There are many areas of life where the same principles apply … “do unto others”…. “people in glass houses…”. These adages are used to help people achieve success in interpersonal relationships. The areas of business and wellness also share some of the same underlying principles when it comes to achieving success. One of these principles is in setting measurable goals.
We can say we want to increase our profit margin, but by how much and what will we do to achieve that? Obviously, the way to measure success in this area is with the specific formula measuring our profit margin. Once we have a goal set, we can then make specific plans on how we are go about achieving it, continually measuring incremental progress and analyzing outcomes along the way and changing strategies as needed.
When it comes to wellness, we can set similar goals, specific targets that will not only tell us if and when we achieve our goals, but ones that will motivate us and guide us to our larger goals. Goals are measureable when we focus on how much or how many. Recently at Johnson & Hill Staffing we have adopted this principle in two ways.
We are utilizing pedometers to measure our daily activity. Each person can set their own goals, but we also create contests to promote a little extrinsic/competitive motivation as well. Recommended activity for health adults is 10,000 steps per day. I know, for me, seeing my pedometer say 8,724 at 8 pm at night motivates me to reach that 10,000 and got me moving when I might not have otherwise.
The other way we are using measured goals is with water intake. We have water bottles that are marked with measurements. Some of us have 64 oz. water bottles so we can easily see how we are doing on our daily requirement of water.
We can also measure goals with time. Maybe we want to accomplish something we have not done before. Setting a timeframe in which to do it or a deadline is one way to measure our success.
It seems like such a small thing, but these measurement devices are a constant reminder of our wellness goals. It’s easy to let the tasks of the day distract from wellness goals. However, having these constantly in front of us, we are continually reminded “drink more water” or “get up and move”. They also keep us from fooling ourselves – “I was pretty active today” or “I think I drank a lot of water today”. We often alter our memories to prevent cognitive dissonance so we can live with ourselves. The numbers don’t lie. We can know for certain what a 10,000 step day looks like. For me, I know it’s very hard to get to 10,000 if I don’t go to the gym for my 45 minute workout where I get about 5,000 steps. I also know it requires me to forgo the elevator at work and get up and walk to other desks instead of sending an email.
I’m a numbers person, so this form of measurement appeals to me. But there are many other ways to measure progress that are less number driven – how do you feel at the end of the day – did you wake up refreshed? What kind of food did you eat today?
Whether in business, health, or other areas of life, measured goals have proven to be effective ways of transforming ourselves. We can have tangible evidence of our progress, or perhaps lack of, and have confirmation of what it takes to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves.
Erin Counter, Wellness Guru