We recently sat down with Libby DeLana, author of Do Walk: Navigate Earth, Mind and Body, for Basecamp with Madefor Co-founder Pat Dossett and Dr. Huberman, where they discussed the power of radical self-care. As a Madefor Member and an all-around, inspirational human, Libby shared how she continues to commit to a daily walking practice – even after 10 years! We decided to create a 7-day Text Challenge centered around a daily walk to inspire others to get outside, into nature, and into action! Watch the recording of our live session here.
If you missed it the first time around, you can still take part in the Challenge on your own. The Madefor & DoWalk Challenge is simple – get out and walk every day for 7 days (Libby calls this practice, MorningWalk). We designed a special focus for the walk each day to help guide and bring attention to the practice. You can complete this Challenge at any point, but the key is to commit to 7 days in a row. You set the time, route, and pace.
Ready to get started? Here are a few success stories we heard from participants of our Live Challenge:
It's interesting how some things that seem heavy on the mind initially, tend to either release or seem like a smaller issue after a morning stroll... thank you for the suggested activity. - Chris G.
My plan moving forward is to possibly find more community in my life, through social connections. The act of walking with others had a profound effect on me. Even though I was alone. I knew intellectually others were doing this as well and I felt a great sense of connection. That exposed a deep sense of loneliness within me. I'm happy to know this, there are solutions for that. Thank you for your generosity in sharing this journey... it's been a priceless experience. - Vanessa L.
I took walks regularly before this, but I didn't always treat them as a mindful practice. I plan to continue making them a daily ritual - even on the days I don't feel like it. "The more I move, the more I am moved" is a quote I will hold onto. Thank you! - Kate D.
Day 1 Focus: Start simply.
MorningWalk is a micro daily habit that can have a macro lifelong impact. Sometimes all it takes for a big transformation is a small, consistent commitment to something that brings you joy. We are focusing on a daily walk as an entry point to change this week. Not only does walking provide extensive health benefits, it can give us a blueprint to better navigate our world.
The focus for your first walk is to simply put on your shoes and walk out the door. Take it slow – it's not about distance, speed, or destination. Plan a route, pick a time, and prepare your walking gear tonight. Check out these tips to get prepared. Ready to venture out? Share a picture with friends or family from your first walk!
Day 2 Focus: Find your feet.
Navigating from point A to B in a new environment is much easier when you can see the entire landscape. You can see more routes and move more confidently and quickly. When done with attention, walking is a barometer to make sense of what is happening in our world. The slow pace allows us to see the big picture and more easily navigate whatever terrain we are faced with.
Your focus for today is to "find your feet." Take breaks throughout your walk to pause, stop, and look up. Pay attention to your surroundings. Connect where you are at physically with your body to your thoughts. Libby compares this practice to being on a rollercoaster, then coming to a stop and actually noticing where you are in space and time. Journal about what you noticed in your environment.
Day 3 Focus: Tune into your senses.
Walking allows for deep work – creating space, momentum, and the opportunity to use all of our senses to open up our awareness. The focus for today is to use your sense of smell to connect with the environment. Smell has the power to evoke a vibrant memory or tell a story; it helps us see, remember, and place ourselves in a specific moment.
Libby often describes the scents of fog and salt from her walks on the beach, which evoke the memory of a cheerful conversation with a friend who joined her one time. Create that experience for yourself by noting the smells around you. It may be a fragrant garden, the scent of pine in the forest, or the way the air smells after it rains. Savor the moment and create your own positive memory!
Day 4 Focus: Take a walk in the dark.
The “busyness” and stress of modern life make it easy to react passively to our environments. We go into autopilot and miss the joy of the moment – like scarfing down a meal without tasting it. The focus today is to switch to an evening walk – preferably in the dark (safely, of course) and to pay close attention to your other senses.
The air may feel humid and heavy, maybe there are crickets chirping, or a pattern of lights that flicker differently in the dark. You may even notice shifts in your internal experience. The ability to adapt to changing environments requires self-awareness, which takes constant attention and practice to develop. A walk in the dark helps build those muscles. Share with a friend what you notice – or better yet, bring a friend along!
Day 5 Focus: Use walking as a creative process.
A Stanford study found that walking boosts creative output by 60%, by awakening the senses and forcing the brain to use multiple parts necessary to coordinate movements and maintain balance while walking. This type of fully engaged brain can ignite creativity.
Use your walk as a creative process today. Schedule a walking meeting with a colleague at work or brainstorm about a problem you are trying to solve. You may even have that "Eureka!" moment you've been waiting for. As Libby likes to say, "The more I move, the more I am moved." Write in a journal about any big ideas or thoughts you uncover from your walk.
Day 6 Focus: Put motion to emotion.
According to Dr. Huberman (Neuroscientist and Madefor Advisor), we are in a state of disordered thinking when transitioning out of sleep. The act of walking first thing in the day is an act of reconnecting to reality through forward movement. When Libby started her practice it was a simple goal: to get out in nature every day.
But at some point, this connection to nature – to reality – transformed her life. She calls this putting “motion to the emotion.” Each step was an opportunity to work through the thoughts flowing through her mind. Today, focus on ONE story you have been telling yourself and put “motion to the emotion.” It’s a powerful practice of grounding oneself. Share any new perspective you uncover with a friend!
Day 7 Focus: Build momentum and keep going!
Today is the final day of the 7-day Challenge, so let's finish strong! Walking is a mirror for what happens in life. Some days are harder than others, some hills are steeper than others, but fundamentally the way to get through is to break it down into small actions. Today, spend time on your walk plotting how you will move forward after the challenge.
Reflect on what you have enjoyed over the past week and what you want to take forward with you. You may decide to continue with your Morning Walk practice or identify a new daily act of radical self-care that brings you joy. Either way, commit to yourself and your well-being. The commitment and repetition is what makes the journey so powerful. Write your journey on a post-it note or piece of paper and hang it up somewhere you will notice each day. Better yet, share your plans with a friend or family member to help hold you accountable.
You completed the 7-Day Madefor and DoWalk Challenge! Whether you are continuing with a daily walk or a new focus, committing to a daily practice is about building resilience, loving your body, prioritizing your wellbeing, and taking action. It’s radical self-care and your effort matters.
Remember, all you need to do is take the smallest step forward and savor the moment. Success is getting into action and thoughtfully engaging with a consistent practice each day. Need some more inspiration? Check out Libby DeLana's book, Do Walk: Navigate Earth, Mind and Body. Step by Step.