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  • Writer's pictureKathie Scalf

Life KPI’s

In my line of work, which is sales, each quarter I’m given a list of objectives to hit known as KPI’s -or Key Performance Indicators.  These KPIs are exactly what they sound like; my performance in hitting these key objectives is indicative of how well I’m doing my job.   As I rolled into January and received my list of KPIs for Q1, I started considering what my key performance indicators in regular life are and began to evaluate accordingly.  

Like in business, life KPIs are never big, extraordinary feats.  They’re intended to be small, daily undertakings that are essentially “just part of the job” and should be routine. Sometimes though, when things are out of balance with our mental or physical health, those little things start to slip through the cracks.  

For example, my main life KPI would have to be my bed;  if I’m operating at peak functionality, my bed is neatly made every morning.  On the flip side, as soon as I start to fall into a funk or depression, I tend to neglect making it, sometimes for days at a time.  The same thing with taking my garbage down; even though I have concierge trash pickup and only take the bag to the bottom of my stairs, if I’m in a dark mindset the task seems wildly daunting and I put it off until it’s practically falling in the floor.  

Taking notice of these seemingly inane tasks can be very beneficial in getting ahead of any unhealthy behavior.  Look around you and take stock of your surroundings; is your car a mess?  Does your fridge need to be cleaned out?  Is your living room in disarray, littered with empty water bottles and takeout boxes?  It’s very much true that a cluttered environment reflects a cluttered mind, and using these environmental life indicators as a gauge for your health can snap you back into healthy habits before the unhealthy ones become the norm.  

Human beings are purpose driven, meaning we get a lot of fulfillment out of successfully completing tasks.  One small win for the day tends to set in motion more small wins, until one day you look up and you’re firing on all cylinders as a high functioning person.  When you put yourself in this “flow state” of stacking wins, you want to feel that sense of fulfillment across every aspect of your life and it truly becomes addictive.  

If you’ve found yourself living in a way that is less than beneficial to your health, you don’t have to tackle the big stuff right away; start with the little stuff that you’ve let slide.  If it feels too overwhelming to work, just get out of bed and shower and see how you feel.  If showering seems too much, simply get up and make your bed and brush your teeth then see if you feel like doing more.  If you’ve fallen out of shape you don’t have to jump up and run a marathon.  Simply set a goal of a 15-minute walk outdoors, then see if you want to do more.  There are many days where I have no inspiration or motivation for writing this column, but I tell myself to sit down and just write about my day for even 5 minutes and see what comes up.  By the end of the 5 minutes, I’m usually feeling a flow of creativity and have it knocked out.  

Personal success is truly found in the minutiae of our daily routine, just as being successful in business is built upon consistent, concerted efforts toward specific goals.  It is a very rare event that I cold call an account, catch the buyer, have the opportunity to sit down with them and they commit to buying a product all in one fell swoop.  The majority of my wins come from every day hitting the market, visiting accounts multiple times, chipping away at the gatekeepers little by little until I get a meeting and finally getting to put on the dog and pony show.  I would say 9 out of every 10 times I get to the actual meeting stage of sales I close the deal, and that is because all the real work is done on those boring days where it feels like I’m making no progress and beating my head against a wall.  If I gave up after the first try or two, I’d never make it to a meeting.  

I had the same feeling the first 3 weeks of this year when I committed to getting healthier.   I eliminated 80% of my diet, was working out daily, and the scale wouldn’t budge.  But instead of giving up, I stayed the course and the dam eventually burst.  I recently took before and after pictures that were quite shocking; while there’s only roughly 9lbs lost, my entire body composition is changing.  

If you want to change your life for the better, take stock of your daily habits and really focus your efforts on productivity there.  What are your personal Key Performance Indicators and where do you currently stand in your execution of them?  Start stacking those little wins until one day you look up and all you’re doing is winning in life!


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