A Change in Walking Goals: Weekly or Daily?

My walking journey began on December 15, 2019, with a goal of 10,000 steps per day.  I’ve written about this journey a number of times.  By Day 200, I had modified the goal to five miles per day, or about 10,500 steps per day.

As I write today on Day 1,238, I am making a change in my goal and in the recommendations I make to others.

It has gradually dawned on me that the daily goal is a setup for occasional failure.  There are just some days, because of illness, injury, other commitments, and more, that it isn’t possible to walk five miles on a given day.

A few weeks ago, I began considering changing my goal from five miles per day to 35 miles per week.  Over the last weekend, I examined my journey in light of this modified objective.  The results were interesting.

  • Since December 15, 2019, I have been walking 176 full weeks.
  • Over those 176 weeks, I walked 35 miles or more per week 170 times, which means that I missed the modified goal only six times in almost 3 1/2 years.
  • Looking at those six weeks of “failure,” two of them were in June of 2022, when I was down for the count for nine days.  Despite that, I walked 34.5 miles in the first week (pretty close) and only 21.2 miles in the second.
  • For the six weeks of “failure,” I averaged 31.2 miles per week, even with the low week in June.

For the 176 full weeks of this journey, I’ve walked 7,639 miles, or about 6.2 miles per day (and 43.3 miles per week).  I’ve logged 16.1 million steps, or 13.0 thousand steps per day.


For years I have set a daily goal of walking five miles per day which has set me up for occasional “failure.” I have recently reset the goal to 35 miles per week.  This subtle change does not impact my overall walking but makes for more satisfying weeks, even if I fall short for a day.  I can almost always reach the weekly goal now that I’m focused on it.

If you are walking with a daily goal, consider changing that to a weekly goal.  And if you are thinking about starting a walking program, think about setting your initial goal on a weekly basis.  We all want to “succeed” in reaching our goals, and this subtle change—from daily to weekly—helps assure ongoing success.



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