our Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp is perfect for seeing your way through dark neighborhood streets or paths. Make sure you’re staying safe and visible to cars with a SlapLit LED Slap Wrap or TagLit Magnetic LED Marker. If you’re commuting to work via bike, or simply out for a joy ride, be sure you pick up some Radiant Bike Lights for front and rear, and a couple of SpokeLit Wheel Lights for that crucial (and too often ignored) side visibility.

 

4. Journal It

 

 

Fitness-InkaPen 

It’s easy to ignore your diet or skip your workout when you’re not holding yourself accountable. By keeping a journal dedicated to your goals, you can keep track of what you’re eating, how much weight you’ve lost and what your workouts consisted of. You can plug in information from your fitness tracker as well for an even more comprehensive view. If you’re more digital than analogue, there is a plethora of apps to help you monitor your goals. My Fitness Pal, JeFit, SparkPeople and Lifesum are a few to check out.

 

5. Treat Yo’ Self

Finally, always remember to go easy on yourself, even when trying to hold yourself accountable to your goals. Reward yourself in healthy ways when you’ve been killing it at pilates or staying on track with your diet. Find self-care practices that are right for you – it could be anything from taking a nice bath, treating your workout partner to a sushi night, getting a pedicure, or anything else you enjoy that won’t completely undo the hard work you’ve put in. Another great way to treat yourself and motivate is to buy some fun new gear. You’re bound to be more excited for your next class or session when you have brand new sneakers to break in or compression pants to try out.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Even the biggest fitness buffs have a hard time meeting their goals from time to time. Keep moving forward and make your future self proud.

Topics: Visibility and Safety, Run Safety, Fitness

Through the Lion’s Lair with Leo Lesperance – Interview by Matt Smoot

Posted by MJ Smoot on Jan 12, 2017 4:39:43 PM
Green-Mt-From-Sanitas.jpg

-Looking south towards Green Mountain near the summit of Mt. Sanitas (Boulder, CO)

For most trail runners, a lap around the Lion’s Lair Loop that summits Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, CO is quite an accomplishment. At 5.3 miles in length with over 1,300’ in elevation gain, the Lion’s Lair Loop is the type of run (or hike for that matter), that your average weekend warrior may feel like running once or twice a year. While Nite Ize’s Leo Lesperance may consider himself a “runner”, his epic total of 109 summits of Mt. Sanitas during 2016 is anything but average, it’s extraordinary.

I had a chance to speak with Leo about his 2016 goal of completing 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas, and to learn what he had in store for 2017. As you’ll discover, Leo is just getting started. (What follows are excerpts from an interview with Leo Lesperance in November of 2016 where we discussed how he got started running, what motivates him, and some run safety tips that Leo uses to stay safe while on the run).

  • Leo-Running.jpgHow long have you been running, and how did you get started? I’ve been running for a bit more than 4 years, and I started running because the company I was working for gave us pedometers and paid us to get steps. It kind of made sense, eventually I figured out that if I run I get those steps faster and I could be done doing it sooner. That’s how I got started. Started walking, turned into running.

  • Would you consider yourself to be a “runner” or identify yourself in some other way?  Maybe, maybe I’m a runner. You might be a runner if you’re running more than 30 miles a week on a regular basis.  I love running! It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do.

  • When I first heard that you set a goal of running 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas, I was blown away. That’s not an easy feat! When did you decide to run 100 laps on Mt. Sanitas?  I had run it on January 1st as a New Year’s run with a bunch of my friends, and maybe the next week when my friend said, “Oh hey, I know you had a really good Strava segment but sorry, I beat your time!” That kind of got me started, and I ended up saying, “Well, I can do this at least every Friday,” and by the end of January it turned into, “I can get 100 of these (laps on Mt. Sanitas) done by the end of the year.”

    View-Lions-Lair-Snow.jpg
                                                                                                                                                 -A view from the Lion's Lair Loop on Mt Sanitas

  • What do you like about running?  Have you seen any of the pictures that I post!?  Sunrises, mountain tops, the connection with nature when you’re outside which might lead to your next question. I’m a trail runner more than a road runner. It’s where I find peace; it’s where I find time to unravel my brain.

  • Do you still run on the road?  I don’t run on the road if I can avoid it. It makes me nervous. I don’t really like running alongside cars.  Especially, you know, with everybody on their phones and Facebook and Instagram. It’s definitely a concern.

  • What can you do as a runner to feel safer, and to be more visible while you’re running? Wear bright clothes, reflective gear, put lights on, headlamp or armbands. Anything that helps to attract other people’s attention. I get a lot of attention when I run with ShoeLits. People always tell me that those (ShoeLits) are the coolest thing they’ve ever seen. I usually wear the green or blue.

    My favorite time to run is when I can time my run to be somewhere when the sun rises which means I’m starting in the dark. And, my favorite Nite Ize product is the Radiant 250 Rechargeable Headlamp. I don’t use (run with) the spot light. I use the flood light, usually on low. On the trail it’s pretty perfect because there’s no other light, you don’t need a whole lot of light, and it radiates the right amount of light for what I need to see without being too harsh or have sharp edges. The spot light on that is pretty good too, but it’s brighter than I need for most trail runs.

    Leo-Sanitas-Summit.jpg
                                                                                                  -Leo on the summit of Mt Sanitas with the Indian Peaks in the background

  • Are there any other pieces of gear that you love to run with?  My phone. My phone has a kick ass camera and the reason I love running in nature is so that I can see it, and that I can look at it again.

  • Has there been a time that you’ve felt scared while on a trail run?  There are a number of times that I should have felt scared, but for some reason didn’t.  I think I’ve seen seven bears in the four years that I’ve been running, and one of them I almost ran into because I didn’t see it until the last second.  And, there have been two occasions that I tripped. The last time my friends were like, “I don’t know how you did what you did but one second your flying with your face and knee headed for a big rock, and the next second you did something to miss them both.”

    Bear.jpg
    -The bear that Leo almost ran into


  • Other than running, what activities do you participate in?  Y’know, the usual things.  Backcountry skiing, mountain biking, track cycling, climbing and ice hockey.

  • What are your goals for 2017? Hmmm. I think one of your other questions was, “What inspires you to run?” So, I’m going to start with that because I got into trail running by a colleague that I worked with who led a group run.

    He said, “Come on this Wednesday for a 5:30am run,” and I did it. It was my first time running a trail, Mt. Sanitas, during a downpour in late October. And, I didn’t miss that group (run) for another three years after that. Through that group I’ve met a number of friends, and they are all ultra-runners. Four of them are “Lead Men”. So, there’s some peer pressure to join that club. I also signed up for my first 50 mile ultra-race in February (2017).

    Sanitas-Summit.jpg

    -The summit of Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, CO



Topics: Run Safety

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