Have you noticed that our greetings in the morning are generally declarative—”Hello!” or “Good Morning!”—but our greetings at the end of the day are often questions— “How was your day?” or “What did you learn in school today?” or simply “What’s new?”

To this last set, I’ve noticed a new addition of late, a question that seems to be on everyone’s lips: “Did you get your steps?”

These five words are prompted by the increasing number of people who are using an app or device to count their steps and then turn them into miles, goals reached, calories burned, weight lost, etc.

It’s a new way of paying attention to the moments that become the milestones of our lives.

I vividly remember when I received my MBA—a professional milestone that only happened because of many thousands of moments or steps.

I wasn’t counting the moments, but last June I suddenly arrived at a milestone: 25 years in my healthcare career. Where did the years go? Moment by moment, step by step, eventually they led to an important milestone, a day I will always remember. Along the way there were other milestones, both personal and professional. If you sit down with your daily agenda from years past and look back over the days and how you spent them, it is pretty easy to rediscover the moments that became milestones—and the steps that turned into the things you most value in life.

It is how things work, isn’t it? Casual moments become intentional actions and result in purposeful decisions. A random meeting leads to occasional interaction and then becomes a regular part of our chosen routine. You agree to participate in a new initiative, and the next thing you know you are helping plan the next steps, and eventually you find yourself taking leadership in an area where you have proven interests or strengths.

In just one phrase poet Emily Dickinson gets to the heart of it: “Forever is composed of nows.” I think she is saying that every moment matters. Every step is important in reaching the next milestone.

Did you get your steps?