As it's the new year, I want to jump into a little bit about planning long term goals. We all know the basics, goals need to be S.M.A.R.T(specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely), it's generally a good idea to make smaller goals that lead up to bigger ones, etc. But something I feel goes under-appreciated is how someone actually tracks and measures those goals. Obviously not the end goal itself, that's easy, if you want to lose 30 pounds, eat less and exercise more until you've lost 30 pounds. Measure that by standing on a scale. No, what I mean are the little steps every day that we take, or don't, to reach our overall, larger goals.

Again, as it's the new year, and plenty of people have their resolutions still at the front of their mind, I'd like to draw a paralleled to one of the most often used resolutions; to lose weight. Now, as I said earlier, it's pretty easy to lose weight, from a theoretical point of view. You eat less, and you exercise more. Simple. But most of us have a really hard time actually seeing that through to fruition. We quickly and easily fall into bad habits. "Oh, it's just one candy bar, no biggie." Or perhaps my favorite, "I really don't want to walk my 3 miles today, I'll just do 6 tomorrow." Wouldn't it be great to have a tracking tool that allowed us to see our progress every day? Yeah, that would be really cool. Like, super nifty. I can't wait for someone to make something like that. Oh?

The fitbit is probably one of the greatest weight loss tools I've ever seen. It's a pedometer. Well, at it's core it's a pedometer. But it also tracks your sleeping habits(via an arm strap, so you'll know how much sleep you are getting/how good your sleep is), and your calories. You enter them either online or with the included with purchase Android or iPhone app. The program then measures your calories versus your steps. So yeah, you can eat that Double meat, triple cheese, double bacon burger. You'll just need to walk an extra 13,000 steps today to take care of it.

This is a perfect example of real-time goal tracking. It incorporates the long term goal with your daily activities, helping you achieve your goals in smaller, easy to express and achieve goals. This is what BI is. Applying these concepts to your operation can and will greatly improve your efficiency and output. Next week, I'll get a little more in depth with another great example of goal setting.