That’s the number of steps I walked last week.
Those steps amounted to 38.05 miles and burned 14,422 calories. That’s the report I woke up to this morning when I booted up my computer.
It comes from my new toy — a little black plastic gizmo I carry with me that tracks my activity, records it and gives me progress reports.
Tracking the Steps You Take Changes the Decisions You Make
Now, knowing that my FitBit is watching, I walk up stairs instead of taking escalators. I leave a bit early for meetings and walk instead of riding. I move a bit more and eat a bit less.
Counting stuff makes a difference. I know it and you probably know it too.
By counting things, you shift your attention to them. (Remember the post on the Gorilla you didn’t see when you were counting basketballs?) When you pay closer attention, you act differently.
What Else Might You Track?
But if tracking activity makes you more active — and it does — what else might you track that will make an even bigger difference in your life?
Can you count the number of times you complement someone? Or how about tracking the number of people you offer to help do something? Or perhaps you might count the number of old friends you keep in touch with? Or how about simply making a list of the people who have made a diffeence in your life?
While tracking these things takes more than spending $99 on a FitBit, it wouldn’t be hard to do.
This week, I’ll track kindness.
I’ll make notes about little pieces of kind behavior I do all week. Like helping someone carry their stroller up the subway stairs. Or calling a neighbor to see if they would like me to pick them up some milk for her at the store. Or emailing someone I haven’t heard from in a while. Or putting some change in someone’s cup.
What’ll you track?
Pick Something You’d Like to Do More of and Track It
Try this little experiment:
Identify something you’d like to do more of. Be specific. And keep a little record of the number of times you do it over a specific time. Your tracker needn’t be fancy. But be sure to decide on a time period…a day or a week or even just an hour.
Then, at the end of the period, make some mental notes about how your behavior changed and what happened because you changed.
What have you tracked that’s made a difference in your life. Share your thoughts in the comments below.