We are three weeks into the new year. How are you doing with your resolutions? Have your new habits become as smooth as a well-oiled machine? Or are you grinding to a halt? I've heard it said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit - so three weeks often marks an inflection point with our new intentions. The new activities aren't so new anymore, and may be losing their novelty. Getting up at 5:30 AM to go to the gym might seem like more of a hassle than a good idea. So, if you're like me, you start making excuses: I stayed up binge-watching Game of Thrones on Netflix, so I'll sleep in just this once. Or, I could really use this time to organize my children's lunches for the week. And suddenly, you're looking at early morning work-outs in the rear-view mirror.
Section 6.2.2 of the ISO 9001:2015 standard is all about planning and taking deliberate action to meet your objectives - much like forming new habits. Let's take a look at how section 6.2.2 could be applied to the new year's resolution from my last blog post: losing weight.
Section 6.2.2 states that "When planning how to achieve its quality objectives, the organization shall determine:
a) what will be done;
b) what resources will be required;
c) who will be responsible;
d) when it will be completed;
e) how the results will be evaluated
a) What will be done? What specifically do you want to acheive? Do you want to lose 10 pounds? Or maybe what you really want is to fit into your skinny jeans again. Or perhaps get back into shape so you can play with your grandchildren. it is important to be really clear about your goals so that you can stay motivated and so that you know when you're done. No one starts a race without knowing where the finish line is. Picturing that finish line helps to push you through the low points of the race.
b) What resources will be required? How will acheive your goal? You might want to create weekly meal plans. You might want to partner with a weight loss company like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. You might want to join a gym. As I mentioned in the last post, it is very important to consider how these activities will fit into your current lifestyle. If you have no free time during the day and you hate going to the gym, then don't buy a gym membership! You might be better off downloading 7 minute workouts, or going for a walk with your family. The important thing here is to think about how you want to achieve your goal, taking into account your values, your lifestyle, and what is important to you.
c) Who will be responsible? My Fitness Pal keeps telling me that people who lose weight with friends are 50% more likely to be successful. Who will support you in your resolution? What role will your spouse play? Perhaps you need to enlist a lifecoach, or a personal trainer. You don't have to go it alone.
d) When will it be completed? Bear in mind that you have the whole year to achieve your goal. One of my favorite quotes is "everything in moderation, including moderation". So maybe you want to take a break from your diet plan on summer weekends (yes, every weekend!). Or if you have a big vacation coming up, plan to take a break from dieting and just enjoy yourself. The main thing is to stay in it for the long term goal from part a). Taking little breaks, and maybe even backtracking a bit, doesn't have to de-rail your plan - it might even help you achieve your weight loss goal. So what if it takes a little longer?
e) How the results will be evaluated? Weight is one obvious measurement. But there are others - measurements, clothing sizes, body fat percentage, or general fitness. Once you have decided on your goal from part a), then you can decide what will be the best metric for measuring your progress. Also keep in mind the resources you will need for evaluating results. It's pretty easy to get a scale and step on it once a week. It's more difficult to get your body fat percentage analyzed weekly. So pick an evaluation method that you can live with.
How are you doing with your resolutions? What tips have you used to stay on track? I'd like to hear from you!