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Steps tracked: Insights On Decluttering From Walking

image of person walking

In 2019 I got one of those watches that tracks the number of steps you take. I was so excited. I was going to do 10,000 steps a day. It was going to be great. Fast forward to 2024 and I wasn't doing even close to 10,000 steps. But then something interesting happened - I changed my daily goal to 7,500 and everything changed.

If you want the full reason I decided on 7,500 steps a day, you can hear about it on my recent podcast episode here.

You see, I got that tracker firmly believing I could do 10,000 steps with no problem every day. But I wasn't even getting close to it at all. On the podcast, I didn't have actual numbers I just knew I hadn't done consistent 10,000 steps. So today I looked at the numbers:

2019 - 10,000 steps only in the first month - after that 5,000 steps on average

2020 - an average of 5,000 steps nothing was over 6,000 steps

2021 - nothing was over 5,000 steps

2022 - I tried to walk more but I didn't hit 10,000 steps my average was 6,000

2023 - same as 2022

In early 2024 my average was 4,000 steps a day (hello winters in Chicago). By April it was 6,000 average.

Then I changed things up and it all got more interesting - I decided to aim to walk daily and I lowered (yes lowered) my goal to 7,500. And guess what? I got to 7,500 steps almost every day. It hadn't registered for me until I got a notification from my phone that said my daily mileage average went from 1.4 miles a day to 2.6 in May!

Walking insights for May 2024
Insights From My Phone

Who knew that aiming for less would have moved the needle further for me? But that's just it. When we have big goals that may be unrealistic, it's harder to get to them. I did not have the time to walk 10,000 steps a day. I just didn't. But I did have time to walk 5,000 and maybe push myself to do 7,500. By changing my goal to less, I reached that goal and hit it almost daily.

What does this have to do with decluttering?

When we decide:

  • we are going to declutter our whole home over the weekend

  • or we will get rid of half of our stuff in 15 days

  • or our home will look perfect by x date

  • or some other big goal

We need to be honest with ourselves and what we really can manage. Is it realistic? What do we want to get out of the big goal? Does it need to be done in a short amount of time?

If I had sat down in 2019 and thought about 10,000 steps and why that was my goal, I would have known it wasn't my goal. It was something I was told to do. And it wasn't a realistic goal for me. My true desire for walking is: that I want to be able to walk daily, spend time outside, and maybe catch up with friends or my partner on a walk. It is not to walk about 300,000 steps a month.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you decide you are ready to declutter:

  • What is your true desire for decluttering?

  • What do you want to get out of it?

  • What do you want your home to look like?

  • What do you want your home to feel like?

  • Does this have to happen immediately?

  • Can you work on this over time in a manageable way?

When we give ourselves the space to look at our lives and homes with honesty (and without judgment or shame) we can create a goal that is attainable and manageable.

I hope this helps you on your decluttering journey.

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