Are you someone who measures your steps?
Specifically, do you use a device to track your fitness efforts?
There are loads of gadgets out there. Depending on your goals, you can measure everything from steps to calories burned, from miles biked to swim strokes, from how long to how far.
We’ve been told for years that we need to move more, but people still didn’t do it. That’s the primary purpose of these devices, to get you to move more.
What I love about this technology is that it took the idea of moving more and gave people daily targets and a way to measure progress. Quite literally, it breaks down your larger goals into steps.
More is not a enough
For most people it was not enough to know that moving more was a good thing.
That’s because more is not a number. In fact, more is so lacking in definition, pursuing it clouds your vision. More rarely motivates us and our efforts are often flailing and inconsistent.
To be successful, we need to define what more is.
We need to give it a number and pursue and measure our progress towards it.
Starting can be as simple as asking three questions:
Where are you now?
Where do you want to be?
How many _______s will it take to get there?
With fitness trackers, most people choose a daily goal of 10,000 steps. This sounds like a lot unless of course, you are already walking 9,000 steps.
You need to know where you’re starting.
10,000 steps also sounds like a lot until you figure out that to lose five pounds this month, you need to hit 15,000 steps per day.
You need to know what it takes to get there.
Know your numbers
As we find more ways to measure every aspect of our lives, I’m always surprised by how many people don’t apply the same methods to their businesses.
Several months ago my wife did two things that changed her business dramatically.
Megin is a photographer. In her first few years, she set and managed to achieve many of her goals. But recently she’s been operating with a clearer purpose and the results to match.
The first thing Megin did was to identify a larger financial goal for her business.
After taking into consideration the needs of a growing business. She then identified three areas from our personal finances that the revenue from her business would cover. That total was the goal.
The second thing she did was to break down how much revenue she would need to generate each month to meet that goal. She figured out how many sessions it would take.
She looked at the past year’s performance and noted the trends.
There were some months where there was no room for growth. Of course, Megin would still have to fill those slots, but she knew those months were maxed out in terms of her time.
This narrowed her focus on months where there was greater opportunity for growth.
Larger goal. Monthly targets.
Since that time, she uses her numbers to drive her decision making, her marketing, and her daily actions.
It changed everything because the number enables her to measure her success.
Rather than simply pursuing more and hoping for the best, each month is directly tied to a goal, a contribution, and a purpose.
What’s interesting to me is not the financial results, although that’s wonderful, too.
What I find most interesting is how it has fueled her creativity. By being focused on meeting a defined goal, she looks for new ways to serve her clients to hit her goal.
People do the same thing with their step counters. If they haven’t hit their steps by mid-day, they start looking for opportunities to get there. They get creative.
Pursuing more just doesn’t do that for us. And knowing your number makes it easier to get more of whatever it is you’re after. You simply have to define it.