Microstep Month//

I Made One Meeting Each Day a Walking Meeting for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

“Changing the environment of my meetings has changed my conversations, too.”

This January, Thrive is celebrating Microstep Month. Instead of setting overly ambitious New Year’s resolutions that make you feel bad when you can’t accomplish them, we want to help you revolutionize your approach to resolutions with Microsteps, Thrive’s science-backed, too-small-to-fail mini habits that you can easily integrate into your life right away.

Research shows that nearly half of New Year’s resolutions fizzle before February. To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, we invite you to join us this month in selecting an easily achievable (totally free!) Microstep that is proven to help you meaningfully form new habits.

We challenged Thrive staffers to test a Microstep for 32 days and write about their progress. The result? Some very honest and encouraging Microstep Diaries, like this one.

Watch what happened when Emily tried her Microstep for a month.


Thrive staffer: Emily C. Johnson, deputy director of editorial content

Microstep: Making at least one meeting each day a walking meeting.

Why I chose it

I’m generally pretty consistent about working out and moving when I’m not at work — I go to the gym nearly every day, I walk to and from the train on my commute, and I also typically take a walk with my fiance after dinner each night that we eat at home. But at the office during my workday, it’s a different story. It’s not uncommon for me to realize at 6:30 p.m. that I’ve only moved to go to sit in a meeting in a different room, to grab a snack from the kitchen, or to run to the restroom. I realized that I needed to move more, and a walking meeting seemed like a great way to do that.

I was hopeful that adding walking meetings to my routine would help energize my meetings and my days. I meet with each of my direct reports every week or every other week, depending on the person, and I hoped that walking meetings would provide a nice way of separating out that time and give us a chance to connect outside of just us sitting in a small conference room.

A new dynamic

So far, I’m liking the walking meetings a lot. Some of my teammates were I think a little surprised by the shift at first, but it’s a nice change in the dynamic. It’s fun to know that when those touchbases come around, I’ll be getting up and getting some time away from my desk.

I missed a few of my walking meetings during the run-up to Thanksgiving. With the rush to get everything done, and with people heading out of the office, some of my meetings were canceled. I was sad not to have the time to take the walks, and I definitely felt that I was seated far too much on those days.

Success! And a surprise benefit

As the days progressed, I got into a routine and I think my co-workers did too. I set alerts in my calendar to remind myself that certain meetings were walking ones. I think that actively changing the environment of our meetings has helped my colleagues and I change our conversations, too — they felt wider-ranging.

I finally got to a place where I completed my Microstep every day during the week, and am planning on keeping it going. I love my walks — they’re a great change of pace, and have been a fun shift in my dynamic with co-workers.

Key takeaways

Overall, I was relatively successful with my Microstep. With the exception of a handful of days when I was out of the office, and one exceptionally busy day, I stuck to it consistently, and can now say it’s a habit. I really do love my walking meetings, and once spring comes, would happily continue them outside. Having time out of the office with co-workers was helpful in getting broader pictures of their workload, and ways we can strategize together. And enforcing a moment to get up, stretch, move, and not remain in my habitually slumped position at my computer is undoubtedly good for my physical health (and posture).

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More Microstep Month Diaries:

I Tried Tidying Up Every Night Before Bed for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

I Tried A Quick Burst of Exercise Most Mornings for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

I Tried Journaling Every Night for 32 Days and Here’s What Happened

Arianna Huffington: Give Your New Year’s Resolutions a Boost by Joining Us For Microstep Month

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