The only person you should compare yourself to is the person that you were yesterday.
If you have a fitness tracker, you’re probably saying, “well, 10,00 steps.” After all, you spend your days stressing about reaching that magic number. You take a lunch walk at work. You park further away at the grocery store. You pace in your room before bed to get those last 100 steps.
The 10,000 steps goal is based on the CDC’s recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. While that’s a great goal to set for the population, it’s like trying to use a hammer to drive in a pin. Yeah, it’ll work, but it’s far from the best tool for the job. It's the "2,000 calorie diet" of lifestyle activity.
The point is this: there is no magic number. It’s a very personal thing, and should be individualized as such. Trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach can be far too hard for some, and far too easy for others. But there is a simple solution, and one that has been overlooked by the technology today.
So simple it seems ridiculous, right? The goal—if you want to get healthier, walk more, to become more active—is to do more than you have been doing. It’s an elegant solution to an inherent goal-setting issue in fitness technology. Being active isn’t an all-or-nothing game. It’s about making small changes and building on those changes. Even a couple hundred steps at a time.