Every new year, people make all sorts of resolutions. Probably , the most common one is to lose weight. And what usually happens? By March or so, most people forget their resolutions.
Why does this happen? I believe it’s because there is a fundamental difference between resolutions and goals. So, what’s the difference between them?
Resolutions vs Goals
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘resolution’ as ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’. It defines ‘goal’ as ‘the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.’ This tells you that one is decision, where as one is an object of effort. One is a thought, one is an end result of action.
I think this is the main reason that people fail to keep their resolutions. The action to follow through with them begins to wane after a few weeks or months. A goal on the other hand is different. It is an end result. If you map out a line of actions from the end result to your current starting point, you can see what actions you need to do to achieve your goal. This is a fundamental difference between resolutions and goals.
Setting up SMART goals could be a way to turn your resolutions into a reality. For example, if it comes to losing weight, creating SMART goals are a great way to make it happen. SMART goals help you set up a SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE , RELEVANT, and TIME BOUND way of reaching a weight loss goal. So if your plan is to lose 20 lbs by June of this year, you can make an action plan by creating SMART goals. And action, as you know, is the right way to lose weight, and not goals!
So, what are your goals for this year? How will you make those goals SMART? How will you make your plan actionable? Leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Data in Healthcare Delivery: The Power of HEDIS
First in a Series
By Patrick K. Wier, MBA
This summer’s never ending debate on healthcare in the halls of Capitol Hill and the virtual halls on the internet is so complex it’s hard to wrap your head around. Why are costs so high? Why do there appear so many inefficiencies? The queries go on and on. One place to begin a greater understanding is the revolution that is taking hold in industry overall, however, at a slower pace in healthcare- big data.
Patients, providers, payors and vendors alike have a shared experience within the system through management of patient data in the form of huge stores of physical folders or electronic health records (EHR). Slowly and at large sums of investment practitioners are transitioning to one of the many forms of an EHR. This is an effort to capture the powerful effect of big data. Effectively utilized big data along with other interconnected electric devices the industry seeks to improve health outcomes while lowering costs associated with managing health conditions.
Leveraging technology to connect patients to providers to payors by linking multitudes of patient data while abiding by HIPPA regulations can bring about significant improvements in leading health complications like congestive heart failure, COPD and diabetes. Understanding patient information in a real time manner while learning constraints on the system can lead to more effective utilization of resources and reduce wasteful spending such as needless testing.
Payors and patients can learn which providers deliver greater results through established metric ratings developed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). An example of this is seen in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) which collects performance measures across 80 different dimensions of care and service. Insurers are constantly collecting data and rating all providers across the country to assess the effectiveness of health care delivery. Through the use of this scoring system health systems are constantly squeezing increased value in business results aligned with improved health outcomes for numerous health complications.
In conclusion, as more and more providers switch to EHRs payors can adjust payout rates to practitioners and deliver improved health outcomes which ultimately trickles down to the patient. Big data is the driver of progress in the industry and needs to be considered in our national conversation and on Capitol Hill when assessing how we carry out one of the most costly concerns in all individuals and families.
What other means can big data serve and address current inefficiencies in the U.S. healthcare system? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. We would love to hear from you. You can also contact us at email@example.com
I’ve been consulted on several occasions to assist with various healthcare companies’ entry into Big Data management. The most common question is how to translate the data they own into something meaningful. However, often the challenge for most businesses is making something meaningful from that data.
Translating Big Data into something meaningful is more than just hiring a consultant. It also takes understanding what data you have. The data collected has to be related to something that helps define the company and their customers’ needs.
What most of the companies I’ve worked with are happy to inform is that their patient outcomes are very good. So what does that mean? What do they mean by good outcomes? How does that help their customers?
If you keep in mind that the end user is a patient, but your customer provides care for the patient, this better defines how to use Big Data. So you must better define your customer. Is your customer a physician, a healthcare provider system, or a healthcare payer? By defining who your customer is, you will be able to define how you use your Big Data.
Let’s take a healthcare provider system for example. Assume the provider system is interested in reducing readmissions. In such a case, you will need to find a way to show how your Big Data correlates with reducing readmissions.
In the case of physicians, it may be something different. Let’s say the physician is interested in reducing patient expenses. In such a situation, your Big Data needs reflect how it reduces costs for the patient.
What about payers? How do you tailor Big Data for such an audience? Maybe the payer is interested in improved clinical outcomes with lower healthcare costs. Then you must be able to demonstrate that your Big Data can not only improve healthcare outcomes but also lower healthcare costs.
