If you saw me running in circles in an empty parking lot on a Friday night and thought I had gone quarantine crazy, I wouldn’t have blamed you. 

Even if I looked like a loon, those ridiculous laps led to something greater.

Yesterday marked the 100th day in a row that I walked 10,000 steps. And I’m proud of it! (More about my current obsession with 100.)

Here are 5 things I learned over the past 100 days that helped me hit over 1 million steps:

  1. You need to plan. Unless you like late-night parking lot trots, of course. When I had all-day commitments, getting my steps in early was always my best option. Doing them early also allowed me to fully enjoy the day and be present instead of worry about when I’d sneak in time to walk.
  2. People respect concrete goals. At times, I had to duck out on other activities to get my steps, but I never received pushback. Beyond being surrounded by supportive people, I attribute this to the fact that everyone around me, from family to friends to the Amazon delivery guy, knew 10,000 was my goal. They saw that I was committed and never questioned it.
  3. Knowing how to do something and doing it are different. I’ve always loved habit strategies like “don’t break the chain,” and with my focus on 100, I got to implement the streak strategy. When you take action, you build your habit practice stronger.
  4. Don’t diminish your accomplishments. I know that 10,000 steps per day isn’t a lot for some people and that others have gone on streaks much longer than mine. But that doesn’t matter. I put in the time and effort to reach 100, and that means something.
  5. You don’t have to do a habit forever to make it valuable now. I’ve already come to terms with the fact that someday, my schedule will change last minute, and I’ll lose my streak. Or maybe I’ll decide to stop. Either way, getting to 100 days makes me feel good, but if I don’t get to 200, that won’t lessen the impact of my first 100. Every step you take counts (quite literally for me).

Whether you want to improve your health or start glass-blowing, I hope my lessons help you, too. 

To being better without calling Atomic Habits your bible,