365 to 180: January Challenge- 10,000 Steps Closer to Transformation

family walking on path
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And, so it begins.  A new year with new possibilities.  A new monthly challenge to work on building healthier habits. 

2023 was a really hard year for my family- a lot of trials and tribulations and I’m looking forward to a new year.  

However, you don’t have to wait until a new year to start working towards your goals, after all there is no time like the present.  

For me, this just happened this way.  

Do you ever feel like you’re just so busy just trying to get caught up that you find there’s no time for anything else, much less self care? 

This is what most of 2023 has felt like for me.  

Now that things have slowed down these past couple weeks, I was able to do some self reflection and decided on some goals that I want to achieve in the upcoming year. 

I was able to take this time and develop a plan, and while I do not have the entire year mapped out, I’ll figure it out as I go and adjust as needed.  

For my personal development journey, I have decided to do a new monthly challenge to reach my overall goals for 2024.  

I have decided to break my larger goals into smaller ones to help me be more successful and to build healthier habits and 30 day challenges will be my way to do this. 

So, this blog post is the first step in this challenge- the beginning of a new month, the beginning of a new habit.  

For context, here are my goals for 2024 in no particular order:

  1. Lose 50-60 pounds by the end of the year 
  2. Develop a weekly exercixe plan and stick with it 
  3. Be more posiitve and expresss gratitde 
  4. Read the Bible in a year
  5. Be kinder to myself and prioritize self care
  6. Declutter and organize my home
  7. Eat healthier- more fruits, vegetables, and limit the amount of sweets and sodas.  

So, for January’s 30 day challenge, I want to kickstart my weight loss journey.  I have decided to challenge myself to walk 10,000 steps a day and will be keeping track of this via my Apple Watch.  

Before I get into the why for this 30 day challenge, if you’re new to the idea of 30 day challenges and the benefits, check out my post below. You can also read my blog post about breaking habits in 2024.  

Related: Embrace Transformation Now: 30-Day Challenges to Ignite Positive Change

Related: Breaking Habits: How to Live Your Best Life

In short, 30 day challenges work on the principle of dedicating a short amount of time, 30 days to a particular challenge to lead to lasting profound results.  

The 30 Day Challenge: 10,000 Steps Daily

Embarking on a 30 day challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day is a transformative journey for both body and mind. 

This not only helps you introduce more physical activity into your life, but also cultivates a sustainable habit that can significantly improve overall well-being.  

With each new day, the habit of increasing your steps will seamlessly be integrated into your routine.  

Why 10,000 Steps?

For me, 10,000 steps daily is my personal goal for this 30 day challenge. According to the National Institutes of Health, that although 10,000 steps is commonly suggested, health benefits occur even with fewer than 10,000 steps daily. However, if you decide to embark on a 30 day step challenge yourself, choose however many steps resonate with you.  Check out the National Institute of Health’s article here.

Disclaimer: Prior to embarking on this step challenge, or any other weight loss journey, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.  

Here are some benefits to increasing your daily step count.  

Benefits of Increasing Your Step Count

Physical Benefits  

  1. Cardiovascular health improvement 
  2. Muscle strengthening and toning 
  3. Enhanced joining flexibility and stability 
  4. Encourages weight management 
  5. Increased energy benefits  
  6. Establishing a sustainable fitness habit 

Mental Benefits

  1.  Stress reduction and mental clarity 
  2. Improve mood and potential for better quality of sleep 

Ways to Increase Your Step Count

There are so many ways to increase your step count daily.  

