Personal Metrics – Do they work?

Metrics Business is run by metrics. Metrics are used to measure things, usually performance or results. We use metrics to judge, track, and compare our decisions and choices. But what about personal metrics?  As a physician, I’ve had patients who have come to the office for physicals, with pages of data relating to their medications, daily sugars, blood pressure, weights as well as other measurements. They were outstanding record keepers, precise, committed and complete. Yet their blood tests were awful, their sugars worse and overall health declined. I’ve had other patients who thrust a stained napkin towards me where a loved one had jotted down the names of the meds they remember taking. Yet, some of those patients had an excellent physical. Everyone uses metrics differently and what works for one, does not work for another. Some patients who were busy recording metrics were not necessarily exercising and those who worked out and watched their diet, may not have written anything down. We use personal metrics for other things, such as keeping track of our book sales or finances. We have modern technology which not only keeps track of personal metrics, but offers suggestions or comments when an activity is due or personal goal not met. For some, this technology is a wonderful tool for organization and can be very helpful. Others become so obsessed on the “numbers”, they lose track of the mission. Or perhaps the numbers they seek are not germane for their problem. It happens all the time. Whether you are dealing with health, finances, book sales or other data, decide what works best for you, why it works and how best to accomplish your mission. Are you shooting for the right goal and are you using the correct metric to get you there? Make sure you keep an eye on the bigger picture, set the proper goal, and use the tool, (or not) that works best for you.