Your Second Quarter Forecast – Predicting Your Performance

In the business world we’re all about measuring and metrics. 

The concept that what doesn’t get measured cannot be improved has been completely embraced in business, and with good reason. If you’re tracking good, actionable metrics you can course-correct to stay on track with your plans and reach your goals, or determine when you’re off course and need to make adjustments to deal with problems before they become so big you either cannot fix them or drastic measures are required to do so.

What’s funny to me is how people can apply these principles to their professional lives, and even be devoted to them as significant drivers for their success and not even begin to realize the same principles are equally useful for their personal lives.

I’ve been guilty of it myself. I was over a decade into my career as a facilities manager before a casual conversation with a friend over dinner one night made me realize my personal finances were in disarray because I wasn’t following a budget, forecasting my personal expenses or maintaining a reserve to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The irony of this was that these were all things I not only did in my professional life, they were things I had trained others to do.

Same was true of my health and fitness. I literally paid no attention to what I ate, and pretty much assumed my body would just keep functioning the way it always had regardless of whether or not I did anything to take care of it. Imagine if I’d brought that attitude with me to work? How successful (or just flat out employed) would I be if I assumed all of the buildings I was charged with maintaining would just continue functioning the way they always had with no maintenance?

What this amounts to is assuming the lights will stay on even if you don’t pay your electric bill.

We just concluded our second quarter financial forecasts at work. Forecasting is a cool tool if used correctly. You can see where your plan for the year is on track to meet or deviate from expectations. It’s also a real-time snapshot of what’s happening. You can infer, for instance, from frequent supplemental janitorial service expenses that the nightly contract janitors aren’t performing as they should be.

From a health and fitness perspective now’s the time to do a quarterly forecast too.

Take a look back over the past 3 months. Did you exercise as often as you’d planned to? What was your diet like? Did you stay on track or fall off the wagon? How do you feel today? How much is that like how you’ve felt each week for the past 3 months?

You can extrapolate out from how things have gone in the 1st quarter of the year how they’re likely to go in the 2nd. This is the point of a forecast. It’s also an opportunity to adjust.

For example: If you planned to exercise 6 days a week and you only managed 4, what happened? Did you set up your schedule and daily systems to put yourself in a position to be able to get it done and you just flaked, or were there regular circumstances which got in the way? Can you make an adjustment to those circumstances? If you had nutritional challenges what caused them? Again, can you make adjustments to improve in the next quarter?

What you’re probably going to find if you’re falling short of your targets isn’t that random chance created the shortfall. Just like in business, random isn’t that big of a factor. If we fall short on a budget number in a forecast it’s usually because there’s a missing factor in the system that’s letting that failure creep in.

I’ll go back to the janitorial example. Janitors work at night, usually without much or any supervision. Because they lack accountability the world of slack slips in and creates failures to perform. One way we’ve improved performance is to introduce accountability measures for the cleaners that make them realize their performance is being watched and they are responsible to do the work assigned to them.

If you’re falling down on diet and fitness goals you can improve this by finding a way to make yourself more accountable. For some people this means hiring a trainer. Gary Vaynerchuk has talked a ton about how this was really the only way for him to make his fitness and health become a priority for him. He’s an exceptionally busy man, and left to his own devices he would prioritize everything else over his own workouts and staying on track with his nutrition. He hired a full-time trainer to workout with him daily and keep him accountable on his nutrition. If you can afford to go this route, do it. Don’t think about it. Do it.

For me, it was getting involved with Coaching with Team Beachbody. To keep myself accountable I’m basically putting myself out there as an example for you all. If I fall of the wagon, I’m a fraud, and my ego won’t let me be that or do that.

Doing online accountability, whether it’s with me, another Beachbody Coach or someone else who provides online coaching is another tactic that works. If you cannot afford a personal trainer, it’s the next best thing, and it worked for me for years.

Or you can just go public. Commit to your friends and family that you’re going to post your daily workouts online. You don’t have to take selfies or any of that foolishness people like me get into. The point is to show up and be public about it. You’ll be surprised how many people want to encourage you.

The point is to find something to keep yourself on course, and every quarter take a look and see if you’re on track or need a course correction.

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