What Gets Measured Gets Improved Upon.

I wrote last week about my encounter [while walking] with the lost driver needing directions.

What I didn’t tell you was that when I stopped to assist this lost driver, I failed to pause my timer on my walking app on my phone.

Every time that I walk each morning I activate two apps on my phone that give me statistics on how I walked. Both of these apps give me distance walked, time taken, and elevation gained. One of the apps also gives me live up-to-date audio announcements each kilometre as to my time, pace per kilometre, as well as my pace on my previous kilometre.

Measuring is the key.

What gets measured gets improved upon.

And so I like to set myself goals on my walk:

These goals include total time walked, as well as kilometre by kilometre goals, to see whether I can improve my pace during parts of each walk.

So back to THAT walk, where I forgot to pause my timer.

When I realised that I had forgotten to pause my timer, I tried to guess about how long it was that I stopped to assist this lost lady, and judging on my time at the next completed kilometre, I figured it may have been about seventy seconds.

At present, my current goal is to break 96 minutes for the 10km walk. This has been my goal since my sciatic nerve injury in late 2022. Prior to that injury, my walking times were around the 92 minute mark.

Anyway, on this Sunday morning I was making good time and figured that I would be close to breaking the 96 minute time. However, after stopping to assist the lost driver, and not pausing my timer, I resigned myself to the fact that any attempt to break the 96 minute mark was going to be scarred by the vagary of the unpaused [and inaccurate] timer.

Interestingly, as I continued my walk after helping the lost driver, I noted that the next kilometre, the most difficult kilometre, kilometre five, saw me pick up my pace.

This was interesting.

I set a goal for kilometre six [also a difficult kilometre] and smashed through it too.

What was happening to me?

Onto kilometre seven and I was back on pace for a chance of breaking the 96 minute mark, even including the unpaused time addition… what was going on?

By the end of kilometre eight I was on track to easily come in under 96 minutes… and I did.

I completed the walk in 95 minutes and 15 seconds, even including the estimated 70 second pause to give directions.

What does this mean?

Despite my disappointment of not pausing my timer, I was able to block out that disappointment, and to knuckle down and see whether I could DIG DEEP and find the effort to go hard anyway.

And I did.

I did it despite the psychological setback…

So many times…

So many times in sport, in life, and in business I see people and teams looking for a reason as to why things won’t work out for them, and succumbing to that reason, without even trying to work through it or around it or work over it as an invalid reason with no right of importance at all.

Is that you?

Do you give up on things at the first hiccup?

Or are you the kind of person who gets knocked down seven times but stands back up eight times?

Do you consider failures as a result, or as a learning opportunity?

Do you consider those failures a chance to recalculate, and still succeed?

What are you measuring in your dental practice on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis?

Measuring allows you to see where you are at any given point in time. Consistent regular measuring of THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER also allows you to see trends as to whether your numbers are improving or faltering, at any point in time.

I’ll leave you with this memory…in 1956 in a one mile athletics track race, Australia’s John Landy stops to assist fallen competitor Ron Clarke.

After helping Clarke back to his feet, Landy rejoins the race and then goes on and wins the race.

He picks up the thirty five yards that he fell behind the leader while assisting Clarke to his feet, and more.

Watch the video here.

If it has been done it can be done again.

Do you have a John Landy moment in you?

I hope you do.


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