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Get the measure of yourself
Measuring success is something we are probably all involved in regularly, in one way or another, certainly in relation to our work lives, but also in almost every interaction we have with a business or organisation. We are given targets, we benchmark, we measure improvements in productivity, performance and customer feedback scores. We review and rate our own online purchases. We score our dentists and doctors appointments, and even getting an Uber these days means that you are rated as a customer! It seems we are all being scored, compared or measured for something.
And why do businesses and organisations measure and track all these different variables? It’s simple – to make sure that the business is progressing in the way the Board of Directors or the CEO wants it to.
By tracking all these things they can see when and if they need to make changes in their business processes, to ensure their manufacturing processes are what they should be, to isolate any training needs in staff, influence customer behaviour and most importantly celebrate when things are going in the right direction!
Why should I measure my progress?
For pretty much the same reasons as all those high flying businesses and large organisations do. Because if we are trying to achieve something – we need to know if we are on our way to achieving it, needing to put a bit more effort in, change it up a bit, or if we are totally barking up the wrong tree.
There is no point keep doing the same thing over and over again, if it isn’t getting us to where we want to be. So by measuring our progress and success, we can judge whether we need to make some tweaks to our plan or give it a complete overhaul, to get us back on track.
When we learn that we are moving in the right direction, it gives us a boost in self confidence and self belief. This in turn increases our motivation.
When we are motivated we are driven to continue with whatever it is that we are trying to achieve.
When we can see that our goal is in reach, because we can see our progress, we start to believe that this time, it really will happen for us.
When we start achieving, we develop a greater sense of personal fulfilment and happiness. We start to feel more comfortable in our own skin. We become the person that we want to be. We become the person that other people want to be like, and come to for help and guidance. We become braver, feeling able to take on new challenges, without fear of failure.
How do we measure our progress?
Measuring our success and progress towards our goal should be built into our plan.
Example weight loss plan:
- I will eat to my calorie allowance of 1300 calories every day without fail, by tracking the calories consumed exactly in my meal tracker.
- My breakfast will be 260 calories, my lunch will be 390 calories, my evening meal will be 390 calories and my total snacks will be 260 calories.
- I will put all my energy into making sure I hit my calorie allowance.
- I will get weighed every week at Be Strong, to make sure I am on track.
Point number 4 is the clear way of measuring success. But there are also other measures in this plan, that aren’t as obvious.
If you are doing points 1 and 2 every day, at the end of the day you know if have stuck to your calories and recorded it, the measure is there in front of your eyes- you have either hit your calories or you haven’t. If you have, you can give yourself a little high five on your way to bed!
Then once a week, when you stride up to those scales (confident that you have lost), you will know that you are winning when the scales tell you that you have lost 1-2 pounds since the last time you got on them.
You will jump off those scales in elation, and you will be high-fiving yourself, and your friends, and wanting to tell everyone how well you are doing. You will also know that by hitting that 1-2lb a week target you are absolutely on track to hit your overall goal.
This is what will give you the motivation to keep going for another week, and another and another, until you hit that longer term weight loss goal.
Measuring progress on a fitness goal
You might have a goal to complete a particular physical activity related event, like a big walk, a race, or a bike ride. So for this your plan will be all around your training.
By getting your training plan down on paper, you can make it really easy to track your progress, by simply putting it into a format where you can tick off your training sessions.
If you are working towards an improvement in time or pace, this can be measured too, by building specific training methods into your plan and then looking at your stats after every training session.
Example training plan for a 10k race:
|9th May||Rest||2 miles||HIIT||2 miles||Rest||HIIT||3 miles|
|16th May||Rest||2 miles||HIIT||2 miles||Rest||HIIT||4 miles|
|23rd May||Rest||3 miles||HIIT||3 miles||Rest||HIIT||4 miles|
|30th May||Rest||3 miles||HIIT||3 miles||Rest||HIIT||5 miles|
|7th June||Rest||3 miles||HIIT||3 miles||Rest||HIIT||6 miles|
|14th June||Rest||3 miles||HIIT||3 miles||Rest||HIIT||EVENT|
By ticking off every session that you have completed, you will get a great feeling of satisfaction knowing that you have done what is required of you to get you to where you want to be. You will know that you are succeeding. You will approach the start line of your event with confidence that you are going to enjoy every minute of it and complete the challenge ahead.
