fitness · walking · winter

218 in 2018: Group post on how it’s going so far

A few of us here are doing the 218 workouts in 2018 challenge.

What’s it all about? It’s pretty simple

“WHAT: The idea is simple. In 2018 there are 365 days. We are going to challenge ourselves to workout 218 times in those 365 days.

WHY: (1) Consistently doing deliberate exercise is one of the most important factors in developing good health and fitness. (2) Choosing to complete a workout or not is something we can control.

HOW: (1)Workouts are defined as any form of deliberate exercise/movement. Some examples are, lifting weights, doing gymnastics, a CrossFit WOD, a hike in the great outdoors, practising a martial art or yoga. Taking a dance class or playing rec softball with the folks from work also count. Do what inspires you to move your body. (2) Use a spreadsheet, a habit tracking app, or a notebook and give yourself a check mark for every workout you complete. (3) Share your progress with the group.

Let’s get cracking!”

How’s it working out for us? Here’s our progress report.


I used to work as a stone and brick mason, with tough, physical days 14 hours a day, five days a week for months at a time. Now I work at a business school. Adding a 20 minute walk to my downtown commute counts. Taking the millions of stairs instead of the Mount Everest escalator in my office building counts. Today, a two hour walk with a friend in the park and down a busy Toronto street counted. Back then, it wouldn’t have been on my radar; now, it counts.

Hilary works at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON.


218 in 2018 turns out to be just the right combination of goal setting and accountability for me. It feels manageable, and consistent with how I have managed fitness accountability in the past. This year in particular, January 1 coincided with a return to work at the end of a maternity leave. So, I find the weekly goal of 3-5 workouts helps me to carve out a little ‘me time’, and achieve a regular feeling of accomplishment.

Jenny is a boulderer, mother of two, occasional knitter, and aspiring cyclist.


One of the interesting things about the “218 in 2018” group of which I’m part is that it gets you to think about what counts as working out. The group has allowed me to think of myself as active (at 28 of 218 so far) even though I’m currently injured. It’s helped me stay on track with all the physio. (So much physio!)

I’m also counting walking (which I don’t usually unless they were super long dog hikes in the woods) because for right now, with this knee, walking is a deliberate choice and it is exercise. I walked for an hour and fifteen minutes in Vancouver sunshine the other day while there for a conference. Right now I’m all about weights at the gym , knee physio, walking, and riding my bike on the trainer. They all count.


I’ve already written a few times about what a motivator this group was to me in 2017. I think, more than anything, it helped me break the habit of “ach, I don’t feel like working out today, I’ll do it tomorrow.” That habit in the past meant that I usually only worked out maybe twice a week through the winter. Last year, this group kept me on track.

“What counts” for me is any episode of purposeful moderate to intense activity that is not what I would be doing anyway just going about my daily business. A walk to do errands in my neighbourhood or a short bike ride to a meeting doesn’t count, for me. But choosing to ride my bike even though it’s raining might, depending on how much it feels like an exertion.

I also count by episodes, not by comparable intensity. If I go to the gym and do a bit of a run and then a weight workout, that’s one count — “going to the gym.” But if I get up and go for a short run, then much later in the day go to yoga class, that’s two counts because they are two separate times of motivating myself to work out, get changed, etc. This leads to some weirdness where a 3 km 16 minute run “counts as much” as a 150km, 8 hour bike ride, but I think it all balances out in the end!

4 thoughts on “218 in 2018: Group post on how it’s going so far

  1. Having first heard of this last year through this blog, I was intrigued by the idea. I have always worked out but never thought of logging it in this way. I decided to do it this year and am loving it.

  2. I joined “218” as well, based off of reading your positive experience. What I like most is that it helps me do more than just walking & running (which I like), I struggle getting the strength training in that I NEED to do (which I don’t like), and I think this is helping because I’m also trying to make 1/3 of my activities strength/resistance based.

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