Diets and Business Success…

If the thought of starting a diet crossed your mind in the last week or so, you’re not alone.  In fact, a recent poll had 21.4 percent respond that their #1 Resolution for this past year “Lose Weight / Healthier Eating”!  The next closest resolution was only 12.3 percent, nearly half!  New Year’s Day is clearly the #1 day people start diets and vow to get in better shape.   That got me thinking about a business diet.

If you’re going to start a diet, it makes sense to set yourself up for the best chance of having success.   I ran across an article on why diets don’t work and ironically all 4 of the reasons could be applied to most businesses when it comes to making positive changes in the business.    Maybe that is the starting point of an effective diet.  Drop the word diet, and replace it with a positive change for your body?

Anyway, here are the reasons this article stated.   If you want to make 2018 a year to do something good for your body and your business, consider this some food for thought to increase your odds of succeeding at both of them!


1) Diets tend to be all or nothing

Most diets have some element of being restrictive.  You go from eating whatever you want to a very limited group of foods.   And there are always the trendy diets; a couple of the latest are the Mediterranean and the DASH diet.   Most health professionals agree, the more restrictive the diet, the higher your chances of failing.  Resist an overly restrictive diet.

In business we always talk about taking baby steps when it comes to making positive changes.   It’s human nature to aspire for drastic changes.  But when you try to make too many changes, too quickly, it is easy to get overwhelmed and you’re more likely to fail because you’re trying to do too much too fast.  Don’t take an all or nothing approach.   Bite off what is realistic and only take another bite when you’re ready.  Real change comes from consistency over time.


2) Most Diets are not goal-oriented

The explanation in the referenced article was spot-on regarding the importance of having goals.  So much that it was worth repeating.   Diet plans must be goal oriented if you want them to succeed.  Business plans are no different.

From the diet article….

“Sure, the goal may be to lose weight, but how much weight? In what amount of time? What’s the driving force behind wanting to lose weight or maintain your current weight?”

From a business perspective…

Sure, the goal may be to grow your business, but how much growth? In what amount of time? What’s the driving force behind wanting to grow your business or maintain your current growth rate?

“Lofty goals that only focus on the end result tend to feel unattainable. When the little triumphs happen along the way that weren’t the focus of your end goal, it’s easy to miss them and instead dwell on what you haven’t accomplished yet.  When was the last time your diet (or Business) focused on S.M.A.R.T. goals? That is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely?”

For years at Aspire we’ve challenged our clients to make every goal a SMART goal.   Are your business goals SMART?


3) “Calories in vs Calories out” is a very outdated way of thinking

In terms of dieting is about the quality of the calories not just the calories.   If the calories are coming from junk food and processed food your body could feel physically full but be nutritionally starved.   The article goes on to say that everything in the “healthy” aisle isn’t necessarily healthy, especially in the frozen food aisle.  Don’t count calories unless you’re counting quality.

In business we don’t count calories, but we do have a limited amount of hours in our day and we do need to manage those hours.    A great exercise to determine if you’re making good use of your time is to simply track every minutes of your day for a few days.  The end result is a quick snapshot of how you are spending your time and usually red flags are exposed that are sucking your day away from you.   It’s preventing you from getting the best return on investment of the hours you are putting into your business.    Make your time count!  Quality counts here as well.


4) Support systems are integral to success

The most successful diet programs are programs that offer some level of support, (one-on-one or peer groups).    There are very few people who are self-disciplined enough to go it alone and have success long-term with a diet.   You might make it for a few weeks or maybe even a few months on your own, but sooner or later you need someone to offer guidance and encouragement, and challenge you to keep that container of ice cream in the freezer.   Starting a diet that is not support-oriented is not recommended.

In business we couldn’t agree more.   A support system for your business will help you succeed.  A study by Harvard Business showed that 98.5% of all coaching clients said their investment in coaching was worthwhile.   That is a staggering statistic!   The bottom line is going it alone in business is tough.   Having a trusted professional who knows business to challenge you, encourage you, push you, and celebrate your successes can be invaluable.   Whether you reach out to Aspire or seek out someone else, we encourage you to consider adding  a support system to your business in 2018.  You’ll be glad you did.


So what do you think?  Are you ready to make some positive changes in 2018?  Did you make some resolutions?   You can’t change what you did in the past, but you can change your future.    If any of this resonates with you we would love to hear from you.   Of course, your comments are always welcome in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach