A Fun Little 21 Day Challenge

lake-and-woods-the-netherlands-december-2016A few days ago I set myself a fun little challenge to do whilst I am spending time in the Netherlands over Christmas and New Year. If you didn’t already know, I was born and brought up in the Netherlands, and my parents, who are British, still live here.

There are gorgeous woods nearby and whilst I am fairly familiar with them, I always think I’d love to spend more time exploring them whilst I visit my parents. It doesn’t always happen though!

Then an idea popped into my mind – as they often do – and it felt possible to walk in the woods every day if I made it a bit more meaningful for myself. So instead of just wandering around, I would have a focus such as taking a photo of something inspiring to me. Then I’d hold myself accountable to do this by posting it on Instagram every day.

As I write this post I have just come back from Day 3 and I am loving it.

It began simply, however, today as I was walking I thought it would also add value to the challenge for me to log what I saw in terms of wildlife…since there are some species that I haven’t seen there before!

After you cross a bridge over the canal to enter these woods, there is a small lake that is occupied by the usual mallards and coots, and sometimes grebes. Swans nest there, too, though I have not seen them on this visit yet. It’s also a popular watering hole for herons.

heron-in-the-woods-the-netherlands-december-2016On Day 1 I was pleasantly surprised to discover a ‘new’ type of duck. I took the best photo I could with my phone (zoomed in I could just about make it out) and at home referred to my dad’s bird guide which I’d once given him as a present and found it was most likely a Mandarin duck. That really excited me!

Then on Day 2 I heard loud cackles and from a distance I could tell they were geese, but wasn’t sure which ones. Usually Canadian geese will stop off at this lake for a little visit, but these ones I thought I hadn’t seen before. I tried to get a bit closer without scaring them off and then a funny thing happened – one goose was chasing another, but not on the ground…in the trees! Yes, they were landing on the tree branches. I have never seen a goose do that before! I wondered if it was a male chasing a female, or a male chasing another male away from a female. It was hilarious!

They were Egyptian geese.

So, I am excited to continue with my challenge and I am already feeling the benefit of moving my body every day and feeling joyful from the experiences. It’s definitely having a positive effect on my well-being. Plus I get to be creative! Who knows what will come from this. And if nothing does, then that’s okay, too. It’s all about having fun every day anyway.

If you’re interested in following me, you can find my daily photo on Instagram here.

I’ll write a post once I’ve done the challenge to share my thoughts about having done it, and I’ll see if I can write something in between as well. I’ll keep you posted!

***Here is that blog post I mention above: “My 21 Day Challenge Reflections”***

What fun little challenge could you set yourself that would bring you lots of joy? What one thing could you do daily that would make a difference to your well-being and happiness?






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