Health Goals Redefined
Map out the process to achieve this target: The online world is full of inspirational case studies on how people lost weight, reversed their diseases by just changing their lifestyles. Find out how they did it, and make notes.
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We spend the first week of Jan making amazing, heartfelt New Year resolutions, and then spend the rest of the year breaking them. What makes us break them is simply the fact that we don’t break down our goals into smaller targets. When I was at GE, one of the great things I learnt via Six Sigma was to break down my goals and then achieve baby steps. The same can be done with health goals. Here are the simple six steps to get a better result for your health goals in 2016:
Define your goals: Don’t put stuff like “want to lose weight” in your diary/mind. Focus on how much weight in the year and divide it into how much per month, per week. Without committing yourself to a target, you’ll never get around to starting it. And having a weekly goal will also help you stay on track every week, week after week, to achieve it.
Analyse why you have the health issue you have: Is it due to what you eat? Or lack of rest? Exercise? Or lack of time? The moment you identify the problem, you will consciously work towards a solution for it.
Improve your circumstances: Now that you have identified the problem, you can work towards a solution. For example, if you are pressed for time and cannot fit in an exercise schedule, you will need to figure out how to make time by cutting back on phone calls/social media/long lunches. Or you can walk while you talk to burn more, or take the stairs twice a day to rev up your metabolism.
Map out the process to achieve this target: The online world is full of inspirational case studies on how people lost weight, reversed their diseases by just changing their lifestyles. Find out how they did it, and make notes. Is there a chart, tips or a health expert they found? If they could, you can too. Equip yourself with the right tools: a pedometer, good walking shoes, a good stock of fresh vegetables and fruits at home and at work so that binging is controlled, and throw away the packet namkeens, chips, ice creams and chocolates. Distribute them to street kids, neighbours. This way, you’re making temptations disappear. Most importantly, make a list of these steps and stick them up on your soft board or refrigerator.
Control the circumstances: It’s not just about identifying the problem and putting down a way forward to achieve the target, but about maintaining consistency in these improved circumstances. You could decide to walk for 30 min within the office and take the stairs, but if you consistently don’t do it, results will not show. Put an alarm on your phone for 11 am and 4 pm for climbing up 7 flights of stairs. Get up every time you get a call on your mobile phone. Get a pedometer and keep a count of steps and set a target for 10,000 steps every day. If your target is not achieved, you will automatically jump up every time you get a call and start walking. By these checks and measures, you’re likely to stay on track longer and when you begin seeing results, you will get motivated to stay on track.
So just like you would set targets for your company, team, business, do so with your personal health goals too, and see yourself achieve them, each quarter at a time. By the yearend, you will realize that your weight loss/exercise/being healthy/being stress free, were all achieved.
Happy New Year!
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 11-01-2016)