At the beginning of 2014 I set a goal to walk 1,000 miles in a year. I hit that goal in September and wasn’t too excited. I felt like I needed to raise the bar because I finished so early. I figured if you’re going to set a goal, shoot for the stars. 2,000 miles sounded much better to me because it was going to be near impossible for me to achieve. As of November 17, 2014 I have walked 307 miles and am 15% of the way complete. I may actually hit 2000 miles in a year. Here’s what I have learned so far in my journey.
You need to set a goal.
Setting the goal in Runkeeper was the only way I was going to hold myself accountable. It’s right there staring back at me saying “MY GOAL IS TO….Walk a total of 2,000 mi.” I get to see the green bar fill up and also get some insights as to how I’m doing. Right now I need to kick up my weekly mileage by about 4 miles if I’m going to stay on track.
You have to be obsessed about tracking your movement.
I knew that in order to hit 2000 miles I wanted to get credit for every single step I take during the day. I use Runkeeper for my long walks and a combination of Breeze and HealthKit to track the mileage in between. If I don’t have my phone on me I feel like I’m cheating myself out of precious mileage.
2,000 miles is a lot. Focus on the day to day.
If I were to leave my house (outside of Boston) and start walking west for 2,000 miles, I would end up in Cheyenne, WY. It would take about 625 hours and get slightly complicated because there is a ferry and I’d have to cross into Canada for a stretch. Rather than thinking about that big number, I prefer to focus on the 5.48 miles per day I need to log.
You can’t make excuses.
Walking 2000 miles is a lot and I have a lot going on in my life. I have a job, a wife, two daughters, a dog, a car and a million other excuses. There is no reason why I can’t hop on the treadmill at home, or take the stairs whenever possible, or go for walking meetings, or grab a coffee from the place that’s not right around the corner, or go for a walk with my wife at lunch. You can squeeze in movement at every possible time during the day.
You can inspire others.
Courtney Davis, the Office Manager at Runkeeper, decided to steal—I mean share—my goal. She actually said she’s going to walk 2001 miles in a year. We have a healthy competition going on and are constantly updating each other on our progress. Also, my wife saw how obsessed I became with walking that she asked for a fitbit for Christmas (she only has an iPhone 5). She’s now tracking her daily steps and we compete with and motivate each other as well.