Tracking, Schmacking (Why Bother?) (Issue 821)

In which we are reminded of the glorious sustaining benefits of activity tracking.

A bit off schedule from the “spring forward” to Daylight Savings Time, I shuffled into the kitchen, ready for Sunday breakfast, iPHone in hand. I shifted my focus from food cupboards to refrigerator and back again.

“What sounds good this morning?”  I was thinking, “lightly toasted bagel with a schmeer of cream cheese.”

I started my phone and opened MyFitnessPal and looked at my food intake for the week.

“Oooh! Well over on carbs. A bit short on calcium and protein,” I noted.

“Not a big gap… and no bagel today. Greek Yogurt for breakfast and a four-ounce chicken breast sometime today should take care of those gaps nicely,” I thought.

Piece of cake, as it were. Manage the gaps every day and end the week on target in all categories.

But not so easy with longer term health goals.

For example, I have high cholesterol levels. Turns out that blood cholesterol levels are heavily influenced by genetic inheritance, extraordinarily challenging to reduce through diet and exercise, and very slow to change.

I can track and restrict cholesterol intake daily and I have to “take it on faith” based on the medical research that, if I stick with the diet and the exercise, my cholesterol levels will fall and the mix of HDL and LDL will shift. But there’s no immediate cause-and-effect connection (like “eat 4 ounces of chicken, close the protein gap”).

So, I have an activity plan  – what I eat, how much I exercise – and I track the activities to help me stay on plan, ANTICIPATING (based on the research) that change will come through 6 – 24 months…. and realizing that there will be long periods of time when there’s no movement. The plan and my weekly tracking are my only guides.

Those of us in long cycle (6 – 24 month) sales have the same challenge and, I get it, many of us don’t like taking the time to record our activities in Salesforce or whatever we’re using.

However, there can be long periods of time when there is no movement – people won’t talk to us or respond to our phone calls or emails.. Since there’s no immediate feedback, we have to “take it on faith” that, if we have a good activity plan – touching COIs, meeting prospects, sending ideas – and we track and monitor our activities so we stay on the plan, we’ll find our way to clients who seek what we’re selling and hit our goals.

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