One of the most common things I hear from people who are trying to exercise more by using a fitness device, such as a FitBit, is that they always forget to wear it, charge it, etc. Granted some of the reasons I’ve heard are legitimate (i.e. battery life is terrible – most common reason with FitBit Zip), but forgetting to wear it is something that can be fixed. My secret was forcing myself to be OCD about checking for it in my pocket.
I don’t mean a casual pick-it-up-with-my-wallet-and-watch kind of OCD. I’m talking Melvin Udall (As Good As It Gets) tap-my-pockets-every-hour kind of OCD. I will seriously check for my FitBit more often then I will check for my wallet. I’m telling you, it sounds crazy, but it works. I have had the same FitBit since January 2013 and it’s on my person 98% of the time. If I’m not wearing it, then I’m not moving!
Once I have successfully developed an OCD for carrying it, then I develop and OCD for reaching that daily goal. I think the trick to setting that goal is don’t make it an easy goal. The average person walks about 5,000 steps a day. Challenge yourself by trying to double that (which is why I think 10,000 is the default step goal with new FitBits). If you are easily within 90% of your step goal on a regular basis, then add another 1,000 steps. When you see that you need more steps, then you start inventing ways to get additional steps. It might mean parking farther away or taking the stairs everyday (if its feasible) or using that treadmill or stationary bike more often.
Two final (and fairly obvious) things to note:
- Wearing a fitness device probably won’t be the only thing that you have to do to get into better shape. It’s just one tool in an arsenal (i.e. diet, regular exercise, etc).
- FitBit isn’t the only fitness device you can choose from, it’s just the one I prefer and recommend.
So there you have it. If you are the kind of person that has an addictive personality, embrace that attribute and use it to your advantage, that’s essentially what I did. I’ve been down 55 pounds for going on two years now.