Sometimes themes crop up in my life. A while ago it was Gratitude, and all the things I have to be grateful for. Lately, it seems to be 'measure to manage'. The idea is that once you have a way to measure something, it becomes easier to figure out how to attain it.
Here are just a couple of ways this has come up for me recently.
Guest Service at work
The last Senior Manager Meeting that I went to, SC gave a long presentation about our Guest Service program, GuestPath (not to be confused with the Enviromental Management Program, GreenPath - we're in Yosemite and we're path obsessed, can you blame us?). With a couple of surveys, we've managed to find a way to quantify guest service, measure how we're doing, and record consequences. That makes it easier to point to something during the decision-making process and say - if we make that decision our GuestPath scores will increase, and the Managers nod their heads because it high scores are a concrete goal.
We're also trying to do a similar thing with energy conservation in the work place. The GreenTeam is trying to put together a program to measure and track the amount of energy consumed by each general unit, and then somehow incentivize them to conserve. It's a big project, and I'm sure that we'll stumble on some of the hurdles, but again the goal is to make energy use measurable and trackable so that we can manage the businesses in a more earth-friendly way.
I'm also excited about this program because I hope that this will mean that the energy-saving solutions will come from the people who really know the best way to make it happen - the people that are working in that environment on a day to day basis.
Happiness and Goal Setting
I've started following a blog recently on The Happiness Project. In her search to find happiness, the blog author spent a year reading about and trying various tips and strategies for the pursuit of happiness. A few days ago, I read an article where she also talks about how much easier it is to set goals that are actually measurable. Not 'get more exercise' but 'start walking to work every day' - that kind of thing. Now, the first person you ask will tell you that having concrete, measurable goals is an important part of successful goal-setting, but that's part of my point. If you can measure it, you can figure out if you're doing it well.
Tom knew a professor once, who moved from a high-powered research institution to a teaching college. He knew he was a great researcher, and graduate student mentor, but how to figure out whether he was a great undergraduate teacher or not? He came up with the idea that he would count the number of previously undeclared majors in his required history course who after his course declared themselves as history majors. Then he set a goal for himself to inspire a certain percentage of his class. At the time of the story telling, he'd never once missed his goal. That's powerful stuff.
The things I'm currently counting
Calories. I stuck pretty strictly to a 1200 cal./day diet for the month of February, but now that I'm happier with my body composition, I've let myself eat a little more.
Protein consumption. I guess this is the exception that proves the rule. I'm pretty lax about actually counting grams of protein, and I'm pretty sure I fall consistently below my goal of 60g/day.
Exercise days. I'm actually following Jillian Michael's online exercise program. It's a 5-day/week exercise program that is centered around some killer exercise circuits. My rest days are Monday and Friday. Although I've missed a few days here and there, keeping a journal of what I'm doing and when I wimp out and skip has really kept me motivated and engaged.
Blog Posts. One per day at least until Easter - and after that who knows.