Numbers Motivate

I was recently watching an ad on TV for a bathroom cleaning product that made the claim it could kill 99.9% of germs. That got me thinking. How could they know that? No doubt it’s effective. I mean, they are compelling stats, but how did they come up with 99.9%? Why not 95% or 91%?

Then I started to think, what’s another way to say 99.9%? It’s almost everything. In the same way we read there’ll be a 50% chance of rain today. Or, “I might rain, it might not.”

So the statement boils down to this… ‘who wants a product that can clean almost everything when you can have a product that kills 99.9% of all germs?

Numbers help convey a clear message. They’re also the most accurate way to measure success. While we spend our working life striving to reach targets and budgets, that ultimately measure our success, we often leave that way of working in the office, when it comes to our own fitness. And I can’t for the life of me work out why?

There is a statistic I’ve heard that says just 6% of all gym members currently have a PT. Of those 6%, 95% achieve their health and fitness goals. There are many reasons why these clients are seeing such impressive results. Motivation from a fitness professional standing by their side to get that last rep out of them, would be one. But I believe the main reason lies behind the quantitive data each personal trainer keeps for each client.

It never ceases to amaze me, watching a client nearing the end of their session, out of their feet. Verbalizing their inability to do anymore. But if they are told one more effort guarantees they’ll beat their last attempt, that exhaustion is replaced with an almost bloody minded ‘get out of my way’ attitude, to finish the job.

If there is no goal to reach, how can you ever know if you’re improving?

So what’s your first step?

  1. Settle on a goal. Run faster. Jump higher. Lose weight.
  2. Break that goal down into manageable chunks, (start small).
  3. Record your results as you go.

Seeing your results improve is a big motivator to keep going and to keep pushing yourself.

Whether you’re watching your lap times improve as a runner or cyclist, or the amount of weight you can lift as a body builder, numbers motivate.