I recently read a great book, “Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives” by Gretchen Rubin and I finally figured something out! I rely on Monitoring and Accountability to get things accomplished. Those who know me are saying, “That’s nothing new Erin – You’ve always been a data geek.” True. I love data. I love to collect it, analyze it, and most importantly, use it to make a difference. As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, I use data to evaluate current performance, statistically understand the causes of variation, and improve processes to result in better outcomes for my clients. But I never thought to apply this to my personal health until Gretchen made me realize how “tendencies” can work for or against us, both professionally and personally.
I’ve always been active. I have a history of half marathons, Spartan races, and sprint triathlons. But raising three kids, juggling family and work commitments, and adding in “an aging body” can take a toll on all of us, both physically and mentally. While I was aware that I wasn’t getting as much exercise as I used to on a daily basis, it wasn’t until I looked at the outcome data (weight on a scale) to see the longitudinal effects over time. Whoa. I tried new exercise regimes, cleanses, healthy eating, started running again, stopped running again, even tried to meditate. Say what? But I was still sporadic and unsure as to my caloric intake and outtake. Enter Gretchen Rubin – in order to break a habit (or in my case, make a habit), we need to use our natural tendencies. So….I got a FitBit Charge HR. Because? I.love.data. And guess what? The data made me do it! I wake each morning to “analyze my sleep patterns”. Seems odd considering I know how many times my kids woke me up in the middle of the night – but now I have proof! I have data (restless for 12 minutes x 5 times!) I then log my exercise, track my steps, even monitor the effectiveness of my 30-minute workouts (that’s right, 8 minutes in fat burn, 13 cardio, and 9 at peak heart rate – that’s a good one). I can even measure how much water I drink all day. I know, seriously? But remember I’m an Upholder (according to Gretchen) which means I meet goals, so if I’m headed to bed at night and my dashboard tells me I need 200 more steps and 8 oz. more water, I walk around my kitchen 10 times while drinking a glass.
Having the data in a usable format is half the battle. But once you get it there, what an impact it can have! Many of my clients are no different – they know there is a problem in their organization, they see the symptoms of it (declining customer satisfaction, inefficiencies, rising costs), but they haven’t completely mastered the art and science of quantifying the problem in a usable way. A3 Solutions can help. Contact us today to get started. Okay, gotta run, my FitBit just buzzed me saying I’ve been idle too long.