“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.
I didn’t say that and I am sorry that I can’t say who did, but whoever they are they have a tonne of wisdom.
What do you monitor in your life? Then ask yourself have you ever made a significant change in anything you didn’t keep track of?
I can remember as a kid, a newly working kid keeping close tabs on my bank account. I would know the balance by heart after each deposit and watched it creep up to the point I needed to buy my horse. I was focused, driven and excited. I was on a mission to become the owner and rider of the horse of my dreams.
I did get my horse, I paid for it all, including a saddle, bridle and grooming gear. I was fourteen.
Maybe being a bit naïve helped me achieve my goal but I really do think my monitoring…daily awareness of my account balance, how much more I needed and the calculation of the paychecks (I was a car hop!) and misc. dollars (babysitting, collecting bottles to return…) to come helped.
My clients come to me because they want change, one of the first things I will do is find a way to quantify their starting point. For nutrition clients I do the usual body measurements, but I also ask them to keep a nutrition diary. Everything they eat goes on it. So many epiphanies occur when this happens, but not until they get past the reluctance to write it down. For the ones that don’t write it down the scope of their change, if it happens, is not nearly as big.
Action, of course, is always required to make a change but quantification of where you are at and where you need to go is a big part of making that action happen…you see it offers up a map of what action does need to be taken. The cost of what I want less the money in my account is what I need. I can make money at a job, babysitting and collecting bottles…I can even work backwards to see how many hours at work, babysitting or bottles would be required to make it to my goal.
Going back to the nutrition example I can look at the food diary and point out recommended changes to help move you to your goal. Best case scenario is you make that change and as a consequence see the change you want, if the change is too slow/fast or has a consequence you don’t want I can make some suggestions for adjustments to remedy and we can continue to move forward towards your goal at a quicker pace.
It really is that simple.
I have a change I want to make. It is a biggy in my world, something I have been working on for a while and only just realized I hadn’t quantified it at all. I truly believe that is why my success in that area has been sporadic. This blog is in part to let you know that the “dr” really isn’t a great patient (ie I need to practice what I preach in this case better!) but also to let you learn from my gap.
Where are you stuck? Then find a way to measure and quantify what you want. Then sit back and watch things fall into place. I would love to hear about your challenges and successes. I will be doing the same with the enthusiasm of my fourteen-year-old self.