Blog: “Put Your Money Where Your Steps Are!”

January 31, 2016


A friend of mine, concerned about some added pounds after an injury, recently signed up for an online contest that monitors your step count and dings your credit card $20 each month when you don't achieve your goal.  At first I thought this was a rather extreme measure of imposed self-discipline.  However, when one of my adult children suggested a family step challenge for February, I thought about my friend's competition. 


What if I created a contest that required a little skin in the game - costing far less than a gym membership and ensuring daily participation - and rewarded everyone who achieved their personal goal for the month?  The reward would come from the shared participation fees of those who did not meet their goal. The only money exchanged would come at the end of the month, when the Fitbit dashboard would reveal everyone's daily average.  


The desired result of the contest is that everyone meets their daily goal and no money changes hands - everyone wins and earns back their participation fee.  I added a little caveat that a minimum 5,000 step goal was required. A 5,000 step minimum - still considered a "sedentary" level of activity - emphasizes that this is about challenging yourself.  Someone can create a low-ball goal every month, but that would not be in keeping with the spirti of the contest.  My normal goal of 10,000 daily steps will become 11,000 in February.  It will require a few more minutes on the treadmill and maybe an extra walk during the work day.  I will do it, and i will enjoy the numerous cheers, taunts, messages, conversations, and social interactions that will result along the way.


Stepping It Up!


M. J. 



M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, a radically different approach to transforming health and wellbeing at work. It is inspired and supported from the top-down, but driven from the bottom-up by continuous learning and improvement. The result is lasting behavior change in people and a more productive work environment. To learn more, visit the website at: or email M. J. directly at:






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