Today I’m starting a new series of posts. My intent is to share some of my deepest thoughts with you in hopes they might be of help. Today I’m going to cover how I trick myself into ignoring the truth.
First, you should know that I’m terrible at consistency. Perhaps I’m easily bored and want to move onto the next thing. Perhaps I’m lazy. Probably some of both. Give me a project with an unreasonable deadline and I can knock it out. In many cases, I’ve worked insane hours, lost sleep and even missed other deadlines to make it happen. On the other hand, ask me to do something daily for a month, even something small, and it won’t happen. Sure, I might be great for a few days or even a week, but I will eventually crap out.
Why is this? Well, once I know I’m capable of doing something, my mind says “you’ve got this,” and now I have an excuse. Maybe it was building up my running distance like I did in April. By mid-May, I was back to old habits. You see, I had made it up to half the distance I wanted to achieve in only a quarter of the time I had planned to train. At this point, I knew I could do it and had the perfect excuse. So, somewhat subconsciously, I allowed myself to skip a run. And then two runs. And then four weeks had passed. And then I was back to square one wondering how to get started again.
I am, it seems, my own worst enemy. And perhaps you’ve experienced this, too. I’m still working through this issue, but I have developed a plan. Instead of relying upon my mind to set goals and track progress, I now rely on apps, spreadsheets, notes, or anything that can’t lie to me. By analyzing progress objectively, and not by how I feel, I’m able to tell myself the truth. Not the filtered version of the truth my mind creates—the actual truth.
One of my favorite management quotes is, “What Gets Measured Gets Managed.” It’s often attributed to Peter Drucker, although there’s no evidence he said it. I’ve seen the greatest successes in my life when I measured progress and managed to that progress. And, when I start thinking I don’t need to measure, that’s when I slip up.
What do you need to start measuring in your life? Maybe it’s a fitness goal, like me. Perhaps a financial goal. Or maybe you need to make sure you follow through on everything you say you’ll do. No matter your challenge, if you’re not measuring, you’re not managing.
Tags: fitness, goals, life, measurement