The Mile Everyday Challenge. Are You Up For It?

I started a new habit this morning, and I’m hoping you’ll start it with me.

It’s no secret I’m a HUGE fan of walking – I’ve spent the past two years carless and walked pretty much EVERYWHERE. I wrote about how much important walking is with a little help from Hobbits. I’m also a huge fan of small changes repeated over time until they become permanent habits.

So I challenge you today to join me in the “A Mile Every Day” Challenge.  This month, I challenge you to walk one mile, every day, when you wake up. Yes, I understand November is cold. Yes, I understand mornings are usually time for snoozing, watching TV, and rushing out the door to get breakfast.

I want to see if you can change that.

I want you to have an awesome morning…and it starts with a morning walk:

  • This is a habit that takes less than 20 minutes. It should take you roughly 12-20 minutes to walk a mile if you’re walking with purpose. Factor in a few minutes to tie your shoes (unless you still have velcro), put on your coat, grab the dog’s leash, etc – you’re looking at roughly 20 minutes.
  • This is something that you’ll have no excuse not to complete. Because it’s the FIRST thing you’re going to do in the morning, it’s quite difficult to blame your lack of progress on the day getting busy later on.
  • It’ll wake you up faster than a cup of coffee. I’m not telling you to give up your caffeine, but this will help you immediately get out of “snooze” mood and into “I’m going to dominate today” mood. That’s a good mood to be in.  THEN, you can have your coffee :)
  • It’ll allow you to plan out your day and be more productive. Use your mile to plan out how you’re going to be MORE productive. What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get to the office? What are you going to eat for lunch? What time are you going to work out? What three important tasks are you going to accomplish today?

How to be successful

Sounds simple enough.

It’s just walking, right?

However, because this sounds like something that’s so easy, you might not put forth any effort towards completing it.  However, this isn’t JUST about walking.  It’s about proving to yourself that you can start something and stick with it.

I’m going to help you make the decision even easier.

  • Make it impossible to miss.  Set the alarm on your phone and name it A MILE EVERY DAY!  Put a post-it note on your alarm clock.  Hang a sheet that says “A MILE EVERY DAY” on your bathroom mirror.  Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to pick it up.
  • Sleep in your walking clothes or have them RIGHT NEXT to your bed!  That way, all you have to do is roll over, put shoes on, and walk out the door.  The fewer steps between you and the action = less willpower required = more chance of success.
  • Have your route mapped out - I use a FitBit to walk a half mile from my apartment, and then turn around and walk a half mile back.   If you like to walk the same route each morning, map it on Google and follow that path!
  • It needs to be the first thing you do.  Not after you check email. Not after breakfast.  Not after watching the news or playing one game of Doodle Jump on your phone.  First thing!  Obviously today won’t be that first thing, but you still need to get your mile in!
  • Hold yourself accountable.  For every morning that I skip my Mile in November, I’ll pay $10 to my friend Evan.  How are you going to keep yourself accountable?  Do you have a co-worker who will do the challenge with you?  Who can help you stay accountable? I can think of 10,000+ people that can help…
  • Create a reward.  Like with our old pal Link from Legend of Zelda, reward yourself with things that reward you back!  Buy yourself a new, slimmer outfit, get a massage, or sign up for a class you’ve always wanted to try.  I’ll be rewarding myself with a class that’ll help me move forward on my Epic Quest of Awesome.
  • Try something else: Do you have a really good reason why you can’t walk a mile in the morning? Maybe you live in a bad neighborhood or in a high tower in Rivendell? Is there a hurricane outside? OK, instead of the mile, try doing a single circuit of The Beginner Body Weight Workout. The important thing here is that you do it every morning, just like you would the mile.

I’ve created a spreadsheet in Google docs that couldn’t be easier to join.  You put down your name and you add an X next to the day every time you complete the day.  Put your money where your mouth is, and make your declaration public!

Join the Nerd Fitness “A Mile Every Day” Challenge!

Holiday weight gain?

fat santa
I need two minutes of your time.

We’re going to be launching a new premium product/class late next week on Nerd Fitness.  If you’ve been reading NF since June, you might remember our project that we opened up to a small number of people.  Well, we’re ready to kick things off again late next week with a holiday-themed version of it for people that happen to struggle during the Holiday months.

I’d love for you to fill out this quick 2-minute survey to help us learn what you’re struggling with the most during the holidays.

Walk on!

walk sign

Start walking.

Yes, I realize I’m posing this in the afternoon; you can do your first mile when you get home today. HOWEVER, when you wake up tomorrow morning, no matter how chilly it is, strap on your shoes, grab your coat, and go for a walk around your neighborhood or block.

