Shape up: Key to unlock the new you
We love making excuses to ourselves but numbers don't lie -- that's where KPIs come in
Published 18/01/2010 | 05:00
One of the things I enjoy most is watching different sports on TV and commentators' use of statistics. During post-game analysis, I'm always amazed by the wide range of facts and figures used.
Time-motion analysis gives us details of how much each player ran, percentage possession tells us which team had the ball for each half and then there's percentage passes completed from different players and shots on and off target etc. In many ways, it tells how the game was won or lost.
In a similar manner, companies believe that business is a game or an intellectual sport, in which it's just as important to know your numbers as it is with any sport.
Simply put, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it or improve it.
To effectively measure progress in business, top companies use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs provide an objective viewpoint of a company's performance, relative to their business goals and to any other industry benchmarks.
Key Performance Indicators are in every area of our life if we choose to look for them. The dashboards of our cars feature a speedometer and fuel and temperature gauges. The speedometer tracks our wheel speed and the distance travelled.
If we go too fast it increases our risk of crashing and/or penalty points and personal injury or death.
If we choose to follow KPIs in our cars and careers, why are we so reluctant to follow these indicators with our health?
The Key Performance Indicator is the universal law of cause and effect. If you have flab over-flowing from your jeans or are overweight, it is not because you are 'big boned', it is a result of your activities of eating too much and not moving enough.
If you are breathless running up the stairs or after your children, it's not that the stairs are too high or your child too fast, it means you have not done the activities to help your heart maintain a level of fitness to keep up with your child.
We love making excuses to ourselves but the numbers don't lie. If you don't measure it then you can't manage it.
The reality is you are not telling the truth. If you are out of shape, breathless or overweight, you are probably forever telling lies to yourself and anyone else who will listen. Most people's lives don't change because they don't tell the truth. If you don't tell the truth, you can't change where you currently are.
There is a famous quote which states: "You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free." You have the freedom to choose and until you choose you are a slave, a victim in your current circumstance. Freedom is a state of mind and if you acknowledge the truth you then have increased your options to two choices.
This is now a dilemma. You can stay where you are and forever be a victim or you can initiate health changes. If you increase it to three choices, you have a real fighting chance!
If you are out of shape, this is a symptom, not a problem. Most of us try to solve the problem that isn't rather than solving the problem that is.
The problem is the activities that you have been performing that have made you overweight and unhappy. Eating processed food, being a couch potato, working long hours with no exercise and no water -- is this you?
To get from where you are to where you want to be, you need to change the causes, or activities, to give you the effect that you want.
So what can you do to change your situation? Can you initiate exercise four times a week? Can you eat fresh food -- meat, fish, salads, fruit and vegetables? Do you need to hire a professional, a personal trainer, for guidance, knowledge and accountability?
It is your activities that have given you your current result today and the numbers don't lie. If you can measure it, you can manage and improve it. So what do you measure? Do you measure your dress or waist size? Do you measure your body fat?
Or do you choose to give away your freedom and not make a choice and be a slave -- a victim to your current circumstance?