Day 46: Challenges

One of the many challenges of trying to walk 15,000 steps a day is the initial streak hurdle. When you’ve only hit your step goal for one, two, or three consecutive days, it’s easy to blow it off and start over again if you’re too tired or cranky. You haven’t gotten very far just yet, so no big deal right?

That’s the challenge I’m facing right now. I’m exhausted and I want to go to bed. My step goal seems out of reach since I’m only at 5,842 steps for the day. Hitting 15,000 would require over an hour and a half’s worth of living room laps, and frankly, it just doesn’t seem worth it right at this moment.  I’m so tired! Isn’t getting a good night’s rest more important?

When it comes down to it, it really doesn’t matter what excuse I come up with or how I justify it. What matters is what I choose to do or not do, and the only person it really matters to is me, right? Why all the drama? Sometimes going to sleep is the right answer. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself tonight.

Day 33: Tracking things

When I committed to giving this challenge another try, I told myself that I would stick to one goal or habit at a time. Once I was able to successfully keep that goal/habit for at least seven days straight, then I could consider adding another one.

But me being me, I created a new tracking sheet after my most recent Bod Pod and put a whole bunch of stuff on it. I didn’t set any new goals and I didn’t commit to religiously tracking everything, but I did tell myself that I would at the very least try to track these things. And I have for the most part.

Maybe it’s my inner nerd, but I love spreadsheets. I like having the data to analyze afterward and see how the different things I do affect how I feel, how I look, and what I am able to do. It makes this process seem less like hard work and more like some science experiment – kind of how I approached my other goals the first time around. That change in viewpoint has really made a difference for me when I’ve struggling to overcome a challenge and stick with a goal in the past. I’m hoping it’ll day the same this time around too.

My spreadsheet also serves as a great visual reminder to stay on track towards making these positive changes. I hung it up on the pantry door in my kitchen. There’s nothing else hanging there, so it doesn’t get lost among other papers like the stuff I hang on the fridge does. I see it everyday. And although I guess it could make me feel bad by showcasing my “failures,” so far I’ve found it to be motivating instead – to a certain extent. It doesn’t seem to motivate me to hit my step goal every day. But, it doesn’t take away my motivation either, so no harm no foul?

How to motivate myself to stick with my step goal seems to be like something I need to think about more. I mean, that is the whole point of this challenge, right?

Day 18: Jinx

So, I’m pretty sure I jinxed myself with Wednesday’s post. Despite getting off to a good start and walking most of the day’s steps earlier in the morning, I still managed to lose track of time and miss my goal by about 2,500 steps.

On the bright side, I’ve been a lot more open about what I’m doing with friends this time around. Before, I would anxiously glance at my watch during our weekly group dinner, trying to find ways to discreetly get my steps in before just giving up altogether or running out of time. On Wednesday though, I told them I had a daily step goal I was trying to reach, so I was getting up to walk around. No one batted an eye or looked at me like I was crazy.

That being said, I don’t want to spend our weekly dinners walking laps while we chat after eating, so I really need to work on hitting my goal before dinner even starts.

The same goes for my workouts. Instead of getting up early and exercising first thing in the morning, I procrastinated and then ran out of time. Fortunately, I had two rest days left this week, so I just shifted my workouts over by one day and did Wednesday’s workout yesterday.

Now, I’m back on track and determined to keep my new streak going. Happy Friday!

Day 12: I should have known better

After five challenging, but successful days, I ruined my streak by less than four hundred steps.

It was such a dumb way to fail.

After walking hours of living room laps because I’d spent the day on the couch recovering from one too many cocktails the night before, I decided to take a short break. I only had about 350 steps to go and it’s was only 10pm; there was plenty of time to get those steps in – or so I thought.

I got comfortable. I lost track of time. It wasn’t until after midnight that I realized I hadn’t finished walking my steps. I quickly opened the Garmin app on my phone and saw it: 14,679 steps.

So frustrating.

I knew better. As I sat on the couch to relax, i remember having the fleeting thought that I shouldn’t sit down. With so few steps left, I should just go ahead and finish them right away. Why risk it?

But risk it I did, and I failed.

No biggie though. Shit happens. I’ll learn from today and do better tomorrow. I’ll have a new streak going in no time.

Day 9: Not today

8:49 pm: 5,362 steps

Dejavú.

