Step goals and habit stacking

This year I’ve stepped up my… step game.

I’ve been tracking my steps for a while, since late 2015.

But at the beginning of this year (2017), I set a step goal (or rather, Fitbit set one for me). In January, Fitbit asked me if I wanted to set a step goal of 8,500 steps per day. I didn’t really think I needed a step goal because I considered myself fairly active compared to the average person. But I said “sure, why not?”

Last year, I was averaging between 5,000 and 6,500 steps per day depending on the month, which wasn’t terrible. But I knew I could do much better. Holding myself accountable to my new step goal this year, I’ve averaged over 8,000 steps per day every month so far but one.

This year-over-year improvement is apparent on the chart (2016: yellow line, 2017: blue line). On a side note: The cool thing about tracking the same metric for a long period of time is that you can really see how far you’ve come.

Increasing my steps has resulted in an improvement in my metabolism. Burning a couple hundred additional calories from walking every day adds up. I definitely have more wiggle room in my calories and I’ve also found that it’s harder for me to gain a lot of weight quickly.

The one simple change I’ve made to get from 6,000 steps per day to 8,500 is taking two 15-minute walk breaks at work: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During these walks, I listen to audiobooks so an added bonus is that I’ve consumed more books this year than I have during any other year in my life.

Reading more books was also something I wanted to improve this year and it just happened naturally with my new walking routine. I like to call this “habit stacking.” Whenever you can develop habits that benefit you in multiple areas of your life, it’s a huge win.

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