By successfully demonstrating how Big Data is meaningful to your customer, you will be able to provide your customer with a meaningful solution. A meaningful solution provides value to your customer. Providing value demonstrates understanding. This will then demonstrate your understanding of Big Data in Healthcare.
I encourage you to analyze the your Big Data. Are you making your Big Data meaningful to your customers? Does your Big Data bring value to your customers? How have you been able to demonstrate meaningful Big Data to your customer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. I would love to hear from you. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s 4:36 in the morning, in the third week of the new year. Do you know where your resolutions are? What’s happened to them?
Is it getting more and more difficult to get to the gym? Is it getting more and more difficult to read your books? Is it getting more and more difficult to stay away from the junk food?
Why is it so easy to make resolutions? But why is it so difficult to stick with them? It’s as if we make them just to break them.
Tons of media are built around people making resolutions. Offers to get into new gyms. Tips on how to eat right. Pointers on how to sleep better. Guides on how to save money. All set around the ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality.
Over the years, I’ve stopped making resolutions. I’ve realized they are often just lofty ideas. Pie in the sky dreams. And as someone once said, a dream without action remains a dream. What I prefer to do now is set goals.
I have found that it is easier for me to set goals. Goals allow me to have a finish line. It allows me to have an end point. It allows me turn my dreams into goals with action.
Goal setting allows you to create a defined end point that you want to achieve. Many people make resolutions like, ‘I will lose weight this year’, ’I’ll eat healthier’, “I’ll sleep more”, or “I’ll save more money this year.” These are great ideas, but there is no definite end point. When you set a goal, you know where your end is. So instead of the resolutions, you could make goals like, “I will lose 10 pounds by the end of the year”, “I will have a serving of steamed vegetables at least 3 times a week”, “I will sleep a minimum of 6 hours a night”, or “I will save at least $10 every week.” By setting definite end points, you will be able to create a clearer vision of a path to get to your goal.
By creating action, we turn our dreams into goals. And eventually, those dreams can become reality. Steps towards the goal make it easier to get to an end point. It also makes it easier to see an end point. You know your path to your goal.
In order to get to your destination, you need directions. You get a map and plan out a route. Or even if you have a GPS, you still are shown a planned path to take. Coaches for various sports provide a game plan or plays so that the players know where should be or what they should do in order to get to the goal. Kate Byar has a great article on LinkedIn that provides insights on making small strides towards your goal.
Milestones or checkpoints
Milestones help us acknowledge that we are getting closer to our goal. When you go on a trip and you see mile markers; informing you where you are and how far you’ve gone. In the same way, when you create milestones, it will help you know where you are on your journey to your goal.
Milestones or checkpoints also allow you to review your progress. Every time you complete a milestone, you should take it as a small victory. Reward yourself with the knowledge that you are one step closer to your goal.
Set up a reward for yourself for hitting your goal. As you move closer towards your goal, you should envision your reward along with goal. A great example of this is with body builders. They work very hard at maintaining nutrition and exercise, but reward themselves with a ‘cheat day’ after attaining certain milestones.
Accountability may be tough for most of us. I know that it is for me. So I’ve employed accountability partners for me for my goals this year. . I’ve joined a group of like minded folks. Though it is online, we keep each other accountable.
You hear all the time, it’s easier to go to the gym with a buddy- you’ll motivate each other. This is true for other goals as well. I had a friend that once asked me to hold him accountable for his goal of getting out of debt. He was very successful and is now happily out of debt.
Making it to the finish line
Once you get to the finish line and you achieve your goal, you will have a great feeling of accomplishment. You may have even included a great reward at the end. But after that it is over, you may realize that it was the journey to the goal that drove you.
It’s the journey that keeps all of us going. It’s the journey that humankind desires. And it’s the journey that will allow you to go further. So, once you have achieved your goal, it is time to map out another one! Because resolutions don’t stick, but our need for a journey, our need to find a path, our need to move forward, is what drives us to goals.
I hope these points help you get closer to sticking with your resolutions, or rather help you get closer to your goals. What are some other ways that you feel can help you reach your goals? Please leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also contact me at email@example.com
Have you ever thought about what would happen if you gave another 20% effort towards achieving your goal? Let me explain. Most people would say at the beginning of the New Year they have a goal they want to achieve. But, what is your plan? Are you even going to give it 100% effort? Do you really think by just telling others you want something, that it will magically happen? Well, most people do.
