Goals 2020 – Walking: Wander Widely

Walking is something that I have been taking a fair amount of interest over the past five years. I can foresee my walking goal being the easiest to achieve this year. Although I have set my target just a little higher than I have ever achieved before.

The most steps that I have recorded in a single year were in 2016 when I logged just over 6.4 million steps. Each year since I have come short of surpassing that mark or getting to my goal of 6.5 million steps. In 2017, I made 6.2 million steps, 2018 was also 6.2 million steps, and 2019 was just over 6.1 million steps.

Thinking about the levels I have reached over the previous three years, it inclined me to leave my goal at 6.5 million steps. However, I pushed myself a little more and set the bar just a little higher, with a goal of;

7 Million Steps

The primary reason that I stepped the goal up a little was 6.5 million is such a small increase over something I have previously achieved. Where pushing myself to 7 million steps is a good push beyond what I have achieved before.

What does walking 7 million steps equate to for the year? It works out to an average of 19,125 steps per day or about 134,600 steps per week.

Challenges

There are two challenges that could impact me this year with this goal. These challenges are things that I have faced previously and remain present this year just like any other.

The first challenge comes from where my daily target is for my walking and how that has impacted my goal for the previous years. The problem has been that when I set my yearly goal at 6.5 million steps, but continue focusing on just walking 15,000 or more steps per day. Having two different focus points when working on a goal, especially when they don’t equal each other, can be a big problem.

The reason this was a problem was a lack of review on the goal. Mostly, I was only reviewing my progress at random times throughout the year. Subsequently, I did nothing to adjust my approach to get on target. The difference this year is that I will review my progress towards the goal on a weekly basis and know if I need to make adjustments.

The second challenge that I will face is the potential for external forces to impact my ability to walk. While you do not want to think about it, there are many things that could happen which would impact your ability to walk. You cannot think about everything that might happen in advance and make a contingency. But you have to prepare yourself because something may happen which will take the goal off the table. If this happens that is life, I might just miss the goal, but again like my writing goal if I miss the target but have been putting in every effort that is still ok.

First Steps

The first step is something that I have already been doing for the past five years. It is to track daily the walking that I do. I do this already with my fitness tracker, which is a Fitbit Alta HR. I also collate this data into a spreadsheet and share it on a weekly basis via my website My Daily 10000.

As part of this first step, I have made a few tweaks to how I share my weekly walking update. Including a weekly look at the progress on this goal, the remaining steps and weekly average to reach the goal. These address the first challenge mentioned above and take randomness out of the equation. Every week I will know exactly where I am and what I need to do going forward to achieve the goal.

The second thing is that I won’t be targeting the daily average of 19,125 needed to meet the goal. I will remain ensuring that I walk a minimum of 15,000 steps per day and ensuring, on balance, I make the weekly average required. If I get to caught up in trying to walk the 19,125 every day, I will end the year walking significantly more than I need to. Because once you meet that level of walking you inevitably do more because of various factors.

Finally, I will start planning some bigger walks and taking on some of my records throughout this year. During the cooler months, April – September I would like to plan some longer hikes. These may include bush or city walks over 20km and also the potential for multi-day hikes. I am planning to break all four of my biggest records this year, including the following;

  • Biggest day – 30, 321 steps
  • Biggest week – 167,174 steps
  • Biggest month – 602,989 steps
  • Biggest year – 6,435,664 steps

There may be other things that I can do as well to help ensure my success. However, I will leave these and look into them as the year goes on. What I have here already seems to be quite sufficient to get started.

Review & Adjustment

The review process for this goal is the easiest to put in place, and that is because it is already in place. I already prepare a weekly review of my walking on my website, My Daily 10000. I will continue to do so and as mentioned above the process I follow for this has changed slightly to ensure I can quickly respond and adjust should I be falling short for my goal.

I will also provide a short update on this page as well from time to time throughout the year.