Why I hate the fitness tracker… (when goal measuring goes wrong)

OK, a slight exaggeration, I actually quite like it (see one of my January blogs) but 7 months on I have a few dislikes and yes they do relate to our finances and business so please read on ;-).

It doesn’t give you any slack the next day for exceeding your target

Most days I exceed my targeted steps and the big hike the other week had me multiplying my daily target by an astronomical amount. Yet I never get a day off. It (being the fitness tracker) still pushes me to hit the daily target. I understand the whole reason for this, it’s based on the principle that we need to move regularly for our health but 1 day off for good behaviour surely?

How does this relate to your finances?

When we set targets (financial and non-financial) we must look at the bigger picture but we need to break it down into manageable portions as sometimes the overall goal can be overwhelming. However, this can cause stress if you’re oozing with energy and go beyond your target one day but still think you must tick off another mini goal the next day.

When I do monthly accounts for clients we look at the monthly results yet we always look at the Year to Date (YTD) results too. The YTD results tell us how close we are to the bigger target as the monthly results simply tell us what happened ‘today’. The YTD results tell us what my client needs to do to have a better chance of reaching the end goal, or how much slack they have got and therefore could perhaps loosen their grip a little and enjoy life a little more.

It doesn’t give you slack for challenges

If you have a fitness tracker you’ll know if you walk up a fairly big incline it (the ones without the heart monitor) think you’ve been a tad lazy and fails to acknowledge your ‘workout’, which is pretty damm annoying if you there were blood, sweat, and tears.

Why is this relevant to your finances?

If you’ve read the book Successful Business Minds you know I prefer to call goals, intentions. Simply because I know that things can get in the way of goal setting. Mishaps can happen, we get ill, the dog/ cat/ child is sick and you miss the train whilst cleaning it up or in most cases, you have technology issues. The net results are you fail to meet your daily target and you’re annoyed as you now feel you need to make it up later by burning the midnight oil or work your weekend because you simply must meet this target.

I have news for you. You don’t, not if your pricing is done right (see my previous blog for help with this), and not if you’ve increased your admin time (i.e. non-billable work time) to accommodate for this.

I mentioned in Successful Business Minds, a client who realised that her price didn’t absorb cancellations. Once we discovered this, she increased her price and used any cancellations to catch up on admin & marketing, but she also created a cancellation policy (so it was a win win). This is an example of the valuable information our accounts tell us.

 It assumes you’re asleep at midnight (this is the time the target resets itself)

This annoyed me on Friday night after I had been sitting chilling watching a 3hr film with my partner when I discovered I had 2 minutes to do 500 steps. I was short by 150 and it also reset the count of cumulative days of hitting my targets. More annoying was by the time I got into bed I had done 600 steps for the next day…

Relates to business, how?

Are you working for yourself yet trying to stick with the same hours you did when employed whether that be Monday to Friday 9-5 (if you’re office based) or maybe Tuesday to Saturday (if you’re a hairdresser) or 10-8 six days a week (if you worked in a shop)?

The point I’m trying to make is that you run your own business and you get to choose when you do the hours. Ok so you need to be available sometime to chat to your clients (that is if you still want a business) or maybe you have to work around you partner’s employed hours or your children’s school hours but the fact remains you are in charge so you get to choose what days and times you work.

I am still wearing my fitness tracker despite these annoyances and yet I no longer take the daily target as gospel thus although my cumulative target resets itself after watching a late night film I know on average I am meeting my daily targets. Equally, I acknowledge how hard it was to achieve it some days so I give myself a bit of slack even if it doesn’t. Furthermore, I know that when I do 50,000 steps one day I can give myself a day off the next day if I choose too. I hope you do too.

Take care until next week.

Love Helen x
Accountant & Author of Successful Business Minds and 12 Steps to Improve Your Cashflow.

© HM Coaching Ltd

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