There’s an electronic display at the fitness center that I try to visit regularly that flashes a rotating message that caught my eye. It reads, “Move, Measure, Motivate.” Obviously, the purpose is to remind the members why they are there. The deeper message is the interdependence of the actions associated with the words.
However, “the chicken and the egg” comes to mind. Does the moving create the motivation to keep moving or does the motivation start the moving? And what about measurement?
I recently downloaded two apps to my phone, one measures steps and one measures steps, caloric intake and tracks my weight-loss effort. The weight loss app has all types of encouragement notifications. Notice I used the word “encouragement” rather than “motivational.” That’s because one cannot motivate another to do anything they don’t want to do. One can ask, encourage, plead or beg, but the other will only find motivation from within.
So, on July 5th (after the 4th picnic of course) I decided to lose ten pounds. I supplied the motivation. The apps I downloaded gave me the measuring tools to track my progress both in steps and my weight-loss. My iPhone allows the app to count my steps without any effort on my part. I set my goal at 10,000 steps per day. The weight-loss app set the calories per day that I can consume in order to drop ten pounds in weight. It also placed the weight-loss effort on a timeline that adjusts each day depending on my food consumption and daily weight. By accessing the app several times each day, I can stay on track. I enter my weight and everything I consume for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Conveniently, I can scan barcodes on food products and the app knows the details of the food product. That helps a lot. I now find myself entering everything I eat each day. The daily calorie limit makes and keeps me conscious about what I eat and how much. The daily weight chart is a visual display of how well I am doing. There are daily weight fluctuations and admittedly, there have been a few days when I have gone over the calorie limit for the day. Overall, I’m down anywhere from 3 to 4.5 pounds in twenty days. A good start.
My "aha" moment came when I realized that it’s the measurement that keeps me moving and motivated. The old saying is “the numbers don’t lie.” That is true in everything if one stays true and honest to the numbers.
It also makes me realize the importance of metrics in business. We recently placed an electronic display near the workstations for our inside sales and support staff that provides insight into each staff member’s activity, that is, number of incoming calls taken, outbound calls made, time on the phone and other metrics. Several times a day our sale and support staff get up and check the leaderboard. Over a one to two week period we are witnessing an uptick in their activities in all areas.
I guess business is like weight loss…”what gets measured, gets done.”