Smarter Decision Making in 5 Steps
Learn how to collect & use data and you'll make smart decisions all day long!
Data, it’s everywhere. It’s driven from the content you read, the videos you watch, and the products you buy. One of the basics we coach our students on is how to collect data because self-monitoring is one of the cornerstones of effective behavioral change. Remember, data is a fact. It’s a circumstance that can’t be argued. It’s evidence-based and the best alternative to drama. Here is our five-step process that you can use to create smarter decisions that can change anything from weight to wealth!
#1 Look at Your Objectives and Prioritize
To make effective data-driven decisions, you need to start with your goal(s) in mind and ask yourself:
➞ What am I trying to achieve, and does it align with my values?
Data collection is a waste of time unless it’s applied to your goal. For example, collecting data on your home's energy efficiency is important because it affects your bank account and aligns with your values of being environmentally conscious. Whereas, paying attention to how many likes your post received on Facebook when social media is low on your priority list.
#2 Find and Use Relevant Data
Once you’ve determined the problem and are ready to solve it, it’s time to find and use relevant data. The keyword here is relevant. You don’t want to spend hours analyzing data that won’t impact your final decision. So, keep the data relevant, and only collect the data related to your objective.
For those of us managing our metabolic health, relevant sources of data include: blood glucose, ketones, and our cognitive state.
The protocol decisions we make are less risky when we use data like:
- sleep effectiveness
- weight and body measurements
- moods, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings (emotional and physical)
- vitamin and mineral nutrition, toxic load, hormones, gut health, mental health, food intake, output
#3 Draw Conclusions from that Data
Look at your data and try to identify patterns or trends. If you are always two pounds heavier after a vacation, you might decide to wait a couple of days to weigh in. Also, look at past data to see what you did to get those two pounds off after you returned.
Here are some interesting data points you may discover and want to note during this process:
- Increasing your water intake doesn’t do as much as increasing your electrolytes (1 stick per 64 ounces x2 per day)
- Experiencing more energy working out in a fasted state and could do 45 minutes on the treadmill vs. 30
- Easing into fasting is a better place to start (17 hours vs. 42 hours)
Drawing conclusions from data provides direct evidence of what’s working and what’s not. Beware of slipping into non-data-driven decision-making. An example would be over-indulging on vacation. Your shorts are now too tight, making you feel defiant and rebellious. Time passes and the weight hasn’t dropped, so you blame the vacation for the weight gain, not your feelings about it. Dropping the drama and focusing on the data takes the emotion out and keeps you focused on your goal.
#4 Plan Your Strategy
Now it’s time to create a plan of action to put your data-driven decision-making into practice! The key is to make clearly defined goals rather than creating vague goals that “need to be done before the end of the year.” Answering the following questions will provide valuable information necessary to plan your strategy:
- What needs to be done?
- When does it need to be done?
- Why are you doing it?
- What outcome do you expect?
#5 Measure Success and Repeat
You have a strategy, and the results are in – well done! That doesn’t mean your decision-making process is over. Look at the data you originally collected. Then, once the deadline for your goal arrives, compare the historical data with the new data you have collected and ask yourself:
☛ Did your data-driven decision have a positive growth impact on your life?
If your decision was successful, congratulations! If it wasn’t, that’s okay. At least now you know what doesn’t work. And sometimes, that’s equally as important as knowing what does work!
By learning to use data to help solve the mind math, you are investing in yourself and your future! From weight loss and metabolic health to your finances and productivity, you can apply this to anything you want to accomplish! If you’re new here and want to learn more about the simple math behind losing weight, check out our Self-Made Mind & Body Taste Test. This 4 week program teaches you the steps to building weight loss protocols and offers 4 weeks of LIVE group coaching on how to solve the Mind Math.