One of the first things I wanted to do after my recent move to Richmond was to find a gym. After my little accident in the fall, it was time to get back to making myself stronger and more healthy. My new gym is wonderful and has all kinds of fancy equipment and classes. When you join, they set you up with a meeting with a trainer under the guise of getting to know the gym better and helping you to design a plan for your personal fitness. Of course, this is not the truth. It is a pitch with a trainer designed to get you to sign up with them for private training.
After taking me through a round of exercises, my wanna-be trainer asked me a round of questions. What were my fitness goals? How quickly did I want to achieve them? Of course, I said that I wanted to become stronger after my injuries, I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to become all around healthier. It was not just about a number on a scale but of getting back to a place of eating healthier and exercising regularly. Because the weight thing was something he could hone in on with a fixed number, he asked how much I wanted to lose. I gave him the figure that nags in the back of my mind but rarely has ever been a number I've seen when I stepped on a scale.
Then he asked me a question that has stuck with me, "On a scale of one to ten, how important is it for you to achieve your fitness goals?" Whoa...It is one thing to say "it is important to me" but another thing to rate its importance in my life. Because if I had to be honest, I'd probably have to say that it gets a lot of lip service but meanwhile my actions do not reflect that it is a "ten" on the importance scale in my life.
Of course, he was trying to pressure me to sign up for personal training. He said that he would suggest me working out with him twice a week, an hour at a time, at one hundred dollars a time. Ok..seriously, who just has an extra eight hundred bucks laying around? I couldn't help but think, "I bet that's what you'd recommend." I I know he needs to make a living too and so I'm not going to begrudge him or his efforts when he acted like it was crazy for me not to sign up with him right in that moment.
But that question keeps sticking in my mind. "On a scale of one to ten, how important is this for you?" I think about it when I want to skip going to the gym, when I want to eat something unhealthy, when I want to procrastinate doing work for school, when I want to spend money frivolously and so on.
I think it's a good leadership question. What do we say is most important in our lives and in our organizations? If you had to rate it, what would you give a number 10? What is most important above everything else? Do your actions, your calendar, your spending, your commitments show what is most important?
No more excuses. What is a ten for you? How do you adjust your life to reflect it?