So, last year I tried something. What would happen when I changed my Fitbit daily goal for steps from 10,000 to 12,000, a 20% increase? Well, I can tell you without making any other changes I lost an additional 8 pounds. I then began to think, what if I began to apply the 20% rule to other parts of my life?
What if I practiced putting 20% more, what would that do for my golf game?
What if I focused 20% more on my Top 20 customers (usually 80% of your business comes from your top 20% of customers)?
What if I spent 20% more effort on my personal relationships?
And this one might hurt but, what if I spent 20% less time on social media???
Please note, this does not mean just spending 20% time, this means 20% focused on this one goal!
Some interesting facts…
People who exercised during their workday were 23 percent more productive on those days than they were when they didn’t exercise, says a recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
A study in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory found that people learned vocabulary words 20 percent faster after intense exercise than after low-intensity activity.
At Google, the company allows 20 percent of an employee’s time to be spent to develop projects of their own interest.
For the upcoming year, I want you to think about something…don’t think about doing more with less, think about doing more with what you have…GIVE ME YOUR 20!
5 Job Interview Lessons We Can Learn from The Donald
by Gerald George Mannikarote MBBS, MBA
The US Elections were very interesting this year- no matter which way you cut it. There was a lot of drama, tension, and excitement. Once the smoke cleared, we all know the outcome. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
Just like most of us when looking for a job, Donald Trump had to sit through many interviews and answer many questions. There were many things we could learn from Trump’s style while he engaged those that asked him questions. These things could be applied by us when we are, like Trump did, answering the interviewer’s questions while looking for a job. Here are a few lessons we can learn from him.
1. Past experience is important, but what you can deliver gets you the job
Donald Trump is a known business man, an author of a book, and a reality TV star. He didn’t have any past experience in politics. So he played up on the fact that his strengths were in business. But more importantly, he was able to convince people about what he would be able to deliver.
In a job interview, your past experience is important. What’s more important though is what you will be able to bring to the company and deliver to your manager. Learn to relay what you can deliver.
2. Don’t be afraid to pose questions back to your interviewer
During the race to the election, Donald Trump was posed with many, many questions. Most people would have thought many of them were very tough questions. But the Donald was not afraid to ask the interviewer questions of his own. He was not afraid to challenge the interviewer regarding their facts, or even why they asked the question.
In a job interview, don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer questions. Don’t be afraid to challenge their questions. Don’t be afraid to have questions of your own.
3. Your past job history is important, but past salary not so much
The Donald was known for his lavish lifestyle and the fact that he was worth a lot of money. The question of his earnings and taxes came into question. Donald Trump effectively shook this question off, letting others know it was not important when it came to the job he was interviewing for.
As many go down the job pipeline, the question of past salary may come up. This may be a tricky question, but it shouldn’t be important. Your past salary should have nothing to do with the new job- the job that you are interviewing for. Learn how to effectively navigate the question of past salary.
4. Sales skills matter
The Donald is a consummate salesman. He understood people’s needs and spoke to those needs. And he did so effectively.
In a job interview, sales skills matter. Before answering questions, you must understand the interviewer’s needs. You must understand what the company needs for the position you are interviewing for. Speak to those needs.
5. Accept your mistakes, but focus on your strengths
No one can forget some of the mistakes of President-elect Trump, especially the hot mike in the bus. This was definitely a mistake. What we can learn from The Donald here is how he accepted the mistake but didn’t dwell on it. He kept the focus on his strength.
In your job history, you may have some issues that may not be the best- a gap in your job history, job changes, lay- offs, etc. When asked about these, acknowledge them, but don’t dwell on them. Focus on what you are good at and what you have learned from these situations.
These are just 5 lessons we can learn from The Donald when answering job interview questions. What do you do think about them? Have you learned anything from the US President-Elect? Do you have any job interview tips you can share with others? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you feel that others could benefit from these tips, please share this post. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of us work in an office. Some of us have to work in vehicles. And there are some lucky folks that get to work in a gym! This article is for those of us that aren’t lucky enough to exercise for a living!
While working in an office, many of us find it challenging to squeeze a work out in. And if you are in sales, and driving from appointment to appointment, it seems all the more challenging to find time to exercise. Add to this long commutes, the need to rise early to avoid traffic, and arriving home late, too tired to exercise, what are you supposed to do?
Here are a few tips that I’ve found very helpful to squeeze some exercise in throughout the day.
1. Park your car as far away from the door as possible
This is one of the easiest ways that I’ve found to add exercise during the day. I used to try to find the closest parking spot to the door of the office I was visiting. Parking further away caused me to increase the number of steps I had to take to get to the door.
