Life is all about a healthy balance, the positive force to balance the negative, an equal give and take. In our lifetimes on this earth, we are only given a finite amount of energy in a finite amount of time, and how we use this energy is up to us. In the words of Dr. Maya Angelou, it is our duty to “if we get-give, and if we learn-teach”, and if I may be bold to add - if we imagine-create. We can only do so much in a given period of time-a day, a week, a month. So the questions become-how do we move the needle? How do we make it all happen? And most importantly-How do we avoid FOMO-the fear of missing out?! In this article, you will be provided with a sure-fire way to achieve your goals, and see your dreams and aspirations unfold right before your eyes.
Lean-Six Your LifeTM
The Lean-Six Your LifeTM approach will help you to accelerate achievement of your goals in life and in business. The approach takes the scientific principles of Lean and Six Sigma business process improvement to provide you with a higher probability of success in a shorter period of time. In combining the speed and agility of Lean with the statistical predictability of Six Sigma, Lean-Six Your LifeTM will be the catalyst in reaching your desired results.
You will be able to 1. Identify, prioritize, and solve the problems that are impeding your goal attainment; 2. Close the gaps between where you are today with where you want to be in the future; and 3. Quantify your success. This approach will provide you with the power to mobilize your full potential through available resources and energy to produce a desired effect. Let’s explore the 3 steps of Lean-Six Your LifeTM using an example of a goal we have all embarked upon at least once in our lives – the goal to lose weight.
Step 1. Develop your burning platforms: What are those things that if you don’t complete and execute, your life will be out of balance? Our main objective always should be to find balance in all areas of our lives. Monetary goals, health goals, educational goals, career goals, and the list goes on and on. Determine the cause and effect relationship between your goal and what you will be able to obtain once you achieve this goal. Use an If-Then statement to test this. In using our example, many studies have shown that weight loss can significantly reduce the probability of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. The ultimate whys, the burning platforms, are to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels. This will ultimately lead to a healthier life balance, quality of life, and life expectancy, especially for those that are susceptible to these conditions due to family history.
Burning Platform Statement: If I lose weight, then I will reduce my blood pressure level.
Step 2. Harness the Power of Three: Applying this concept helps us to keep focus on only 3 key areas with 3 key performance indicators (KPIs) at a time to optimize success. This universal truth for focused effort will ensure you have a higher probability of achieving your goals within a shorter period of time. From your brainstorming exercise in step 1, you may have a list of 10 or more burning platforms, select 3 as your key focus areas for 2017.
2017 Key Focus Area Examples
1. Weight Loss
2. Complete my Master’s degree
3. Purchase a New Home
Step 3. Use the Lean-Six Your LifeTM plan: Now let’s apply the steps of the Lean-Six Your LifeTM plan to our original burning platform statement – If I lose weight, then I will reduce my blood pressure level.
• Define your vision for the future and identify a deadline. This is the only way to hit your mark. Where do you want to be in 3 months? A year?
o Vision Statement: I would like to reduce my systolic blood pressure by 20 points and my diastolic blood pressure by 10 points in 3 months.
• Measure and determine a baseline. We can’t change what we don’t measure. Use a blood pressure monitor to obtain your current state blood pressure level. Continue to measure daily once in the morning and once in the evening. Do the same for your weight. If you have access to measuring your cholesterol level on a daily basis, this can become your 3rd KPI. Tip: It’s best to take your blood pressure 30 min after you wake in the morning.
o Current State Baseline: My blood pressure currently is 140/90.
o Define your current state process: Identify your typical day and by the hour list the activities you complete and your diet intake. This will become your daily log.
o Identify metrics to track your current activities: For each activity, list the amount of calories burned. For each food or drink consumed, list the amount of caloric intake.
Fitbits and most smartwatches have programs that can assist with completing this daily log.
• Analyze your data trends and diagnose the problems.
o Week 1 - Data: Using your daily log, continue to track your metrics for 1 week and determine what the data is telling you. Ask questions, for example - Is there a cause and effect relationship between what you are eating and your blood pressure? Is there a cause and effect relationship between my activity and my blood pressure? How does this affect my weight?
o Week 2 - Trends: Continue to track your metrics during week 2. Review your daily log at the end of the week. What trends are you noticing? Are there certain times of the day in which there is always a dip in your activities? Are there certain days of the week in which there is always a higher reading for your blood pressure?
o Week 3 – Habits: During week 3 of your tracking begin to think about the following- What are my current habits? Which habits can I adjust to obtain my desired results? Ensure to adjust in healthy increments that are reasonable for your lifestyle. For example, if you notice that you spend 2 hours of continuous time sitting at a computer, then this is a habit you can adjust to obtain your desired results. Allocate 30 minutes of this time to a more active activity that burns more calories such as walking or dancing.
• Improve your current state and develop a plan for how to reach your goals in 8 steps or less. The number 8 signifies new beginnings, and this will be your prescription for success.
o Set Realistic Habits: From the habits determined in the analyze step, create your 8 step plan for success. Set realistic habits in healthy increments that are in alignment with your lifestyle. Do not set unrealistic habits for yourself that will become too overwhelming to complete. For example going from no hours of exercise a week to a full 1 hour – 3 day a week approach. – this may not be reasonable for your lifestyle.
o Accountability Partner: Identify an Accountability Partner to keep you encouraged and motivated to build your new tomorrow. Set a regularly schedule time for updates on progress to your 8 step plan.
• Control your impulses; track yourself to plan, and “sustain the gains” of your improvement. Continue to track the metrics identified in the measure step daily. Sustain your plan by completing all steps, reporting to the accountability partner, and adjusting when necessary. Did you achieve your vision statement? Remember, it takes 21 days to develop a healthy habit.
• Celebrate your success by sharing with your network via social media, a blog, or even by hosting an event to celebrate your growth and new path. Let’s get going to sustaining a leaner life!!!
Lean-Six Your LifeTM
Check back at the beginning of each month at the online Enterprising Women Connector for more tips on an Empowered 2017!
For more information, visit www.bulsardgroup.com or twitter @leansixyourlife.