We’re often encouraged to go the extra mile. I’m all for that in theory, but in practice, I’m a firm believer that even going an extra quarter mile makes a big difference.
Sometimes a mile is just too daunting a distance to go when I’m already tired and it’s late and I’m demoralized because the strategy that worked for nine frames of Wii bowling totally backfired in the tenth and arguably most important frame, nearly blowing my narrow lead.
A quarter mile is usually manageable. Granted, guilt may be required to overcome the resistance that rears its undisciplined head even at that, but fortunately once this body gets in motion, it’s more likely to stay in motion. And then there’s the unexpected joy kickback that comes from simply doing what I say I’m going to do.
That kickback is even greater when I have an actual device that gives me a virtual high five, woo–hoo,or some kind of personal you go, girl! Of course, this requires going the extra quarter mile to figure out the technology involved in rigging it all up.
Case in point, this Christmas I got a Fitbit Force. For years I wore a step counter that slid on my belt loop and required tricky maneuvering to keep it from sliding to an unsavory and often watery end. So I was thrilled to discover the stylish Fitbit clamps on my wrist like a watch or bracelet (it’s a bugger to get on and off) and counts not only steps but calories burned, active minutes, restful sleep, and number of stairs climbed. It also tells time and serves as a silent alarm clock (stay with me and I’ll explain). I can sync all this information with the Fitbit dashboard on my computer and my smart phone and access all kinds information, if I am so inclined.
The feature that simultaneously freaks me out and delights me is the band vibrates when I reach my goal. It’s also how the silent alarm clock wakes me without waking the rest of the household. Even though I usually know when I’m nearing my goal, I’m never prepared for my wrist to writhe involuntarily. When my wrist goes off, my phone joins in and gives me a little shout out. This, oddly enough, makes me almost giddy.
So the Fitbit has already earned its keep. A couple of nights I’ve been within a few hundred steps of my goal. Had I not been wearing my Fitbit Force, I may have said close enough and called it a night. But because inanimate objects have a way of making me feel they are animate (especially when they vibrate), taking a few hundred more steps to make the thing on my wrist tremble with joy did not seem like too much to ask.
Like house-training a new puppy or staying up with a sick child, certain situations bring out my inner Rosie the Riveter. I have no choice but to exclaim, “I can do it!” and indeed I do.
Of course, most of these situations only require that extra quarter mile. But add enough of these together, four to be exact, and I’ve got the extra mile thing down.
This same principle applies to the daily 500 words. Now if I can figure out a way to get the Fitbit to count words.
Let me sleep on that…