Challenge: One Million Steps in 80 Days, Let’s Do This!

Getting One Million Steps
30 May

Last Updated on July 23, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

The first time I tried this, things fell through. However, I’m going all in to see if I can get one million steps in 80 days. Realistically, I should hit my goal well before the 80 days are up. That is as long as I put in the effort!

This should actually work to my advantage to lose as much weight as I can before my birthday.

Initially, I was thinking about one million within 100 days. But in reality, that would only be 10,000 steps per day. I can pretty much do that now without much effort. So, I decreased the timeframe.

Why One Million Steps within 80 Days?

I know there are plenty of people out there who can reach a million in a relatively short amount of time. But as a desk jockey who has led an extremely sedentary lifestyle and not a lot of free time on his hands, I gotta do what works best for me.

In this instance, 12,500 steps is the milestone I would like to beat. After all, it’s been a couple of years since I maintained an average that high.

10,000 Per Day is Too Easy for One Million Steps

Although my time is limited throughout the day, I figure 10,000 steps is too easy for me. I often get pretty close to 10k just with my daily routine.

Hitting the 12,500 mark means I’ll have to put in a bit more effort. This usually means an extra break or two throughout the day to walk, which gets me away from the computer for about a half-hour.

Hitting My Sweetspot for Weight Loss

I’ve found that if I close in on 13k steps, I often lose quite a bit of weight the following day. This is mostly just a byproduct of keeping active enough to hit the 13,000-step mark.

As long as I keep my eating within reason, I should do fairly well when it comes to weight loss.

Creating Realistic Goals for My Personal Needs

Sure, I could set higher goals for steps. But with everything I have going on, it’s unrealistic for me to aim for something like 20k. I simply don’t have time to get that many steps in nor would I remember to do so.

Aiming for 12,500 per day perfectly fits my lifestyle. And that’s what truly counts. It doesn’t matter what anyone else can do as long as you’re improving on your own abilities.

Remember, you’re only in competition with yourself.

How to Reach One Million Steps in 80 Days

I know that some people can hit one million steps without breaking much of a sweat. However, not everyone has the same level of commitment or the available time to get in a decent amount of walking.

To hit this goal as a desk jockey, we’ll need to hit 12,500 steps every day. How do we go about doing this?

Step 1: Use a Step Counter or Tracking App

First, get yourself a step counter that is reliable. This could be anything from a wearable to your phone.

Personally, I’ve had a great deal of success using my Fitbit. In fact, I’ve found Fitbit data to be quite accurate from counting steps to burning calories. At least it is in my case.

You can essentially use anything you want that will track your movement, though. There are even some affordable step trackers on Amazon.

Step 2: Increase Physical Activity

In order to reach one million steps, I’ll need to increase my physical activity. This goes above and beyond what I get during my gym days.

For me, this means getting back into playing the Xbox Kinect, Oculus, and Bodyblade more often. That’s because the Fitbit will track workouts while recording steps through physical movements.

It’s not necessarily cheating if the whole purpose is to increase cardio exercise. And very few workouts get me into a sweat like the Xbox Kinect or Oculus.

Step 3: Plan for Walking Breaks

Taking adequate breaks throughout your day is good on multiple levels. It helps you destress while making you more efficient at your job. It’s how you use those breaks that make the biggest difference.

Currently, I already walk around in the backyard with the dog during my breaks. The problem is that I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing, that I often forget to take breaks altogether.

In order to hit the 12,500-step goal every day, I’ll have to be more conscientious about stepping away from the computer.

In general, I will need about five 20-30 minute blocks of time throughout the day for walking or other physical activity to hit my goal.

Step 4: Plan for More Outdoor Activities this Summer

As a desk jockey, it’s easy to tether yourself to a computer all day long. However, planning for fun outdoor activities can easily help boost the step count.

In my case, it’s probably going to involve a lot of golf. Or, at least heading out to the driving range periodically throughout the week. It’s been a while since my clubs got a bit of my attention.

The point is to plan something fun that is outdoors that you can really get behind.

For example, I live pretty close to a small lake that has an awesome trail encircling it. I plan to visit the lake at least once per week, especially considering it’s less than a 10-minute walk from me.

Step 5: Walk More Often Instead of Drive

Walking instead of driving can easily boost the step count. Not only that, but it can help you save on gas, considering how expensive it can get.

But what if your destinations are too far out of the way? Why not park somewhere that will guarantee you’ll have to walk a great distance to get to where you’re going?

You can easily get several hundred steps more by parking the furthest you can from any given store. Or, park somewhere further out so you have to walk the distance.

Step 6: Gamify it with Friends (Optional)

Lastly, gamify getting one million steps by including friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of friendly competition to see who can get the most steps in the day.

Gamifying your goals helps keep the activity fun, which improves your mindset. The more positive you view an activity, the more likely you’ll continue.

Step 7: Track Your Progress (Optional)

I am a firm believer in tracking progress, especially when it comes to a spreadsheet. In this challenge to myself, I’m going to track it through Google Docs.

This way, I have a visual element that can help keep me focused on what I want to accomplish. And yes, you can see that spreadsheet below.

Now, do you need to set up your own spreadsheet? Not necessarily. I just like doing it because I’m a dork when it comes to data and collecting numbers.

Still, there’s something to be said about creating graphs and charts.

How Long Does it Take You to Reach One Million Steps?

Hitting a million steps might sound like a massive goal. But in reality, you probably do five times that amount throughout any given year. I know of some people who are capable of doing it out of habit within a couple of months.

But remember, we’re not focused on what everyone else can do. Well, unless you’re in a competition as I mentioned earlier.

Even then, as long as you beat your own personal best, it’s still a victory. In the grand scheme of things, you’re only in competition with yourself…even if there is money on the line.

Life is all about stages of self-improvement. Become the best version of yourself by going beyond what you think you can handle.

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