Those who know me understand that I have a “thing” about counting steps. For years, my goal has been a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
I monitored steps for several years with the original Fitbit devices, and then for about three years with an Apple Watch. I had a falling out with Apple earlier this year and have migrated to the Fitbit Versa.
In spite of my “thing,” when I looked at my steps for October, I found that I hit 10,000 steps on only 20 of 31 days. On the days I didn’t reach the goal, my average step count was about 7,000 steps.
On the last day of October, I set a challenge for myself – to achieve a minimum of 10,000 steps every day during the month of November.
When I started, I began to mention my challenge and my daily progress on Facebook. I’m glad I did as it helped turn my goal into a commitment. Thanks to all my Facebook friends who encouraged me along the way!
November Step Challenge Results
Last week marked the 30th day of my November Step Challenge, and I met the goal for the entirety of the challenge. The month looks like this:
- 375,000 steps for the month
- Average steps per day– 12,500 steps
- Lowest step count – 10,400 steps
- Highest step count – 17,200 steps
The November Step Challenge has reinforced a number of things for me, including:
- A goal is only a wish unless it is supported by commitment.
- To reach monthly step goal (or any goal) requires intentionality.
- To achieve any worthwhile goal, it is necessary to keep the goal at the forefront of the mind. If we don’t think about our goals daily, chances are we won’t reach them.
- My November Step Challenge kept my daily goal at the top of my mind and influenced what I did and how I did things each day.
Tips and Tricks
From a practical standpoint, if one chooses to walk and achieve a certain step goal, there are some practical things that will help.
- Wear a Fitbit (or another smartwatch). A smartwatch will capture steps and accumulate your daily information on a phone app. Most phones have an app that will capture steps, but it isn’t convenient to carry a phone sometimes. I prefer a watch, which takes the thinking out of capturing steps.
- Have an active morning. I’ve started a routine of stretching and toe raises that loosens me up and provides more than 1,000 steps for starters. My goal is to have 2,000 steps or more before I get to the office. A good start helps assure success.
- Create opportunities for steps. If I have an extra 10 minutes and am in a building or where walking is feasible, I try to tack on 1,000 steps a couple of times per day.
- Get up during the day and walk. I can walk in our office or out in the hall or anywhere. A 500 step walk break is invigorating for the body and the mind.
- Walk after lunch. See the two items above. There is a Chinese proverb that says “After a meal, walk a hundred steps to live to be ninety-nine.”
- Create other opportunities for steps. We all drive to places and park. Decide to park at the far end of the parking lot wherever you go. I’ve discovered that any trip to the grocery or to a big box store is worth at least 1,000 steps.
- Engage in sports. For years, my sport of choice was a form of handball, then I discovered pickleball. My goal while I am in Memphis is to play at least three times per week and preferably four. When I’m at our Florida spot in Port Orange, I try to play every morning.
- Think about movement. Move while you can. Move as long as you can. There is nothing better for the body or the mind than being physically active. An exercise trainer I knew would just say, “FOG!” It means “feet on the ground” and moving.
I had a number of vanity bracelets made to help remind me about walking. I wear one all the time. The words on the bracelet are:
- ** 10,000 Steps for Life ** and,
- ** Stay Grounded **
If you would like one, let me know. I’ll be happy to send one to you if you give me a physical address.
Hope these thoughts are helpful. Please do comment below.