I never have a good answer about what I want for Christmas, my birthday, whatever…because I don’t really care what people get for me other than cash and gift cards (something useful…).

“What kind of things could you use? Any electronics?” My dad asked.

“I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Like what?” I replied.

“Fitbit, Alexa, Speakers, Headphones?” He continued.

I stopped. I hadn’t thought about anything like that. I did need headphones… I couldn’t find my earbuds anywhere for the last week or so, and I was about to travel home… and hmm… a Fitbit would be nice. So, I let him know.

I had a Fitbit before- it was the little clip-on kind, and I loved it. But, at that time, I was a college student at Auburn University, and I was a breakfast server at the university hotel. I’d always hit my 10,000 step goal daily, either after a day of walking around campus, or by 8am on my serving days (I’m not kidding).

But now I not only wanted a Fitbit…I needed it. I was working at home, home being a tiny apartment which probably only took me 15 steps to get from my bed to my desk. I worked through the day, sitting at my desk, occasionally trapped by videoconference meetings, or regularly leaving the house, to go work/meet with my bosses. I joined the American Business Women’s Association, and so there was one evening a month for our Chapter Meeting where I’d go and mostly sit, then our monthly board meeting…another 2 hours of sitting. Yeah, I would take breaks during the day when I could, but I never made it a priority to go out and walk. Plus, I always felt tired after a busy day.

The most exercise I probably got was walking around WalMart or Target to shop and scan items (Try Shopkick and we'll both get points toward a free gift card! Use code SAVE792565 or download http://getsk.co/save792565). I had access to a small gym at the local rec center, and I went several times to use some of the equipment…but I wasn’t about to make a special trip in town, and if I was already in town I’d try to remember my tennis shoes and athletic wear- but again, sometimes I just didn’t feel like making the stop, I was tired, or I was busy doing other things.

Christmas came, and in the evening before dinner we opened presents at my grandma’s house. My sister, Landri (11 years old), and I both got the Fitbit Versa! I couldn’t set mine up that night because I stayed at my grandma’s house and she doesn’t have WiFi, but I still immediately charged it and wore it. The next night, I stayed at my dad’s with my sister and set up my Fitbit. I created my profile and set my step goal to 10,000. She kept me up all night, and we slept in, but seeing how the Fitbit tracked my sleep was awesome.

Next, I had to figure out what I could do with my Fitbit. I tried to figure out how to add friends and posted on Facebook for my friends to add me. My friend Ashley was the first person to invite me to the Workweek challenge, then I created challenges between some of my connections. The most competitive group would be the one with my dad, my uncle, my sister, and I. Let me tell you those challenges bring out the competitor in all of us, but especially Landri. I remember one night it was about 10pm Central (they are all on Eastern time), I was just a tiny bit behind, so I joked and said I needed to get up and take a walk, I hadn’t yet when my dad called and told me to stop walking. He had just talked to Landri and she said she was going to stay up (past her bedtime) and pace her room so she could win. This girl would literally talk crap to me in the challenges or call me out on how few steps I had, when she would have so many steps because of school, cheer, and gymnastics. There was nothing I could do but try to step it up. My uncle kept winning the challenges, so one time she created a challenge without him so she would have a better chance to win.

Four months later and in a new setting, I really enjoy my new toy/tool. I am doing much better on my daily walking and have started hitting (or getting super close) to my goal. I have a notification set to alert me every hour from 9am-6pm to get up and get at least 250 steps in the hour. I love the Workweek Hustle, Weekend Warrior, Daily Showdown, and Goal Day challenges. I have completed one Solo Adventure, Yosemite Vernal Falls, and plan to do the Yosemite Valley Loop next. There are also Adventure Races to virtually race against your opponent(s) I want to try. I am still accepting friends and challenges…so connect with me!

I have to say, if you want some motivation for a more active day and a consistent sleep schedule, GET A FITBIT- officially endorsed by Emily M. Hedrick.