  1. Take the stairs – opt for the stairs instead of elevators or escalators whenever possible.  
  2. Walk or bike to work or school if possible 
  3. Lunchtime Stroll- Use part of your lunch break to walk around your workplace or nearby park.  
  4. Park further away– Purposely park your car in the back of the parking lot.  I personally have always done this because I do not like getting mixed up in crowds.  
  5. Walking meetings– Whenever possible, turn your sit down meetings into waling meetings.  
  6. Take breaks– Set a reminder to stand up and move every hour, even if it’s just for a few minutes.  The Apple Watch does a great job telling you it’s time to stand.  
  7. Dance More– Incorporate short dance sessions into your day to increase your step count during this 30 day challenge. Put on your favorite song- and dance away! 
  8. Walk the dog– Make an effort to walk the dog once or twice daily 
  9. Explore your neighborhood– Discover new routes and streets during your walks 
  10. Outdoor activities– Take up a new hobby like hiking, cycling or gardening.  
  11. Use a standing desk– If possible opt for a standing desk at work or home to encourage movement 
  12. Take the long route– choose a longer path to get to your destination 
  13. Walk during phone calls–  Use phone calls as an opportunity and reminder to get up and walk around.  
  14. Join a walking group– Socialize and meet new people who has the same goals as you. 
  15. Dance while cleaning– Use cleaning as a chance to get more steps in.  Put on your favorite album and dance to your heart’s content while cleaning. It might make cleaning a little more fun, huh? 
  16. Evening walks– After work and/ or school, take an evening walk with the family.  
  17. Dedicated walking–  set aside a specific time during the day to get your steps in 
  18. Walk indoors–  Utilize walking videos on YouTube to get your steps in
  19. Use a stair stepper indoors–  This is perfect for when you’re unable to get outdoors due to inclement weather 
  20. Steps while watching TV– Instead of sitting down on the couch and watching tv, use a stair stepper 

Devices to Track Your Step Count

Having the proper means to track your steps during this 30 day challenge is crucial to determining how many steps per day you walk.  

Use a pedometer or fitness traciker to keep track of your steps and stay motivated.  

There are so many on the market to choose from, so choose one that is a good fit for you.  

I personally use an Apple Watch and absolutely love it.  I am able to keep track of, not only my steps, but it also tracks my calories expended as well as my stand hours.  With the Apple Watch, you can also adjust your goals based on your needs. 

a woman walking on the beach with text overlay 30 day challenge 10000 steps a day

My 30 Day Challenge Updates

Throughout the month, I’ll update this post here to reflect my personal journey during this 30 day challenge.

I’ll share with you any additional tips, tricks and personal reflections during this journey.

If you’re interested in following me on my journey, save the pin above so you can get back to this blog post.

You can also follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Threads where I’ll try to post updates as well.

And, if you’re interested in doing your own 30 day challenge and just need a bit of support or looking for a community to share, consider joining my private Facebook group. Click the image below to join.


All in all, I thought this was a great challenge, although extremely difficult at times. I’ve noticed that in order for me to reach 10,000 steps daily, I had to actively try to do so. (Which is the point of this challenge, right?) I’ve noticed that I regularly walk 4,000-6,000 steps daily without trying and anything more meant I had to have a plan in place to reach the goal. And truthfully, I was happy even if I made it 8,000 steps. Anything more than my typical amount is improvement, right?

I attempted this challenge in January, and where I live in NC, I do not have the benefit of having nice weather during this winter month. Therefore, I had to really consider alternatives to walking outside. I have found mall walking, and walking videos on YouTube to be especially beneficial as I navigate through this challenge as I do not currently have a treadmill at home.

Although I did not meet my goal of 10,000 steps daily during this month, I do believe that I was successful in increasing my step count daily, which was my hope for this challenge in the first place. My goal is to lose 50 pounds by the end of year and this challenge was to kickstart my weight loss journey, as it gets me to start moving more and thinking about exercise.

I have found that while 10,000 steps daily may be an arbitrary number to choose, I am happy with any step count that is an improvement from my normal. I am a firm believer in being kind and understanding to yourself during challenging times and recognizing the small achievements. This month was a difficult month as I started teaching a new class for the first time and it took up a lot of my personal time as well as my secondary job plus balancing work/life family.

References: National Institutes of Health. “Number of steps per day more important than step intensity.” NIH Research Matters, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/number-steps-day-more-important-step-intensity.

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