Good luck, my dear Rebel friend!

-Steve

###

photo: storm trooper walking, black and white walking, fat santa, walk sign

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  • http://www.facebook.com/DuzAwe Conor Hughes

    Is there a fitbit nerdfitness group??

  • kevralyn

    I have an extended walk as part of my commute to work each day – 2 miles before I get in the office. (It’d be 1 mile if I was lazy with the tube stops). This has definitely kick-started my fitness over the past year although admittedly it’s like the 3rd of 4th thing I get to in the morning after eating, cleaning & dressing :)

  • Jana

    challenge accepted

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  • mkg

    can i just run a mile every morning? its faster.. wakes me up more.. and saves a lot of time.

  • Marian

    Ok. I am reading nerd-fitness for few weeks now here in Poland, and I feel like finally I am ready to join the movement :)

    This MMW is perfect for it – I AM IN.

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  • http://twitter.com/karinalynnes Karina Schultheis

    I definitely do too. Hey, if they’re comfy enough to sleep in, they’re comfy enough to walk in! :) I’ve also been putting my shoes RIGHT NEXT to my bed, so I trip over them as soon as I get up…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ricardas-Peldzius/1370530109 Ričardas Peldžius

    Sounds like building habit in Zen Habits way…
    http://zenhabits.net/fitness-habit/

  • http://twitter.com/karinalynnes Karina Schultheis

    This is great, Steve! I had already decided that November was going to be my month to really go into battle, starting with full-blown Paleo (except for Thanksgiving. Mmmm stuffing). Add in the morning mile, and it’s officially No-Excuse November! The past two days, I’ve found that the hardest part of this walking business is just getting out of bed. But once I do and start MOVING, it’s no time at all before I’m back home and my day is off to a healthy and productive start. And I find myself craving oranges instead of chocolate croissants. You’re so right about motivation and momentum—

  • http://twitter.com/MarcyTooTimid Marcy L

    Cool idea. I’m in. I’ve been walking at least 10,000 steps a day, but more and more lately I have miles to get in at the end of the night, so I like the idea of getting some in first thing in the morning. And it’s waking me up better than coffee does.

  • robbycox

    Great idea! I’m going to also take my dog’s with me so I can knock out 2 things at one time

  • robbycox

    That’s my plan also. I always find it hard to find time to take my dog for long walk after work. Doing it first thing in the morning will solve this

  • BARZ

    Don’t think I don’t know what your doing. Once the month is up this will be a habit!

    Darn it! I fell for your cunning trap. ;-) Great idea. This morning when I got back my wife asked “Do you think I could join you?” Spreading the word one example at a time!!

  • Spencer

    I’m a little late, but I’m game. Too bad my dog doesn’t live with me, he’d love this :(

  • Panczo

    Hej !!! Też się przyłączam – jest ktoś jeszcze z Polski??

  • Harris

    I’m on it.

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  • Kevin McCoy

    I missed a couple days (didn’t read this until Sunday) but I’m on board.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenn.b.pierce Jenn Pierce

    Best. Idea. Ever. I am so not a morning person and being outdoors and MOVING completely wakes me up! Plus, I now start the day in a great mood!

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  • Sarah

    I love walking and I strongly believe that it is a very effective way to stay fit. Though I work in the evenings I now walk 2 km every other day. My shift starts at 8 pm and ends at 5 am. During rest days I do brisk walking, running and joining the areobics class at the park. I am enjoying every minute of it and I intend to do this and encourage to try and do the same as well.

  • Saphire

    I’m doing it! My dog loves it….I may have done it slightly longer…1 hour longer. Anyhoo, totally on board and thanks for getting me up in the mornings :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/German.Fafian German Fafian

    I come back to point out my last work outs and can’t modify the sheet :(
    Anyway.
    What’s better than walking one mile (Besides walking 2)?
    Tabata Training in the morning!

    EDIT; Restarted the page an it works now :)

  • Josie Goodall

    have 1/2 mile routes planned

    am gonna do! this ( originally wrote try and changed that for do).

  • Apanczo

    Ok, so we are almost at the finish line where the rewards, cute girls/ handsom boys and/or lots of money show up!!! Congratulations to all of ya!

    What I’m wondering about, is what will happen next? I dont want it to be the end :( this little excel sheet is very motivating and I hope we will continue this in december?

    COME ONE GUYZZ!!! I NEED THAT SHEET FOR NEXT MONTH :)

    Ok, I am calm now … BUT PLEEEEEEASE think about that…

  • Apanczo

    of course you can :) why not? :D

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