Ten thousand steps may seem like a long path to success. What if I told you I try to complete each one every day. What if I told you I usually knock that many out before breakfast?
Before the world of fitness trackers I was somewhat of a desk-potato. Not quite as lazy as a couch-potato, but I very rarely got away from my desk. It wasn't until one day, in an effort to improve my health, I decided to purchase a FitBit and see how much I was really (or not really) moving throughout the day. The first day I wore it I was quite impressed - just over 2,000 steps! Although 2,000 certainly felt like a large number, in reality it is not even a mile, and not anywhere close to enough movement to have helped me reach my goals.
My love for measuring and monitoring (I'm a trained accountant) and competitive nature helped kick my step goal into high gear and I was determined to hit the coveted 10,000 steps per day. Little did I know, my simple weight loss goal would also help me become a better leader, and build stronger relationships with my team. Now, you certainly don't need a FtiBit or fitness tracker to achieve these results, but if you like the satisfaction of hitting a concrete goal at the end of the day, this is a great way to stay motivated.
Here are four ways my 10,000 steps per day made me a better leader:
My team and I have more creative ideas than ever. I told you, I was a desk potato. If I wanted something done, or had a quick question, I would just type up a quick email and send it along, even if the person I was sending it to was just down the hall! Now, almost all of my communication is done verbally. I get up from my desk, and out of my office and have full-sentence conversations with people. Not only is this method actually faster, it also inspires new ideas that would never have come up if we were communicating through email.
My team is more productive. Instead of reaching for a snack or another cup of coffee when I need a break, I now walk laps. Laps around the office and laps around the warehouse. I make a point to say hello to all levels of my organization and let them know I'm here if they need me. Concurrently, I get to see what is happening within my organization at times when my employees least expect it. This makes recognizing weaknesses in productivity more accurate than if I was to schedule and plan quality checks throughout the month. This action also allows my team to have a one-on-one conversation with me without having to schedule an appointment or come up to my office. This not only helps them complete tasks faster (and more accurately), but it also shows that I'm invested in their success.
I am more focused. I quickly realized that some of my work had to be done at a desk, but I could no longer stand the idea of sitting all day. I quickly invested in a treadmill desk, and even got an extra for the rest of the office to use. Now, I do most of my work while walking (slowly). Before the days of working at my treadmill desk, I would often be multitasking on at least two projects at the same time (while answering phone calls, emails, and texts). While it might have appeared I was being productive, I was actually (unknowingly) wasting time switching from one task to the other. Now, when I work while I walk, my body is already occupied with the task of walking and it leaves little room for my brain to take on too many additional tasks. I am better able to focus on one task and complete it before moving on to the next. This leaves more time to work on the fun tasks like brainstorming and creating new offerings for my business.
I have more energy. You would think walking five plus miles per day would leave me feeling exhausted, but the opposite is true. I've lost over 50 pounds since implementing my daily walking goals, and I no longer have dips in my energy levels. Additionally, I no longer have to choose between doing work, and staying physically active, a decision that previously caused me a lot of stress.
Nowadays I usually have 10,000 steps logged before breakfast, and I spend the rest of my day trying to hit 20,000. I am obsessed. This one simple goal has helped my organization become more agile, and changed my life for the better.
Do you have (or aim to have) a daily goal that can help you be a better leader? Share with me in the comments below!