I walk. I do the Free Step on Wii Fit, which is a lot like walking. I take Toby and occasionally my husband on sedate strolls around the neighborhood. I walk around touristy places in a touristy fashion.

But I don’t go for long walks the way I used to. I plan to do a lot more walking in the future, in the form of hikes and rambles and walking tours of far-off places, so I figure I had better get started building back up my stamina.

I started with one of the easiest and most convenient trails around. It’s between me and the bank, so yesterday after I had worked for while and cleaned my house enough to ward off absolute squalor, I put on my hiking shoes and set off with my shopping list. I parked at the trail head, which features the lovely butterfly garden above, and walked a few miles on the flat, well-paved walking/biking trail.

It was a pleasure. Sun, smells, plants to look at, an occasional breeze. No sore muscles today, but I did get a bit red in the face.

These are my methods of determining whether I’ve gotten enough exercise. I like to have a red face when I finish and sore muscles the next day. We are very busy at work, praise the Lord, and so it has been quite a long time since I accomplished either of those things.

In business or in daily life, it’s all about setting goals and creating accountability. As far as fitness goes, my goal has been 30 minutes a day for years. I usually meet that goal. My Wii Fit board provides accountability there — but if anything, that means that I’m less likely to do things that don’t get measured by the software. I’m toying with the idea of adding a Fitbit to my regimen.


I use RescueTime to provide accountability for my personal work goals: 5 hours of productive work, as opposed to emails and phone calls and meetings and such, each day. It could be argued that, in my position, emails and phone calls and meetings are also an important part of my job. That’s fine — I don’t need any nudging to include that stuff. It’s very easy, however, to let it completely derail my plans to write that ebook or build that web page, because that stuff has people at the other end of it. The design and composition just has “OMG I’ve accomplished nothing today!” attached to it — at the end of the day, when it’s too late to fix it.

Rescue Time keeps me on track for 5 hours a day of production and 80% productivity. It also helps me keep close to my goal of working 40 or 50 hours per week, not 70 or 80. I rarely manage that, but at least I know how close I’m getting.

I think FitBit might do the same for fitness. You can set a goal of 10,000 steps per day and see how close you’re getting. I bet that would help me get out and walk more.