“A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish.” Antoine de Saint Exupéry (Writer, Poet, and Aviator)
I was recently reading an article that stated the average length of time that Americans exercise is only 17 minutes. No matter if you’re exercising 17 minutes or much more than that, setting short or long-term goals will hold you accountable and probably keep you exercising longer; giving you more time to let exercise become a habit. This is one of the reasons for having various short-term goals during the month-long 10,000 Step Wellness Challenge.
You can choose one goal or hopefully more during this month-long challenge including goals of reaching 10,000 steps a day, decreasing waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), or cutting back on your daily added sugar. The use of digital health technology during this month-long period can help with accountability. To help you monitor your daily steps you can use the Fitbit pedometer and their app to see if you are reaching your 10,000 steps a day or 70,000+ steps a week. When using the Fitbit app you’re able to see daily steps via the dashboard and it can give you a snapshot and breakdown of, among other things, your daily steps for each week (see figure 1).
There are many technology products on the market that can help you monitor your body composition. In a previous post I mentioned the digital health-o-meter tape measure (see figure 2) used for taking accurate waist/hip measurements. Once you have these two measurements you can then determine your WHR and if necessary have a goal to lower the ratio.
In regard to the nutrition component, there are some great apps being used like Lose It, My Fitness Pal, Nudge and upcoming Nudge Coach. The often overlooked value of these types of apps is that they hold you accountable with respect to monitoring your health. A big piece of winning the diet and exercise battle is gaining knowledge in the fact that increasing daily activity is critical while decreasing your waist/hip girth and reducing the added sugar could add years to your life. As your awareness increases, someone or something (technology, apps, etc.) can also give you an added boost in terms of making you more accountable.
“Goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted goals. Work on the theory of goal-setting suggests that an effective tool for making progress is to ensure that participants in a group with a common goal are clearly aware of what is expected from them.”
Stay especially focused on this particular week of your month-long wellness challenge because after this week you will be halfway done! If necessary, reevaluate your goals that you set on day one and remember the following quote from American engineer Edward Deming:
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”