How to stay motivated for your next adventure

Motivation is a tricky thing. Harnessing its energy and potential is vital in early stages, only because motivation tends to wane after the initial excitement wears off.

Maybe you’ve researched a new adventure, one which really got your blood pumping just imagining the possibilities, but lost motivation and backed out. What happened there?

Adventure requires a lot of time, money, nerves, bravery, and a willingness to expect the unexpected. A part of your brain rejects all of the above. And for good reason.

So it is important to develop a motivation management system. The longer you stay motivated for your next adventure, the more likely you will meet your goals.

Personally, I gather every last item related to my next adventure. Maps, guide books, online forums, brochures—you name it. Call it an ongoing attempt to raise stoke levels.

Lately, though, I’m curious if there is another, more effective way to achieve adventure goals.

If you’ve worked in sales, maybe you’re familiar with the idea of a sales pipeline, where a prospect becomes a lead, then an opportunity, and hopefully a sale.

To be successful with a sales pipeline, one must stay motivated to ensure each segment flows freely.

What if we were to approach our adventure goals the same way? Say you think of an adventurous idea, do your research, find an exciting lead, call the right people to establish opportunity. And finally, that day arrives. Success.

In theory, if you stay motivated to feed your adventure pipeline, you’ll never run out of adventures. You’ll encounter snags here and there, but with time, you’ll notice an increase in quality adventure prospects.

Just a theory, at least. Any tips or general concerns on the subject?



  1. Excellent tips. I also like to imagine doing whatever it is to the point where my blood is racing and I’m short of breath.
    One thing about talking to people is to find people that have done it and had a good time. It’s too easy to try and arrange adventures with people that have no business leading anyone.

    1. And what then after you’ve determined the quality of the blood racing and shortness of breath? Game on?

      Nothing is more frustrating than an ill-qualified “Trip Leader.” Yet they’re everywhere. Like zombies. Eating braaaaaaaaiiiinnnnns.

      1. Yes, game on. There was a guy last summer I was going ot bungee jump with. that I ended up having absolutely no faith in. But then I found a place that is reliable and has their own bridge in Portland.
        Yeah, I’ll be there later this year.

      1. So you aren’t going to try to sell me on getting off my ass and doing something about it? I’m impressed. My slacker personality has conquered another adventurous spirit.

      2. I was wondering if I could do a word porn post of you sometime. It will be down the road a bit, but I would like to at some point.

  2. I like your approach. That’s a new way of thinking about it and I am really liking thinking outside my box lately. I like to set small goals for along the way leading up to the adventure so I always feel connected to it. One of my hiker friends likes to put a map of what she’s looking forward to so she sees it everyday and keeps the dream going. I have to say that I am a little addicted to youtube as well to keep me in the right frame of mind. For example, Hot Mama Hikers are heading to the Northville-Placid Trail in NY this summer and so about once a week I go to youtube and watch like 20 videos about it which totally re-excites me 🙂

    1. It seems we’ve found a potential common theme in the adventure community, for I too spend untold hours “prepping” for trips on YouTube; staring at maps placed strategically around the house.

      I just watched “2011 Northville Placid Thru-hike – Here’s to You” on YouTube for the helluva it. Amazing scenery. I have a wedding to attend this summer in NY (first time visitor, by the way). Which means the NPT is in the “opportunity” portion of the pipeline. Sweet.

      1. Can’t believe I forgot to ask how many miles the HMH are putting in on the NPT. Are you thru-hiking it?

      2. It looks to be an amazing trail. I haven’t done much hiking out in NY either just a little AT so I am really looking forward to seeing what the Adirondacks have to offer.

  3. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve backed out of something I initially wanted to do. I always ask later, “Why?” I guess most of the time, it boils down to fear. But I am thinking more and more, it’s important to push past the fear rather than give in to it. Just your question, “What happened there?” makes me want the next time to turn out differently. I’d like to think these days, I’m pushing forward. In the past, half of the time what I settled for instead of what I wanted to do initially ends up to be more than disappointing. Keep moving forward, keep swimming. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. You and me both. I’ve backed out of something I wanted to do far too often. I reached a point, like you, where I had to make a conscious decision to “keep moving forward, keep swimming.” It’s tough!

  4. This is great advice! I find that I get more excited if I’m going somewhere new opposed to some place that I’ve been before. I do love revisiting places, but it’s way more exciting going or doing something that’s new.

    1. Sometimes it seems life is too short to revisit places. There’s something so exciting about not knowing what to expect out of a new destination.

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