Your goal could be something completely different. It might be to change your health status or be related to fitting in a particular item of clothing. These are all things that can still be measured.
Here are a few examples of other measures that we can use:
- progress photos
- measuring parts of your body – waist, chest or hips,and recording them in your weight tracker etc
- clothes sizes
- timing how long you can do something for without stopping or getting breathless
- measuring how heavy an item or weight is that you can lift
- if you have fancy weighing scales – your body composition – body fat percentage and muscle mass percentage
- reduction in blood pressure
- changes to blood sugar (pre-diabetes/diabetes)
- lowering of your resting pulse rate
If you have any other ideas, please comment below, we love to hear what you guys are doing.
We recommend measuring a few different things, so that you can get a full picture of your progress. By focusing on one thing we can get hung up on it and fail to see the real progress that we are making, so make sure your measures take in a few different variables.
Make the most of your data!
If we know that we are being successful, it builds our self-belief and self confidence, our mindset becomes more positive and most importantly, it spurs us on to keep going.
Another way to do this is to have little mini goals to celebrate at regular intervals, along the way. Set yourself, small intermediate goals which you can use as a measure of your progress, so that you get the boost when you achieve them. It will help you to stay on track!
Use the information that you are gathering about your progress along the way to give yourself something to celebrate, shout about and tell the world how great you are doing! Check out your digital awards, and see how many you have achieved – could you be on your way to another one?
There are lots of opportunities to record data within your tracker dashboard, so use these as ways to keep you focused, and celebrate your wins. Are you consistently hydrating? Are you hitting your steps goals? What about the challenges? Do you join in with the leaderboard and monthly fitness challenges? These challenges give you little wins and progressions to celebrate on a regular basis.
If you have a smart watch set yourself daily goals to achieve, or compete against friends with the same kind of watch in steps or activity competitions.
Time to reflect
Along the way we need to reflect on how we are performing, and whether the plan is getting you to where you want to be. By measuring success each day or week, this is easy to keep on top of. If we are brave enough to find out when things aren’t maybe going to plan, by still using those checks and balances, it gives us a massive opportunity to get back on track, rather than continuing down the wrong path. If we aren’t getting the results we expect, or we aren’t ticking things off our plan or schedule as we should be, we need to spend some time reflecting, and then work out why we aren’t really sticking to the plan and whether the plan needs to change slightly.
If we aren’t achieving what we set out to, let’s be brave and acknowledge it, and see it for the opportunity to put things right, rather than just give up on our dreams.
Are you actually following the plan? If you aren’t, why not? Are you giving it your best shot? What is getting in the way? Is there a way to manage this?
If you are following the plan – why is it not working? Have you employed the right method? Do some tweaks need to be made to get you back on track?
Once you have worked out what the problem is you can either amend the plan, adjust your goal, or refocus and get back on track.
We should measure our performance and progress and reflect regularly to make sure we are hitting our goals, and heading in the right direction. If the plan isn’t right, and you don’t know where to make the changes, ask for help. We love it when people contact us, so don’t be frightened of doing so. Don’t just keep heading down the wrong path, or spit your dummy out and give up. Because you wanted this remember?! You spent time devising your goal and your plan, to get you what you want. So don’t waste all that time and effort, just review and revise the plan, then get back on track. Because if you don’t you will be back here in a few months time starting all over again.
Look at your goal and plan, and make sure you have got those checks and balances in place to allow you to effectively measure your success, your progress and your performance. Then measure! Don’t be frightened of doing so. Don’t be frightened of acknowledging that you are doing well, or even not doing well. Because each time you measure your success it is an opportunity to take you closer to your ultimate goal!