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How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

I was reading through a business book and saw this quote: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” It caught my eye. And, perhaps because I’ve focused on being extra self-reflective during the last week, I have given this a lot of thought.

Some people say that they have a public or business persona and that they are completely different in their personal lives. You know what I mean—they say they are super-organized, driven and type A in their business life, but at home they claim they are super-chill. I actually don’t think that’s possible.

I consider myself and my habits when stating this. After much self-reflection, I’ve realized that the habits I have for living are quite the same in the professional realm and my personal life. For example, it is no secret that I tend to make decisions quickly, based on my gut. I don’t often enough spend time gathering a lot of data—it’s like in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. In fact, I have to work very hard to remind myself to ask questions, gather data and look for any contrary concerns. This applies to both my personal AND professional life. After having some bad personal experiences, through trial and error, I now push myself to pause and not move so quickly.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

The same applies to my work life—I have found myself coming to quick conclusions and later realizing that I should have paused, asked more questions, slowed down and looked for the opposing view.

I consider myself a pretty hard-working, competitive, goal-oriented person, yet I have had limited success in achieving my personal fitness goals. So, this quote of “How you do anything is how you do everything” made me ask myself, “Why have I not lost the weight I say I want to lose? Why have I not increased my cardio fitness and the strength that I strive for?”

That’s when I realized that I lose interest and lack discipline. After all, when it comes to personal fitness, it is quite obvious that consistency and discipline are imperative when you have fitness goals. So what would it take for me to achieve these personal, physical goals?

From my business background, I know that best practices would involve writing down my goals, breaking them down into specifics. I’d need to: List actions I would have to take on a daily and weekly basis to achieve my goals. Record my activities daily and then recap them periodically to chart my progress. Focus on high-performance activities (HPAs) vs. just activities (i.e., going through the motions).

But I realized something else was missing.

Who will I be accountable to? Obviously being accountable to myself has not allowed me to achieve my fitness goals so, for me, I think it’s best to have accountability to others. Maybe I need a small group of trusted advisors or “coaches” who I agree to report my progress and results to—and who will give me honest feedback. (And who won’t buy into to my excuses!)

As I thought about this different approach for myself in my personal fitness arena, I couldn’t help but reflect back onto my business life and what best practices could be used there.

Do I have my business goals written down? Have I broken those big goals down into smaller objectives and activities with desired measurable results? Am I tracking these goals and making course corrections if I am not on track to achieve them?

Who will I be accountable to about these goals? Or, if I don’t achieve my goals, what actions will I take to change the results? Will I adjust my goals, or will I be honest and take a look at my own leadership or my team’s capabilities?

How will I celebrate when I achieve my goals? Will I be disciplined enough to set new, higher goals and objectives?

How I do anything is how I do everything.

What about this mantra speaks to you? How do you feel about your personal goals? Do you apply the same best practices from business in your personal life? Do you have written goals that stretch you? Or do you just show up and do what you’re told, and you’re satisfied with the status quo?

Think about it. I sure do. As I craft my updated personal and business plan for 2019 and 2020, I will report back to you on how it’s working.

I hope you will consider doing the same.

How you do anything is how you do everything.



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