Friday 19 December 2014

100 days can change your outlook - and get you fit for life

Declan Coyle

Published 12/08/2014 | 02:30

SUMO SQUAT 1/ Start standing upright with your feet wider than shoulder width and your toes pointing outwards. 2/ Lower your body toward the floor, pushing your hips back and down and bending your knees. 3/ Push through your heels to return to the top position. 4/ Keep your back as straight as possible throughout avoiding bending forward. Photo: El Keegan
SUMO SQUAT 1/ Start standing upright with your feet wider than shoulder width and your toes pointing outwards. 2/ Lower your body toward the floor, pushing your hips back and down and bending your knees. 3/ Push through your heels to return to the top position. 4/ Keep your back as straight as possible throughout avoiding bending forward. Photo: El Keegan

Sometimes it's the simplest of ideas that get the most profound results. In my work with businesses across the world, one idea that has delivered consistently major results has been a programme called 'The Green Platform 100 Steps To Clear Improvement'.

The thinking behind it is quite simple. Could you look around your business (or your home) and start a process of listing 100 
steps to clear improvement.

Brainstorm the first 10 steps, prioritise them and write them up in a public place. A flip-chart or a whiteboard. Some place highly visible. Then do them. One by one just cross them off the list.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the highest motivational factor for people is when they can see and measure progress. Basically progress has to be seen and it has to be measured. So long as the graph is going up, no matter how slightly, people's motivation moves up accordingly.

Years ago I got the seeds of the idea from the Japanese process of 'Kai Zen,' which means continuous and never-ending improvement.

Some teams would colour code the 100 Steps To Clear Improvement and I would always put a reasonable but stretching time limit on the 100 steps. The highest team notched up 176 steps within the allotted time. They even colour-coded them in terms of priority. While the individual steps to clear improvement are important, what's even more important is creating the culture within the organisation of continuous improvement.

That's why I was delighted to learn about FIT Magazine's 100 FIT Days revolution that started last Monday.

It is simply a campaign to spread the joy of fitness and the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle to everybody. We're one week into it now, and over the course of the next 13 weeks, FIT Magazine will continue to publish weekly exercise and nutrition plans to give you a living blueprint to a healthier, happier and fitter you.

No matter what your fitness level, you will be able to live the 100 FIT Days. You start off slowly. Last week's exercises took less than five minutes, and you will gradually build them up to make sure you are dropping fat and building lean muscle.

One hundred FIT Days is for everyone. It's a simple plan, but it's far from easy. You will need focus and discipline to stick to the plan for 100 days, but if you do, the rewards will come. Experts vary on whether it takes 21 days or 28 days to build up a habit. Enjoy the programme. Measure your progress and think of all the benefits for a "new improved you" at the end of your 100 FIT Days.

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