5 Tips for Achieving Daily Step Goals

Fitness monitors are a wonderful way to track activity (and sleep). If you're like me, the simple idea that a daily goal exists creates a lot of internal motivation. Over the weekend, I hit half a million steps on my Jawbone UP 24 that I bought at the end of May. The feedback I get from the app that tells me that I am falling short or smashing my goal is a great way to keep up my motivation. The combination of a desk job and limited hours can make it difficult to hit the daily 10,000 steps on a regular basis, so I am sharing a couple of my favorite tips.


Take the long way

If you have a day job that mostly involves sitting, it can be really hard to hit that 10,000 step goal. The little extras you can get in add up quickly though. Use a bathroom on a different floor of the building (and take the stairs), walk to a coffee cart a little farther away or always go to someone else's office for a meeting. At home, get a few extras by parking at the back of the parking lot while running errands, taking a lap around the kitchen island each time you get up or simply taking the long way on a normal walk.


Skip the elevator

Climbing the stairs is a great chance to get in a few extra steps. Each flight is typically at least 12 steps (sometimes more), so they will add up quickly. Too many for you? Take the elevator halfway to where you want to go and then climb the rest. Some of the busiest people I know answer their emails while climbing flights of stairs. If they can do it, so can you!


Join a team

Most fitness applications have some social aspect available. Join a team, create challenges and push one another. Trying to beat someone, making sure you don't let down a group and general support all fantastic motivators that will help you overcome some of the harder days. You can play with friends you already know or make some new ones. 


Take a class

I know walking can seem really boring. On days when I go to my dance fitness class, I always hit my goal early in the day. Why? Because even though it doesn't feel like I am specifically taking steps, the class manages roughly 50% of my goal in only an hour. While it certainly feels like both work and exercise, it's an easy way to round out my weekly steps in a way that is far more fun than taking a four mile walk.


Don't quit

It can be depressing when I discover that a day didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I try not to think of it as a failure, though. Instead, I turn it into a challenge, promising myself that I'll do better the next day. I'd love to hit 10,000 steps every day, but sometimes life gets in the way. Instead of wallowing, I try and make up for it on a better day. Many of my weekdays fall short, but I often hit 150% of my goal or more on weekends. I figure it all evens out at some point.