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10 life lessons from… 1000 days of.. 10,000 steps…

How walking every day changed my life for the better

On 21 September 2015 I set myself a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day. One month went by and I surprised myself by achieving my daily goal every day! One month turned into two, two months turned into six and before I knew it I had gone an entire year of not missing my goal. So I kept going…. And yesterday marked the 1000th day in a row where I have walked at least 10,000 steps. Some people consider this an achievement, other people consider me crazy but as I stopped to reflect, I realised I learnt more about life than I thought possible from simply walking a lot of steps.


  1. Walking apparently does have health benefits!- The number one question
    people ask me when I tell them about my step habit is “How have you done
    it while you’ve been sick?” And the answer is “I haven’t been”. Sure I’ve
    had the occasional cold or a headache over the past 1000 days but I’ve yet
    to be sick enough to not get my steps in. Co-incidence? Don’t believe in
    them. There are hundreds of articles on the health benefits of daily
    exercise but I guess I am walking proof! (pardon the pun)

  2. Life is about the choices you make in the time you have– It’s amazing how many
    people have said to me that they wish they could do 10,000 steps but they
    don’t have the time because they work a lot, or they travel too much or
    they are just simply too busy. I always appreciate their viewpoint and
    rationale but here is what I know. I work 50+ hours per week, I have two
    boys who are a handful at the best of times, I travel overseas a few times
    per year and interstate every few months and generally speaking, have a
    lot going on. However in the midst of this, I have made exercise and my
    daily steps a priority. If I’m travelling I get up early and go for a run
    before my day starts, if I’m in meetings all day I turn some of them into
    walking meetings, if it’s raining I run around the house with the boys, if
    I’m stuck on a plane I walk up and down the aisles. It’s really not about
    time at all, it’s about how you choose to spend that time.

  3. Walking has made me a better mum- Unquestionably the best
    thing to come out of this habit is the extra time I have spent with my
    boys. Every Saturday and Sunday we set out to our local cafe (7000 step
    round trip) and on this walk they let me into their minds. Over the years
    I’ve learned about Pokemon, Minecraft, tales from the school yard, their
    dreams, their fears, even their “secret” girlfriends. As a busy working
    mum, this time is sacred and the bond it has formed between us could not
    have been achieved on a 3 minute drive.

  4. You can inspire people simply by being you– Over the years, my mum
    has bought a Fitbit to track her steps, my best friend at work has bought
    one and is now step obsessed but the best was my eldest son telling me
    that the only thing he wants for his 9th birthday is a Fitbit
    (a green one 😊) because he wants to
    “be fit like mummy”.

  5. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal– According to Gallup
    Strengths Finder I have Focus, Discipline and Achiever in my top 10
    strengths. Put simply I am someone that is innately built to set myself
    goals, put structure and routine to these goals and then execute on them.
    The reason I have never missed a day is because I know when I do, I will
    likely give up on the goal for good. I tend to do things 100% or not at
    all. Other people work in moderation but I’ve realised that doesn’t work
    for me. And that’s ok because I’ve found out what does.

  6. You don’t always need to start with the end in mind– I never set out to go
    1000 days without going under 10,000 steps. I only wanted to do 30.
    However as I achieved 30, I upped the goal (classic Achiever) until I
    reached 60. And the rest is history. What this taught me is that if I
    really want to achieve something big, I can do it by starting small.

  7. If you cheat, you are only cheating yourself– My dad drilled into me
    from a very young age that success only counts when you don’t cut corners.
    I discovered about two months into my challenge that your Fitbit will
    count steps if you’re simply moving your arm up and down. After blow
    drying my hair and earning myself an easy 1000 “steps” I felt so guilty
    that I had to take the dog for a late night walk to make up for it! So
    every time I’ve been tempted to stand on the spot and move my arms up and
    down, I think of dad and run on the spot instead 😊

  8. Tracking everything in life can do more harm than good-
    Typically
    if I track things whether it be steps, calories, my heart rate or how much
    money I’m spending, I end up getting results. However one thing that did
    not work for me was tracking my sleep. I spent months analysing my sleep
    and feeling like an under-achiever when my Fitbit told me how many times I
    was waking up in the night (probably from the stress of not being a “good”
    sleeper!) so I came to the conclusion that not everything in life needs to
    be measured. And I’ve been sleeping easy ever since.

  9. Life is easier when you plan– One of the reasons
    I’ve managed to not miss my goal is by planning ahead. Over the years I’ve
    looked ahead for what’s happening in my life and prepared accordingly.
    I’ve bought Fitbit accessories to make my Fitbit fashionable when I’ve had
    nights out (ps- the dancefloor gets you thousands of steps!), I’ve bought
    spare chargers so it never has a flat battery, I’ve packed sneakers when
    travelling so I can run even when I only have 30 minutes to spare and I’ve
    given up wearing high heels at work because that means I won’t walk to the
    coffee shop that will give me the most steps. Every day I know exactly
    what needs to happen in order to hit my goal and so far I have yet to be
    caught out.

  10. Achieving one goal makes other goals seem possible- Last year I
    joined F45 and one month in decided I was going to not only enter, but win
    the club’s 8 week challenge. Sure enough I gave it everything I had and
    did just that. What gave me confidence was knowing that if I planned, set
    myself rules, made it a priority and followed through that anything was
    possible.

So there you have it. Perhaps I’ll go another 1000 days, perhaps I won’t. All I know is that for now, I’m just going to take it one step at a time. Or rather 10,000 steps…. 😊

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