FitBit and the Cold, Hard Truth

I’ve always said we lie best when we lie to ourselves.  And apparently I’ve been lying to myself for years about how many calories I really need.  I used all the online calculators, I entered all my stats and I thought I knew what to do to lose weight.  Then I bought a FitBit HR.

This bad boy measures your activity and your heart rate.  So you might think you’re burning 2400 calories a day and BAM it tells you, “No, Queen of Self Delusion, you only burned a measly 1640.  Step away from the snack cakes.”  To say I was disappointed is too mild.  Heartbroken might be more accurate.  Not quite suicidal, but it was a dark moment.

But once I recovered (and Little Debbie, the Pillsbury Doughboy and I committed to getting through this together), I started paying WAY more attention to what I was eating and, I’m happy to say, my jeans fit a lot better.

So what does this mean to you?  It means you can’t get where you want to go if you don’t have good information.  And in these days of big data and technology, we really have no excuse.  So let’s get you where you want to go:

Pick an area you’d like to improve – your health, your finances, your love life, your career, anything.

Ask yourself what you need to measure to be successful in this area.   Weight loss would seem to be easy – eat fewer calories than you burn.  But if you think you’re burning more than you really are, you are doomed to fail.  Accurate data is essential.  Most people think they are managing their finances okay, but they aren’t measuring their results.  Do you know how much you need to retire?  Are you measuring your results regularly to see if you’re on track?  (To retire before you’re say, 120?) If not, how can you know you’re doing an okay job of managing your finances?

Don’t lie to yourself.  I think you should pick the clearest measure possible.  Success in dieting = weight loss.  Success in business = more income/profits.  Success with kids = more hours of quality time.  Now I realize everyone will have different things they consider success in these areas (men would probably measure success in their love lives a little differently than women for example), but the keys to success are clarity in what you want and honesty with yourself.

The right data will set you free!  If you have bad data, you’ll keep doing things that aren’t working.  You’ll make more sales calls to poorly screened prospects, post more on social media sites no one is reading, and go on more bad dates.  Working hard isn’t your problem – it’s working smart.

Check your beliefs.  I can’t tell you how shocked I was to see that pitifully small calorie expenditure on my FitBit.  Decades of wrongly held beliefs (and hopes and dreams) had to be let go.  I talk to wannabe speakers all the time who believe the marketplace really wants their story/topic.  When no one hires them, they cannot let go of the belief that their passion must be rewarded.  They are getting results; they just aren’t willing to accept them.

So – for your health, try a FitBit.  For your finances, try SigFig or some of the other amazing tools out there.  For your productivity – check out RescueTime.   For your family – try Cozi to schedule that time together.  You don’t have to use technology for this, but you will have to look at and embrace the cold, hard truth.  You may find that having accurate data will change your life.   (Or at least the size of your jeans.)


2 Responses to “FitBit and the Cold, Hard Truth”
  1. Dianne Phillips says:

    Congratulations on Making the List! I have to say, I heard you speak probably 10 years ago at an APA event in Atlanta, Georgia. I still remember things you said in that meeting. You, obviously, found your place in this world and have huge impact on a lot of people. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Thankful I had the opportunity to hear you once. Hope I have the opportunity again some day. I look forward to receiving and reading your mailing each time it comes. Thank you for the wisdom, truth and encouragement you share with so many. In the world we live in, that is truly a priceless gift!

  2. deniseryan says:

    Awww! Dianne – thanks so much! You made my day!! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write this! xoxoxo

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