Here I am, two days later, in the same predicament. It’s almost bedtime and I’m short almost 10,000 steps from my step goal. The difference today is that I’m writing this post while walking laps around my living room. I’m determined to break this cycle of “two steps forward, one step back.”

Not only am I walking laps though, I’m doing it while my normally lazy dog tries to walk them with me. That may not seem like a big deal, but he’s wearing a donut around his neck to prevent him from chewing at his paws and zig zagging between my feet as I walk. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve tripped over him.

9:38 pm: 10,202 steps

It’s taken me almost an hour to take 5,000 steps. The dog’s gone to sleep and I’m on my second Kdrama episode. Make that my third.

I’m tired, I guess, but proud of myself for sticking with it.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder if this is normal behavior.

10:28 pm: 15,062 steps

Another 50 minutes to take another 5,000 steps. If I wasn’t tired before, I’m definitely tired now. I should have paced faster. Regardless, I’ve done it. I’ve hit my step goal for the day. Win!

Day 1: Third time’s a charm

We’re back in Japan after two weeks in the U.S. visiting family. It was a nice trip, but not devoid of stress. Families can be messy and traveling 18+ hours each way with two small children can make even the most simplest of tasks just a bit more complicated. Now that it’s over though, it’s time to get back to our daily routine.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been trying to get into the habit of using my bullet journal every day to keep track of my daily tasks, goals, and projects. If you’ve never heard of a bullet journal, it’s basically just a notebook you use to keep track of everything. You can read more about it and the method behind it here. As I pulled opened my bullet journal this morning to make a quick list of my day’s to dos, I found myself thinking about this blog and the challenge that inspired it.

It isn’t the first time I’ve thought about them since last December – they’ve been haunting me since I wrote my last post. My abandoned challenge has been a source of low-key guilt and fleeting motivation over the past two months. There have been moments where I’ve thought of giving it another go, but just haven’t been able to get past that hurdle between wanting to do it and actually doing it.

There have been since obstacles. Emotionally, I’ve felt burdened by the idea of forcing myself to write daily posts again. Physically, I’ve faced an emergency surgery at the beginning of the year that kept me from doing much of anything for several weeks. Toss in a long trip back to the U.S., and well, the excuses have been plentiful.

Today though, I feel like it’s time to give them up – the excuses I mean. I want to complete this challenge. Actually, I NEED to complete this challenge. There were so many positive changes that came from it the first time around. I could really use some of those right now.

I’ve read that the best time to create new habits or to change old ones is when there’s a change in your routine. After being away for a couple of weeks, coming back home is that best time for me.

As I did previously, I’m going to start with one goal: walk 15,000 steps a day. That’s it.

I have other goals I’m working on (I always have new goals I’m trying to accomplish, it’s just who I am as a person), but my steps will by primary focus; and I’m starting today, right now, NOT tomorrow. I am not committing to writing a daily post this time around, but I will post at least once a week to share my progress, stats, and spreadsheet. I do love keeping track of stats on spreadsheets.

For those of you who’ve followed me so far, and for anyone who stumbles across this post in the future, I’d like to say thank you for reading y posts. I’d also like to ask you for a favor: can you help hold my feet to the fire? It was the occasional notification of a new follower or of a comment on an old post that reminded me of this blog and challenge whenever it was starting to fade from my thoughts and memory. Without them, I’m not sure I would be sitting here writing this post today. The thought that there might be someone out there reading this became a significant source of accountability for me in the past and I think it can continue to be that way going forward this time around.

With that said, wish me luck! I’ve got another 365 days to go!

 

Day 1: Here we go again

Yesterday was challenging. I’ve been off the wagon for so long, I’ve lost the habit of checking my Garmin to see how many steps I’ve taken. I’ve also gotten into the bad habit of reflexively dismissing all of the alerts I set up in my phone to remind myself to walk more. It’s funny how easy it is to fall out of good habits and develop bad ones.

Despite those challenges though, I managed to hit my step goal. I cut it close; it was almost midnight by the time I reached 15,000 steps. It also took a lot of living room laps I wasn’t really very motivated to do; but somehow, I pushed through and did it.

I’m behind on my steps yet again today, but I’m feeling up to the challenge after yesterday’s win. Hopefully, it’s the first of many to come.