There comes a point in any relationship when the romancing stops. What was once fresh and exciting enough to have you bounding out of bed in the morning becomes routine and background noise. When the romance began, you found yourself checking in more often than you checked the time. You went to bed after a late night walk with a smile of true satisfaction on your face. And now? Well, now it’s an afterthought. You’re beginning to wonder if it was a mistake to invest so much into a relationship that seemed doomed to fail from the get-go.
After all, about 42% of folks give up on their relationships with their fitness tracker within 6 months of jumping in, according to The Science of Us in NYMag.com, which means that you’re definitely not alone. And it makes sense. When you spend that much time with something, you get to know pretty quickly how it works. I know that after about four months of using my FitBit, I could pretty accurately guess (within ~500) how many steps I had at any given point in the day. That vibration of affirmation that the FitBit gives you when you reach your daily goal loses its excitement.
However, if you’re not ready to give up on this relationship yet, there are several steps that you can take to take your FitBit from the passive fitness tracker that it has been and make it a fitness tool.
1) Change Your Step Goal
All Fitbit devices come with a default goal of 10,000 – but if you’re struggling to make 6,000 a day, it’s OK to lower it to something more manageable like 7,000. Once you’re hitting 7,000 at least 4 days a week, bump it up to 7,500. Challenge yourself! The same goes if you’ve never changed your goal past 10,000 but you’re regularly getting 12,000 steps – set your goal to 13,000 and see how you do!
2) Recruit Your Competitive Friends
They might not care particularly about fitness, but they love a good competition, and can’t bear to lose at ANYTHING: these are the kind of friends that you want to have in your Fitbit Friends circle. Get them on board, then start a Workweek Hustle or Weekend Warrior challenge with them and a few others. Call out your inner competitor and don’t let your friends steal that trophy from you!
Trust me: this method is very effective. I nagged a few of my most competitive friends until they all bought FitBits, and we’ve had some heated competitions – it has definitely made me step up my game! (pun intended)
3) Join a FitBit Social Community
Really? There are FitBit Communities on Facebook? Of course there are! There are support groups out there for everyone and anyone, no matter what your interest. So, connect with a group online – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever! Share your struggles, your successes, get ideas for new activities to increase your step count – just search Facebook for “FitBit,” and ask to join one or two of the groups.
4) Try Something New
Surprise, surprise – you don’t have to get all of your steps by walking! Hop on a bike (attach your FitBit to your belt loop, first) and explore the neighbourhood. Join your kids on the trampoline! (Why not work on your bladder control issues at the same time? heehee)
On rainy days, open up YouTube on your TV or computer (or tablet or phone or blah blah blah) and find some workout videos – my mom introduced me to Leslie Sansone, and she’s GREAT for challenging workouts that pack the steps in – my favourites are the 3 Mile Walk (if I’ve got 45 minutes) and the 1 Mile Walk (if I’m pressed for time). I stay as far away from her “Happy Walks” as I can, because her little cronies in those videos really freak me out.
5) Join a StepBet
This is my number one recommendation. StepBet is pretty much what it sounds like. You make a bet – around $40 – that you can reach the step goals set out for you 6/7 days a week for 6 weeks. It seems intense, and it can be, but I had the best fitness routine that I’ve ever had during those 6 weeks. The step goals that are set out for your are completely based on your stats, and they’re meant to challenge you. Everyone is given an Active Goal to meet 4 days a week (mine was 15,500, my friend’s goal was just over 10,000) and a Stretch Goal (mine: 17,800, my friend’s: 12,200). The first week is a freebie so that you can figure out what you need to do in order to be able to hit those goals. For me, it meant getting up 30 minutes early and taking a walk by myself – which, by the way, is actually a really nice way to start the day! – and adding a 30 minute walk to the end of my day.
I asked my kids (3.5 and 5) to help me meet my goals every day – so they hopped on their bikes so that I could walk or jog after them, and suggested walks or hikes every day. On rainy days, they eagerly did my work out videos with me, and asked me every night before bed if I won my challenge for the day.
It sounds like a HUGE commitment – but don’t think of it as a 6 week challenge – if you approach it as just one challenge per day, it’s totally do-able. My activity levels increased by 150% over the course of the first month – and being more active, after all, was why I got my FitBit in the first place.
If you decide to sign up for a StepBet (which I really hope you do!), I recommend convincing a friend to join, too. It’s so helpful to have the added support and motivation just a text away!
By the way, because I completed my StepBet, I walked away with not just the $40 that I invested, but a grand total of $75! Not so worse for pushing myself to be a little healthier, hey?
(FYI – I’m not actually affiliated in any way with StepBet, other than being a recent participant in a game.)
So go grab the FitBit from the Kitchen Junk Drawer and dust it off. Get moving. Set yourself some goals. Have fun competing with friends near and far – and fall in love all over again with that silly looking thing on your wrist!!
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