Yesterday I was reading about tapping into intrinsic motivation. One idea from the reading was the idea that sometimes you need to look back to move forward. Often we focus on how far we have to go rather than how far we have come. Looking forward can be overwhelming if you have a lot of work ahead. So sometimes, one should look back for motivation.
Today, I look back. I look back to February 29, 2020. It was a Saturday. The pandemic was about to hit the United States with full force. I was planning a trip to San Diego with my wife. She worked for a bank three hours away and I worked for a non-profit organization. Neither of us was particularly satisfied with our professional lives. My health had much room for improvement. While I have no recollection of what I did that day, I know one thing I did NOT do that day. I didn’t take at least 10,000 steps.
In the summer of 2017, I became a walker. I took long walks because my schedule allowed me to do so. At my peak, I would walk about 22,000 steps most days. This is approximately the equivalent of 10 miles. But, sometimes life happens and I wouldn’t achieve my daily goal of 10,000 steps. I think my longest streak was bout 200 consecutive days with 10,000 steps or more. Usually, a streak would end because I was sick or traveling.
However, when I awoke on the morning of March 1, 2020, I resolved to walk at least 10,000 steps every day until the pandemic was over. At the time, I thought this would be no more than four months. Yet, we all know the story, it lasted longer than four months.
Yesterday was a milestone day in the goal. Yesterday, the streak reached 1,000 days. Looking back, it is quite impressive. 33 consecutive months. Three months more and it will be three years. While the early days were easy because walking outside was one of the few “permitted” activities, the last 200 have been a challenge with a career change, increased travel, and an illness. If I was looking forward to another 1,000 days, it would be easy to be overwhelmed.
Looking back, I took over 10,000,000 steps and walked more than 4,000 miles. If I had set that specific goal, it would have seemed overwhelming. Instead, I took it one day at a time. Looking back, it is remarkable and I am proud of myself. Today, I am grateful for the opportunity and the ability to accomplish this goal. The challenge today is to take a walk, preferably outside, and start working towards a fitness goal.