When I used to work at Apple, the company would often put on gigantic “close the rings” challenges. You’d pair up with your fitness-minded colleagues, work your butt off to meet your goals, and get some kind of dorky reward for your efforts: a t-shirt, an Apple-branded cooler bag, et cetera.
All Apple wanted was to see those rings get closed. Clever teams figured out two strategies to address this: entering as much data manually as possible to make up for any lapses, and adjusting how much effort was necessary to actually close a ring. Because yes, you can customize this.
Why would you want to cheat yourself? Well, for starters, it’s not cheating to chart your own progress toward meeting your fitness goals. Maybe you disagree with what Apple thinks is best for you, or you’re recovering from an injury and you want to do the very best you can without feeling like you have to push yourself into scary territory to reach an arbitrary, virtual milestone. It’s your life. As long as you’re working toward your goals at a reasonable pace, why shouldn’t you feel rewarded?
Thanks to Apple’s recent watchOS 7 update, you can now adjust how much activity you need to close all three of your rings—standing, exercise, and movement. Previously, you could only adjust your movement ring, so it’s great to see Apple finally providing fuller flexibility for Apple Watch owners.
Adjusting your Apple Watch rings to new goals
To get started, make sure you’ve updated your Apple Watch to watchOS 7. (Before you do that, you’ll need to update your iPhone to iOS 14.) One hour later, you’ll be ready to go.
Grab your Apple Watch and pull up the Activity app—the icon of the three activity circles on your Home Screen’s smorgasbord of apps. From there, scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen until you see the “Change Goals” option. Tap on it.
You’ll now be able to tap through all three rings’ worth of goals and adjust as necessary. Yes, you can even increase the activity needed to close a ring, if you’re feeling ambitious. These requirements can be min/maxed in the following ways:
- Exercise: 10 minutes to 60 minutes
- Stand: 6 hours to 12 hours
- Move: 10 calories to… who knows? I tapped up all the way to 1,500+ before my finger started to feel sore. That should be a good goal for, say, Usain Bolt, but mere mortals don’t need to set their lives to that high of a difficulty level.