Using Unexpected Free Time to Reach The Goal

I woke up before my alarm. This is not a rare occurrence for me. It probably happens three times a week. Usually it’s just a few minutes before that obnoxious thing pierces the morning quiet. But, on Monday my eyes opened 20 minutes early. What should I do? What would you do?

One of the things I’m learning since ramping up my daily steps is to take advantage of opportunities to move when pockets of “free time” appear. I never realized how often this happens until I made the commitment to get 20,000 steps every day. Now it seems like pockets of “free time” pop up everywhere. I’m guessing they were always there, I just used them for more sedentary pursuits.

I have to admit it still feels slightly off that I’ve turned walking into something of a personal science. Actually, more than just a little off. It feels downright weird and a little embarrassing.

But, the reality is I love the benefits. I’ll never get tired of talking about the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual rewards of moving more and sitting less. I’m stronger, healthier, more creative, and more focused than I’ve been in a long time.

I also enjoy the challenge of finding ways to get 20,000 steps every day. Sure, I have habits that are now part of my daily routine that help me towards that goal, but they don’t get me all the way. That’s where taking advantage of these random pockets of free time come in.

For example, on Tuesday, Ava and I had to drop off one of our cars for service. We drove separate because we were leaving the car overnight. I left the house first so she wouldn’t have to wait while I talked with the mechanic explaining what needed to be done. But, the timing wasn’t quite right and Ava hadn’t even left before I was done with the rep. That meant I had at least ten minutes. It was a beautiful day so I walked up and down the sidewalk while I waited. My “old self” would have simply sat in the waiting room until she got there.

Getting 20,000 steps only requires moving 3 hours and 20 minutes a day. That means I’m still sitting or laying down for more than 21 hours. I suspect there are more than a few random pockets of “free time” in there I’m not noticing. But, I am getting better.

I just finished Week Eight of my 20k One Year Step Challenge. The goal is to get at least 20,000 steps every day for a full year without taking a break. So far, so good. The weather is starting to get colder and I’m not a fan. But, I knew that was coming before making this commitment. I’m already into Week Nine. I’ll give you an update next Monday. And, this Wednesday’s blog is about Step Four of setting Intentional Goals. In my opinion it’s the hardest of the Five Steps…and not doing it is where my goals always used to fail.

Oh…and that 20 minutes on Monday before the alarm went off? You can probably guess what I did.

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