I just returned from an amazing vacation in France and Germany. It had a mix of family, friends, and fun with a side of site seeing and indulgence. While away I was contemplating why my new health regimen was working so well for me, and I realized, it is because it is agile. As some of you may know, I am a multi-faceted coach. I coach teams and management on agile methods in technical delivery, and I coach individuals and groups on making healthy lifestyle choices. The bridge I see between Agile Methods and the Nutritional Cleansing program I have been doing and coaching others on, is that they are both goal based. Let me explain to you how they relate:
In an Agile framework for technical delivery, a product manager builds a backlog of stories that help them achieve their end goal which is a functional product that end users can use. They basically breaking down a huge goal like “building a mobile application that tracks your healthy habits” into user stories like:
- As a health conscious person, I want to be able to track the amount of calories I am eating each day.
- As a health conscious person, I want to be able to track the amount of water I drink.
- As a health conscious person, I want to be able to track the amount of calories I burn.
- As a health conscious person, I want to be able to see my progress over a weeks time.
- As a health conscious person, I want to share my stats with my friends on facebook.
The product manager prioritizes the list and then discusses with the team that will be tasked to deliver. The team decides the interval in which they plan to deliver: 1-4 week sprints to have a releasable version of the stories they choose to deliver at the end of each sprint cycle. When product vision is broken into smaller user stories it makes it more attainable to achieve a higher quality result then tasking a team with “Build an application that tracks you healthy habits” The end result can vary, take a lot of time, and may not be to the liking of the product manager or end user once completed in this manner.
Same goes for personal health goals. Sometimes our health goals feel so overwhelming, that our minds stop ourselves from taking action. Similar to a huge product goal, if you have a health goal of “I must lose 50lbs” breaking it down into smaller stories actually helps you reach your goal:
- As a health conscious person, I want to lose 10lbs in 30 days.
- As a health conscious person, I want to workout at least 2 times a week in 30 days.
- As a health conscious person, I want to lose 2lbs in 1 week.
- As a health conscious person, I want to go 30 days without eating any processed foods.
- As a health conscious person, I want to stretch at least 2 times a week for 10 minutes.
If you break your goals down into smaller stories, and decide which ones you want to focus on in a given time interval 1-4 weeks, you can actually obtain your ultimate goal a lot faster and in a way that is sustainable over time.
The nutritional cleansing program I do allows me to manage my goals in 30 day increments. Within the 30 days, I set a plan for each week to help me achieve my mini goals that get me to my ultimate goal of that 30 day period. It is agile. I have the tools I need to incorporate the right nutrition, detoxification, and fitness into my day to ensure quality results. I am also part of a team that helps support me when I am feeling challenged and keep increasing my knowledge of what my body likes and doesn’t like to get the best results. I am excited to use these methods with my health coaching clients. It is really cool to find commonalities between my technical delivery agile coaching and my health coaching. (that’s the geek in me) Both have the same principles: Breakdown your goals into smaller obtainable chunks, put a plan together to deliver, check in periodically on your delivery plan, tweak as needed, and move on to the next goal.
I am happy to say I have hit 35lbs lost out of the 45lb overall goal. It has take me 6 months, and I keep chipping away at it. My new goals consist of helping as many people as I can get healthy, and continue to build my lean muscle and reduce the fat % on my body. I have tweaked my methods along the way for the best results and will continue to enhance my approach. If you are interested in connecting with me on how you can build the an agile health plan to help you reach your goals, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Cheers to your health!