inside shape up the nation: looking back to week two

February 23, 2011

in reviews: products, services, books

this is the second in a series of reports on my experience with a client’s 10-week shape up the nation team challenge. shape up the nation is an online, social employee wellness solution.  i don’t consult with my client on this strategy or provide any communications support, so it’s strictly unbiased, experience-based reporting.

i entered my stats at the end of week two and found out how woefully short of my goals i was. to remind you, my goal for round one, which covered two weeks, was to exercise 600 minutes and walk 140,000 steps. this equals 43 exercise minutes and 10,000 steps per day.

i missed my goals by a mile, and in the pedometer steps category, i fell below my group’s progress. looking at these charts i’ts clear that i set unrealistic goals. i achieved roughly 24 minutes of exercise and 6,400 steps per day.

SUTN tracking goals

SUTN tracking goals 2


i consider myself active if not highly active. i hit the gym four or five times per week and walk everywhere. i didn’t think it’d be a stretch to vigorously exercise 45 minutes per day and take 10,000 steps per day, on average and over the course of two weeks, particularly since my exercise minutes count toward my daily steps. obviously, i was wrong. i should’ve paid greater attention to shape up the nation’s goal-setting guide—where they advise 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity—and checked whether my self-perception was accurate! i’m not nearly the walker i thought i was.

round one ended up as a baseline exercise for me. i wonder how often that’s the case for others. for round two, i ratcheted back my goals to something steeped in reality. i’m going for 370 exercise minutes and 98,560—a 10% increase from my baseline.

as you can tell, setting my goals is a trial-and-error crapshoot. i’m trying to challenge myself without overshooting. anyone lacking drive or experience would struggle with the limited information on goal-setting—when and by how much to adjust to keep oneself motivated and improving. this is where the shape up the nation system could jump in and provide more advice. if folks set themselves up for failure without realizing it, they’re likely to throw in the towel and reach for the twinkies.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Boese February 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Love this series Fran, super idea and I will be following along with you (really just the reading and reaching for the Twinkies parts), as I know I don’t have 10,000 steps per day in me, at least until the snow melts!


fran February 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

i’m still surprised that i’m not cranking out more steps than i am. that’s part of the power of data tracking.

so far, i haven’t succumbed to the allure of tasty cakes or twinkies.



Frank Roche February 23, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Wow….I feel like Super Slacker Boy after reading this. You’re mobile and you’re in shape. What’s this say for the sedentary? Wow.

I used a pedometer for a couple of years. It really encouraged me hitting the 10K steps/day. But it takes a lot to make that goal.


fran February 24, 2011 at 9:44 am

super slacker boy. LOL. well, at least you’re pushing the boundaries on the level of slack.

it does take a lot to make 10,000 steps. i’m working out “tricks” that make getting them possible for me, things like taking two 30-minute walk breaks. it’s all about finding the ways you can build getting them in…and not feeling bad on the days when you can’t.



Morochita November 14, 2015 at 8:15 am

At last! Someone with real expetrise gives us the answer. Thanks!


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