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The Doorstep Mile

We all know how tough it can be to break away from a Netflix marathon, and head out for a more physical one. While we think it’s the run, the bike, the hike – or whatever exercise – that we dread, the process of just getting beyond your doorstep can actually be the toughest part. Once we’ve started whatever activity we’ve been dreading, it can actually feel good, right?

Doorstep Mile | kari traa Doorstep Mile | kari traa

In Norway, this concept has its own term: The Doorstep Mile. The Doorstep Mile is defined as that emotional distance we experience when trying – both mentally and physically – to get something done. We often feel this way trying to leave the house to get active. It’s that hurdle that keeps makes us procrastinate an activity or job we have to do, or keeps us from getting something started. And essentially, the effort of getting beyond the “doorstep” seems like it’s a mile away. It doesn’t necessarily only refer to stepping out the front door to do a workout, either. It can also apply to getting started simply doing anything you dread or fear: Like writing that assignment, holding that speech, jumping into the ocean, going on a first date or simply taking out the trash. But, once you’ve stepped over your “doorstep” and started your activity, whatever it may be, most of the job is done – and the rest flows easily!

Doorstep Mile | kari traa

Norwegians are known to be born with skis on their feet. Being sporty and athletic is an important part of their culture – where overcoming mountain tops is a typical Sunday activity, regardless of weather. To stay in is regarded as lazy – which is why the importance of overcoming the Doorstep Mile and how to get started in these activities is strongly imparted in their culture – and probably why it has manifested itself as an expression in their language.

How to Overcome The Doorstep Mile

1. Get an accountability partner/friend to get over the doorstep with you – some days you may be the motivator, some days they may be!

2. Change into your activewear as soon as you get home from work. When you’re all geared up, you’ll feel much more motivated to head out!

3. Build yourself new playlists or find a new podcast that you save for your walks or runs. This will be your carrot to get up and get going!

Doorstep Mile | kari traa

4. Set goals for yourself to accomplish the things you often procrastinate or dread. This will help with your own accountability.

5. Learn what time(s) of the day work for you that you’re more motivated or less tired; trying to motivate yourself at your biggest slump in the day can just add more hurdles to the doorstep mile.

6. Walk/jog to the grocery store instead of taking the bus etc. Just bring a backpack and head out; you can run to the store and walk back when it’s all filled up. Two birds with one stone!