Let me start with what I mean by pivot because if you are non mathematical like me you are already dreading numerical analysis or Excel pivot tables. Don’t worry not even close .The dictionary meaning of Pivot is : a central point around which something turns.To pivot is to turn or spin around a centre point.
In its simplest form to pivot is to change direction. A couple of blog posts ago, I talked about how the end of the first half of the year tends to be a wake up call for a lot of us. We blink and January becomes July. You think ‘wow 7 months gone and what have I achieved?’. ‘ I am still a long way from meeting my goals’ ‘ All my plans don’t seem to be working’ etc.
Goals are meant to spur us to a growth and progress mindset and I am a firm believer in measuring progress. A saying by Peter Drucker that I learnt at work and have since also applied to other areas of my life goes thus ‘ What gets measured gets managed’.Having a metric or indices that one can measure against allows us to have an idea of what needs to be improved, changed, or stopped. So goals,targets,plans or whatever you choose to call them are not a bad thing.
Unfortunately though a lot of times, we measure or set ourselves up with arbitrary targets to reach our goals and never question if they are the actually the right metrics for us.
We live in such target,yard stick,benchmark driven society that a lot of times we measure our progress or lack of it by the road widely travelled.I believe that we need to learn from others and a lot of times we need the wisdom of mentors,peers,coaches or even our parents to guide us on our chosen paths.
The chosen path though is something that we tend to get fixated on. It also ties into the fear that a lot of us of being perceived as flakey because we changed our mind or course.
My friend,Sarah lost 20 kg in 6 months by totally cutting out carbs& going to the gym every evening 5 times a week. Sarah tells me how she made progress and I make up my mind in January to do the whole ‘New year new me’ thing as I also need to lose 20 kg as well.So I sign up to the gym with Sarah’s trainer and stop eating carbs.
By the end of March , I am struggling to get to the gym every evening and I am really missing bread. I struggle to get to the gym every evening because at the end of February I got a new job that added 45 mins to my commute each way.
It’s June and I have only lost 5kg. I am not eating bread but I am scoffing down chocolates due to the stress of trying to fit it all in. I haven’t been to gym AT All in May.(even though I am still paying membership and trainer fees).
At this point it’s obvious that this plan is not working. But I set a goal and I had a plan! Sarah did it so why can’t I?What will Sarah’s trainer (now my trainer) think?
At this point I am crippled with the thoughts of why I can’t change course rather than the most important thing that I set out to achieve which is to lose 20kg.
At this point it is noble that I am not contemplating ditching my goal like most people would. However nothing says I cant change direction. My measurement tells me that I still have a way to go in achieving my goal.The plan might have worked for Sarah or even me in January but it’s clearly not working for the me in June.
What i need to do is pause and consider other ways that could still get me to my goal even if it might mean that I don’t lose 20kg in 6 months. Maybe I can’t get to the gym 5 evenings a week but maybe I could twice a week consistently on Tuesday and Thursday as I leave the office at 4pm on those days. Or I could consider AM training sessions and go to work from there. Or if the gym is just not possible maybe I could incorporate some activity into my commute. Walk to the office. Cycle to work.Generally look for ways to make it work with my current situation. I miss bread (hypothetical me & I love bread by the way )so maybe I can have wholemeal bread twice a week and ditch the chocolates.
I know,I know me and my fitness analogies. But this principle can be applied to so many other areas of our lives. As we come to end of the month of July rather than despair at the goals or things that you might not have achieved,maybe the thing to do is change direction. Maybe it’s time to look at the plan and tweak it. Tweaking it might not work and you might have to ditch it all together.You might have to tweak so many times than you wish but at least you are not giving up.
You can change course. Life does happen and the most successful people tend to be the ones who are able to adapt and change to the situations around them.
Thank you so much for reading and hope you have a lovely Tuesday and week ahead.
Quote Picture credits- Pinterest