I read a quote recently that said, “We manage what we measure.” It was from one of my favorite contemporary non-fiction
writers, Gretchen Rubin. I’ve been thinking about that.
Do we even want to manage? I hate micro-managing. Managing a budget is no fun. Managing a household can be a drag. But what if we thought of managing as getting by or getting through, as in, “No worries. I can manage this myself.” Or… even better, what if we take managing to mean, making something happen.
Livestrong and prosper or at least tighten your glutes
I’ve been on a ‘get myself in order’ kick lately. I decided to dedicate a larger portion of my workouts to strength training. My muscle mass (mush?) had been sorely neglected in favor of cardio workouts or sitting on my ass. I figured it would be smart to build muscle and burn more calories while sitting on my ass.
I joined a squat challenge put on by Livestrong.com to help with my lower body strength building. I love the accountability and support. Livestrong’s Facebook page dedicated to the challenge, is a nice place to find support and camaraderie. Livestrong suggests we print out the 30 day calendar and post it on the wall to keep us motivated. I love that thing. I especially love putting a check mark next to each day I complete the set number of squats. Yesterday I did 140 squats. Today was a rest day, but it still gets a check mark. Woohoo!
Completing the squats each day and keeping track of my progress through the month, gives me a boost, a sense of accomplishment. My kids and my guy have noticed the calendar and my progress. That is motivating and validating. The physical effects of the work on my body, is a bonus too. I’m making this progress happen. I’m sticking to my goal to complete the challenge. Finishing something is a thrill itself, yes?
The best meditation tool
I also made a commitment to daily meditation. A friend recommended the phone app, Insight Timer, as a tool. I love it! There are literally thousands of different guided and unguided meditations to try. Each morning I wake up a little early to do at least a ten minute meditation. It is the first thing I do each day. It starts my day on a pleasant foot.
I usually do a guided meditation. For me, they are easier and I like to hear different voices gently leading me to awareness and presence. It also keeps it interesting. With Insight Timer, there is an endless supply of new options but you can also save your favorite sessions or mark your favorite teachers.
You’re part of something bigger
Added benefit, at the end of your session you can see who was meditating with you across the world or nearby. I usually click on the nearby tab to see who went inward with me in the surrounding area. I send at least two people each day a note that says, “Thanks for meditating with me.” I get notes from others that say the same thing. It is cool to feel like you are part of something.
Quiet your mind, earn a gold star
On another tab on Insight Timer, it tells you how many days you have meditated consecutively. I’m up to 20! You get a gold star under your name for every ten in a row you do. I have two gold stars and I really want another one. Keeping stats on my meditation works for me. It helps me make meditation a habit.
Measuring others, a different story?
My boyfriend pointed out others don’t always like us to measure them, especially if it results in negative feedback. True. There is a delicate line to walk when it comes to managing and measuring others. While, we may be motivated by our own box ticking and goal setting, others may find our calculating and data collecting about them, annoying or controlling. It takes away freedom and brings in an element of fear, the fear of disappointing others.
Self-discipline leads to resilience which leads to reduced anxiety
Setting goals is proven as a way to make our lives more satisfying. If we set an achievement to accomplish and then measure our progress in a validating but not oppressive way, we feel good. It’s self-discipline in action. It’s pushing ourselves a little bit every day to build self-respect and self-confidence. Moving toward difficult things and surviving, builds resilience. The more resilient we are the less things bother us and the more we manage.
May measuring make things happen for you!
What are you keeping track of? How much progress are you making? What could you measure? Does measuring make you more successful?