Researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie, eating plan and asked them record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.
After 20 weeks, the average weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds—twice as much as those who didn’t track any food!
What is the leadership lesson for us?
Other than the fact that some of us could lose some weight (the writer is first on that list), the point made about journalling your progress applies to any goal.
The process of recording our efforts can have a huge impact on our results. The process of writing down what we have done, makes our choices clear (i.e. did I read last night, or watch TV?), and holds us accountable for them.
Writing down our process also helps us remain conscious and intentional about our progress towards our goals.
One of the most important things we can do as a leader in helping other people reach their goals is to help them stay focused on those goals.
Add this idea to your leadership development programs and training – build a process for people to record their progress towards their most important goals – personally and organizationally each day. This habit will make us stronger leaders because once we build this habit for ourselves, we can help transfer it to others.
This is also one of the most powerful ideas you can apply for yourself – as independent executive leadership coaching – get out your journal, and make notes of your daily actions and lessons learned in pursuit of your goals – including your goal of becoming a Remarkable Leader.