If you work in an office, you can use this to your advantage in multiple ways. Obviously, you can go to the door from your car in the parking lot. You can then go back to your car during your lunch break; maybe purposely keep a book or something in there to force you to go to the car. And of course, you will walk back to your car when you go home for the day.
If you don’t drive to work and use public transport, this is even easier for you. You can get off a few stops ahead of your usual stop in order to increase your steps. The same would go for you on your way back home.
2. Have stand up meetings
Stand up meetings are a great way to add exercise during the day. This causes everyone to literally think on their feet. It also takes away from the almost ‘license’ to check out during a meeting as everyone is standing. Meetings tend to go quicker when standing up as well. And if there are snacks at the meeting, they are more difficult to eat while taking notes during a stand up meeting.
3. Stand up during phone calls
This is an excellent way to add energy, enthusiasm, and life to your phone calls. Instead of sitting down and taking your calls, try standing up. Often times, the person on the other end can hear the energy and life in the call from your side. This may be challenging for those that have to be on the phone all day, but try switching from sitting to standing in between calls.
4. Choose face to face over emails
In many companies, email is getting to be the most common form of communication. People don’t seem to meet face to face unless it’s an in person meeting. I’ve seen and participated in long back and forth emails between just two people. This could have been resolved with either a phone call or a quick chat in person. If you and another person are in an office together, I would suggest simply walking over and asking them a question. Apart from getting a bit of exercise, you can easily clarify your situation instead of getting into a lengthy string of emails.
5. Quiet corner push ups
This may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is possible. Find a quiet corner in your office building and blast off a few push ups. If you can’t do push ups, find some other exercise- burpees, squats, etc. Sometimes, finding a quiet corner in itself could be an exercise! I’ve personally done this in some of the places I’ve worked. So I can say this is possible.
I hope that you found these tips helpful in squeezing in exercise during a busy day. Of course, as with any health and exercise regime, check with your medical professional before you start anything. And always use common sense.
What do you do to add exercise in your day? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. If you feel that others could benefit from these tips, please share this post. You can also contact me at email@example.com
When I travel for work I make it a point to hit the gym. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I feel that it needs to be done. But there was a time when a gym was not easily accessible to me. What was I supposed to do?
Many of you may have been in similar situations. Like when I worked the night shift and was glued to a chair. Or when I had an office job and was glued in front of a computer monitor. Or when I was a sales guy, glued into the driver’s seat of my car.
It took me many, many years to realize what I was doing. In fact, I have to admit that I do the same thing once in a while even today. And the truth was that I didn’t want to realize what I was doing.
What I was doing was actually what I was NOT doing. I was not working out. I was not moving. I was not moving at all. And I was using my work as an excuse to remain sedentary.
I wanted to exercise. I wanted to be healthy. I knew all the right things to do. But I was not doing them- because I was working. And I was working hard. So what was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to fit exercise into my schedule? How was I supposed to work out? And nobody understood that I had a 1 hour drive each way to and from work!
I finally realized that I was full of excuses. My night shift job had a gym which I had full access to. My office job had a 1 hour break for lunch. My sales job had flexible hours. I was making excuses for being a sedentary person. I was justifying my situation by saying that I was busy.
I was once offered an online fitness coach by one of the companies that I worked for. I decided to accept the offer. I was hoping that she would give me the BEST workout to get healthy. I was a busy executive after all.
Then she told me something that made me change the way I approached things. She said I needed to MOVE! I needed to simply get up and move.
When I parked my car to meet a customer, I was asked to park my car as far away from the door as possible; causing me to walk a lot more than I was used to. If I stopped to make a phone call, instead of remaining comfortably seated, I was asked to try to stand up and have my call. I was also asked to try to get to my next appointment a little earlier and walk a little bit around the complex or office before going in.
I began to realize all the other opportunities I missed. I could have found a quiet corner in my office and blasted off a few push-ups. I could have utilized the available gyms and avoided traffic at my other jobs. I could have got up from my chair and remained standing for a few minutes at a time. I could have. I could have. I could have.
I realized that the best exercise was to SIMPLY move! I just had to move. I justified my sedentary lifestyle by saying that I was a busy employee. I sat for 8 – 9 hours. I sat in traffic to work for 1 hour. I sat in traffic from work for 1 hour. That was 10 – 11 hours of sitting in a day. Then, of course, because I was such a hard working person, I came home and sat in front of the TV for another few hours.
