Guest Writer: Terri Langhans, CSP
Let’s put this behind us.
Benchmarks are better than resolutions and get better results!
Just days after New Year’s, my daughter and I were talking about making and breaking resolutions. She said hers would be easy to keep. She wanted to cook-in more. Kelsey is in her last semester of graduate school and races between school, internship, work and the gym, eating or munching on the run, or standing at the kitchen counter in her apartment.
I took a deep breath, pondering whether I should just say, “That’s a good one, sweetie,” wearing my Mommy Hat, or tell her what I really thought, wearing my Business Hat.
I managed both. “That’s a good one, sweetie. You’re such a good cook, and you’ll probably save money, too.” Pause. “And, you know what I tell people in my audiences–to put a number on it and create a benchmark. Otherwise it’s not going to happen.”
“It’s cooking, Mom, not accounting,” she sighed. “But what’s a benchmark, again?”
I told her this, essentially.
Fancy definition: it’s a number that measures an activity or result. Real world example: whether you want to cook-in, play tennis, exercise, read, write, walk, run, dance, speak, consult, sell or save more, put a number on it. How many times a MONTH will you make it happen? 1? 4? 8? 16? 20? 30?
Don’t say 10. I mean, you could say you’re going to do something 10 times a month, but it gives me a brain cramp. Yoga 10 times a month? Is that 2 times one week, 3 times the next week, then 2 and 3 again? Make the math easily divisible by 4, as in weeks in a month. Dial it down to 8 or crank it up to 12.