Moving toward the halfway mark on the 6-month journey to “Balance my Wheel,” and put some teeth into the effort by publicly declaring objectives. Month 1 took on my Professional segment and, specifically, reducing my number of working hours to 36 per week. I’ve made progress on limiting my hours, though have come up short on completing the weekly objectives I set out to keep score.
Month 2 was focusing on Family and dedicating 2 hours/week to doing so. I’m happy to report progress on this front, and am now having regular Google Hangouts chat session with my grandkids. Since NONE of them read this column, will let you know that I’m buying “Little Passports” to do with them for the coming year. If you’re not familiar with this program, let me just say that it gives you a fun educational project to do with younger kids without having to make it all up yourself. That’s a good thing.
For month 3, I’m focusing on the Physical segment (see chart). I workout 3+ times/week and, as you can see, this was among my highest rated segments. But how I subjectively graded myself and, more accurately, how my recent blood work reported back, this segment needs more data-based attention.
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Yes, I workout regularly; I also eat and drink regularly. And while we have a fairly healthy diet, I was surprised to find my cholesterol was now high. Worse, my BMI (Body Mass Index) says that I am OFFICIALLY (BMI > 25.0) “overweight!” At 6’2”, 210#, most do not consider me overweight. But, I actually should lose 16 pounds or more. BMI is calculated primarily on your height and weight; you can determine your own BMI by formula but there are fairly accurate online BMI calculators (try http://bit.ly/2yZa9FX).
I decided to pick the Physical segment for December to get an early jump on my New Year’s resolution to do better—be better. There’s actually a name for all those folks who pack the gyms in January and are gone by March: Resolutionists.
This isn’t to make fun of folks trying to get in shape in the New Year but, really? As they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions—and resolutions. So my resolutions are: less red meat, more varied workouts (taking classes, not just doing my own repetitive routines) and—taking January off from drinking. As in alcohol. As in, nada.
I used to do this each January but, during a particularly stressful period in my life 6 years ago, I gave up this ritual. 2018 seems like the perfect year to start it up again.
If you read the start of this series, it’s about public declarations and the added accountability that go along with them. Since we were in research for the past two decades, a favorite quote came from Edwards Demming: “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.”
Okay, time for data! As noted, height and weight above. If you go online (http://bit.ly/2slsRp8) there are clear examples of how/where to measure your body. There are actually 6 measurements to track, though I won’t bore you with my own figures here. Except to say, measure. Since I wear size 36 (waist) jeans and slacks, I assumed my waist was 36”. Wrong! How about 42”!? Say what?
Don’t assume anything. Get real data, keep track, as with the other segments and get better.
Here’s my public declaration for the Physical segment of my wheel:
Goal: Lower BMI, cholesterol and alcohol consumption.
Success looks like: Progress by the end of January toward weight, BMI and other targets.
Metrics: BMI: 24.9 Cholesterol: Balance HDL/LDL Weight: 194# Waist: 36”
As noted, I’m making progress on a couple fronts and feel as though I’m regaining some of the work/life balance I set out to achieve. Still, I’m not hitting all objectives; I’m meeting my reduced hours target but missing my weekly output target. I’m doing much better connecting with family and have a go-forward plan to maintain momentum, but am adding a new set of objectives with class/structured workouts, not just dropping by the gym.
Now it’s your turn. You can read about what I’m doing but, you’ll recall, we’re in this together. I’m not planning to lose 16 pounds in a month, but I am planning to make real progress and will report to you my January results. Meanwhile, don’t kid yourself–as I was doing with my waist and “average” weight assumptions. Instead, get real; get data! Let me know how you’re doing and how I can support your success.
Finally, wishing you Happy Holidays and a Joyous (and balanced) New Year!