When I finally learned that I needed to move, I changed my approach to working out. I realized that the BEST workout for a busy executive was to simply MOVE! Get out of your chair. Get out of your seat. GET UP AND MOVE!
So what do you do think? Do you think the best workout for a busy exec is to move? What do you think is the best workout? Leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It always seems to be a challenge if you have to eat out while you are at work. Whether you are travelling or in an office, you may have to purchase your food from a restaurant or a fast food situation. So what do you do if you are trying to stay healthy?
This has been one of the biggest challenges for me as a professional. I often have to travel for work. Meetings often take place during meal times. Meetings also often have tasty snacks. I’ve noticed that these things would cause my clothes to shrink… or is it that my waistline expands?
Anyway, I’ve worked on this for many years. I’ve read many books and articles. I’ve talked to experts in this field. I’ve looked into my own medical knowledge. And I’ve even tested different ideas on myself. From this, I’ve learned a few things that have helped me stay healthy when I have to eat out while I am working.
Understand your body’s needs
You must understand your body and what it needs in order to make the right choices when it comes to ordering food. If you are diabetic, for example, you will need to order foods that comply with your specific condition. If you are looking to lose weight, you must then consider fat content and calorie content of the food you are ordering. If you are maintaining your weight, you must consider other aspects of the food.
Ask up front, while ordering, what the size of the entree is. And then based on that, ask for a reduced portion size of the food. Many restaurants offer ‘lunch portions’ but even those portions are very generous in size. You can reduce portion sizes by asking to cut out the side dishes, bread, etc provided along with the meal.
Reduce the fats consumed
Ask that your main portion, whether it is a portion of meat or vegetable, be grilled or steamed. Ask that it not be cooked in any fats- butter or oil. Yes, we all know that some fat is good for you. But let’s be honest, most of us are getting more fats in our diets than we truly need. Having the food cooked in a healthier manner will provide for a better opportunity to stay healthy.
Reduce the starches you consume
People say carbs are the enemy, but that is not necessarily the case. We all need good, healthy starches to function properly. However, most of us often overdo it when eating out. We often start the meal with either bread or chips. Then we may have a large portion of potatoes or rice or some other starch along with the rest of the meal. This is generally way too much. A simple way to reduce this excess of various starches is to ask that the chips or bread at the beginning of the meal not be brought to the table. Once again, you can ask that the starches be eliminated all together on your plate when you order your meal.
Ask for double the portion of vegetable
Ask for your vegetables to be steamed. And ask for a double portion of them. This can often satisfy the craving you may have when you eliminate the starches from your plate. It can also help you feel fuller during the meal.
So, these 5 points show you some tips to ordering food while working to stay healthy. What are some other ways you can stay healthy while at work? Please leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also contact me at email@example.com
I used to travel quite a bit for work. During those trips, I always found it a challenge to stay healthy. But I get by with a little help with my friends. It was through friends that I realized and learned what I needed to do to stay healthy while traveling for work.
What I’ve learned, from myself as well as others, was interesting. People tend to take a vacation from being healthy when traveling for work. If they normally exercise and eat right at home, they tend to throw all of that out of the window when traveling for work.
Often times, people say it’s very challenging to stay healthy when traveling for work. “I have to eat out a lot.” “The hotel doesn’t have a gym.” “The meeting was really late.” “The customer wanted to meet over a couple of beers.” Yes, the challenges are real.
The challenges are real, but like I said, I got by with a little help from my friends. I have been lucky to have a few friends that understand health and wellness very well. They helped me understand the challenges that I faced because they faced them as well.
One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that you can have what you want if you make it a priority. So, if you want health, you will make that a priority. You can have what you want if you really want it.
For example, if the hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can work out in your room or even just take a walk outside. If you have to eat out, you learn what are the right things to order from the menu. If the meeting was to be over a few beers, you learn what beers or drinks to order. If the meeting is expected to run really late, you learn how to close the meeting on time.
The late meeting example still resonates with me. I had a friend in a previous company that I worked for that did the same job as I did. She read to her children every night even when she traveled for work. She scheduled her meetings to close at the right time so that she could call her children, even in the parking lot, and read to them. You can have what you want if you really want it.
At dMann Training, we plan to have a series of posts to help you stay healthy while traveling for work or even at home. I hope this post gave you a chance to think about it. And maybe even some tips.
So what do you do to stay healthy while you travel for work? What do you do to stay healthy at home? Leave your thoughts in the comments. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org