Monday, June 17, 2013

The making of an action hero pt6

Entry #5 313.00—that was the verdict Friday. I ate a bit more than I should have yesterday and came out .28th of a pound ahead. That works out to a pound a half a week, 6 pounds a month, and 72 pounds a year. Obviously I’d prefer something more drastic, but considering I haven’t even started exercising yet, that’ll do pig. There are a lot of assumptions in that prediction, chiefly that I can maintain this pace and that the scale is accurate. Two data points do not a trend make…even so this is good news. I’m not going to set myself any firm goals or rewards till I have at least a week of weigh-ins to work from. I’ve worked in a variety of team and individually incentivized departments. All of them had some sort of performance based reward system—do this and get shiny thing! I came across two frequent flaws in such bonus programs. The first came down to bonuses that weren’t worth the effort. Here’s this amazing thing! Erm, not so much. Work really hard and you’ll get next to nothing. That’s bad motivation. You see this in kickstarters all the time. They offer rewards that mean little to their intended audience. Conversely, one of the best examples I’ve seen of positive goal setting was a Holiday overtime contest in which representatives earned a $250 gift card for working 50 hours of overtime before Christmas. That was a great reward balanced by a lot of effort which benefitted the company. Those are the kinds of rewards I will set. Worse than the inequitable bonus is a reward that is unobtainable. Here’s that thing that you should want to get. All you have to do is accomplish the improbable. That’s not a good motivator either. Who is going to try and earn something they are convinced they can’t/won’t achieve? Stretch goals, benchmarks that require one to expend a bit more than usual effort are great. It’s when the bar gets placed so high that it might as well not be there that you have a problem. The idea is to motivate, generate greater than expected results, and stay goal oriented. I’ll have to talk to the brunette about this. Setting goals won’t be that difficult. Picking rewards…that might be a bit more challenging. The problem with living independently is that I tend to buy the things I want and do the things I enjoy as a matter of course. If I delay the purchase of something until I hit a goal, that’s not the same as giving me a reward for achieving something significant. At best that represents intentionally delayed gratification. I’d really appreciate suggestions on that one. Intake: Breakfast=A bowl of oatmeal, a glass of cranberry juice, and a banana. Work meal=A ham and Swiss wrap, an apple, and a snack bag of flavored almonds. Dinner=a plate of chicken and rice and pasta salad.

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