The Facebook Miles Challenge

It is not a new concept, but I think it’s worth sharing.  I saw the challenge first being done back in 2011 from a friend’s status and did it myself.  Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook 10 year celebration Lookback video you can create (the challenge was one of my most liked statuses), I was reminded of what I’d done and all the success I had that year.

For those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s when you post a status on Facebook and state that for every “like” you get for that status, you will walk (or jog or run) FB like equals 1 mile1 mile.  Now for me, I (only?) have a little over 100 friends, but in truth only about 30% of my friends are active and actually read my posts, so I could count on there being less than 40 likes, so I was fine with committing to accomplishing those miles within a month.
If you have tons of friends and could get way more likes for such a status, then maybe 3-5 months could be your time frame to reach the miles goal they create.   I also covered myself for the total possibly being not motivating enough by saying that if only 20 or less “like” my status, that I would double it.
Whatever it is, it is really a good challenge to get you motivated and moving.

Setting goals can be tricky.  Just about every blog or diet book or weight loss program will tell you that goal setting is key.  Let me be the first to say that setting goals isn’t for everyone.  At least not weight loss specific goals.  They MESS WITH MY HEAD.  Just about every time I set a “lose # pounds by _______” I totally miss the mark – even when they were attainable/possible/realistic.
Goals for a certain amount of pounds lost or getting to a new size can hurt rather than help simply because they can feel and take WAY TOO LONG to achieve and the excitement and motivation waivers.
Even if my goal is 5 lbs to lose… that could take me 3 weeks or more sometimes… seemed like a small enough goal, but really, it took a while… unfortunately not motivating enough on a daily basis.

With the miles challenge, I love it.  You can start racking up miles like nobody’s business and it goes quicker than you thought rather than slower and I can’t express enough how motivating that is!

Just this month I’d started well with my daily walks and it wasn’t until the 5th that I thought of doing the status challenge again.  To my happy surprise, up to and including that day, I was had already walked over 8 miles!
So yesterday I got my official Facebook miles goal of 35 miles.  I went to a mall and walked as well as getting in a walk in my house while my baby napped and poof, another 3.3 miles done!
Suddenly 35 miles is now down to 20.7 miles and it’s only day 7.  Even if you only walk 1 mile in a day, that’s 1 whole mile towards your goal.  It’d be nice to lose a pound a day and be able to keep that up and right it down like miles walked, however weight and weight loss is fickle and there are so many variables.  But a mile is a mile and if you walked/jogged or ran that mile, it’s yours, it’s done and you’ve accomplished something real that won’t inexplicably disappear the next day.

And here’s another good side effect… because it’s a sort of “game”, even if I have a blah day when I’d rather sit on the couch and veg out, I remember “oh yeah – the miles challenge” and before I know it I’m putting on my walking shoes and I may start reluctantly, but even if I only do a mile (which is rare, it’s usually more), I’ve made an effort to reaching my goal and I’ll usually feel better about myself and my day afterwards.  Walking for the purpose of racking up miles for a challenge feels a hell of a lot more motivating than just sitting there thinking “I should walk for my health” or “I need to burn some calories today” – that’s no fun!  And for those friends who truly know me, I tend to be an overachiever, so you know I’m shooting to go past 35 miles… even in this short month.
Also because you put your request out there in Facebook, you feel more obligated to stick to the challenge you set for yourself (even if March comes and goes and no one ever asks “hey so did you walk all those miles?” – I’ll know)… there’s just that little added amount of accountability.
Last year I only had to do the status once and then for each month afterwards I set my own realistic miles goals and at the start of each month I’d instead share on Facebook what my goal was for the previous month and how many miles I actually completed (always more than the goal by the way).  It was a great feeling and my friends knew I had kept it going even without their solicited likes.

I’ve had a tough last 2 weeks and in just a few days of walking and starting this challenge I finally feel back in the groove of things and have recovered weight-wise so I can finally get going in the right direction again.
It makes me wish I’d thought of starting this last month!  Ah well – here’s to racking up those miles!

Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/personinprogress and maybe I can finally have enough people following me there so I can do the challenge on my page. 🙂

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About personinprogress

A 30-something woman on a mission of self-improvement and lifelong healthy habits. A new 365/50 Project starts Nov 15th 2016!
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One Response to The Facebook Miles Challenge

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to the Facebook group “Steps To Good Health” | Person In Progress

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