Are you ready to get healthier during the month of May inside a 28-Day Health Challenge? Or are you in the middle of a "Stress Storm" and feeling burdened to do even the basic Habits of Health?
Here's a great video to remind us being "stressed" is a choice and there are actions we can take to relieve and minimize stress: http://play.simpletruths.com/movie/stress-is-a-choice/
Individuals who enter stressful situations will often slow or stop their progress toward achieving their health goals. I call these “stress storms” because just like bad weather can prevent someone from climbing a mountain; “stress storms” can prevent a person from achieving their goal either temporarily or completely. Unfortunately, most who are unprepared to weather the “storms” will head back down the mountain and return to their comfort cave or old habits.
With maturity most learn that storms are part of life and it is best to deal with them immediately rather than waiting for better weather. There are seasons where we climb toward bigger and loftier goals and other times when we rest and maintain our position. However, when we’re either about ready to experience a storm or are already in one, we have to learn how to continue climbing in spite of the weather.
There are many types of stress storms that cause us pain including:
Physical Stress Storms (i.e. general pain, injury, disease, inflammation, or other trauma) can cause us to decrease our activity levels in order for our bodies to rehabilitate.
Mental Stress Storms (emotional, relational, spiritual, etc.) can be some of the most challenging as they can last many years if we don’t climb beyond them.
Financial Stress Storms (loss of financial security) can include looming debt(s), reduced income/cash flow issues, career or business transitions or the general lack of financial security due to the volatility of the economy.
So how do you deal with these storms? It is important to finds ways to make incremental progress every day or the situation will stay out of control. Coaches often ask climbers who have stopped climbing “why.” Why have you stopped climbing? Is there a storm that’s preventing you from climbing? If so, how bad is the storm?
If a storm is really bad, then it is important to make the progress steps really small so that the person is not overwhelmed. During storms it is important that the person be surrounded by those that can help and not be abandoned. Seldom are storms dealt well with on one’s own.
Are you currently in a storm? What can you do to improve your situation right now? What kinds of storms are you dealing with or are the storms on the horizon ready to set in and make your climb up the mountain more challenging? If you can see the storm for what it is (a simple storm or a season of life), you can usually deal with it since it is likely a short term event. Other storms may take longer to pass. The point is that we get stronger while inside a storm if we continue to stay focused on where we’re going and continue our climb toward the top. Success eventually comes if we continue climbing. A key indicator of success is our progress. The best way to monitor our progress is through measurements.
WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE
By taking time to reflect on our progress and accomplishments, we learn more about what we’re capable of achieving given our time, talents, skills, and abilities. It is important not to let another month, week, or day go by without measuring our progress toward our health goals.
Just as mountain climbers review their maps to make sure they are hitting their mark, so too must we review what we’re actually achieving. We need to know what’s working and ramp that up. In areas where we’re not making progress, we need to find out why in order to resolve the cause of the problem.
What to Measure
• Our dreams or desired outcomes – are they clearly defined? Are they realistic or do they need to be revised?
• Our action plans – do we have a clear plan of action with attainable goals and specific action steps to take?
• Our progress – are we seeing measurable progress on the plans we’ve established? Are we headed in the right direction?
• Our use of time – are we squandering valuable time on activities that are unrelated to our goals and dreams?
How Often to Measure
• End of the day – did we do what we needed to do?
• End of the week – was our week productive?
• End of the month – were our monthly goals accomplished?
• End of the quarter – are there achievements to celebrate?
• End of the year – was the past year successful? Is there a reward?
"What you measure is what you get. What you reward is what you get. By not aligning measurements and rewards, you often get what you're not looking for." – Jack Welch