I reckon we need to reckon our performance every so often. That was cheesy, I know, but I like a little word play now and again. And I stand by what I said. Translated, I mean that I think we need to evaluate how we’re doing periodically.

Today is as good a day as any to do that. Personally, I have a graph which has two lines. The first line shows a roughly straight line from 0 KB swings on Day 1 to 10,000 KB swings on day 28 (I usually start off with a smaller number of reps, and then build it up). Line One represents my target numbers. Line Two shows my actual daily KB swings as I do them. A quick glance at the graph shows me how I’m doing relative to my goal.

Reckoning. Counting. Calculating. Seeing how we’re doing. Without this, we are flying blind in terms of whether or not we are on track to reach our goal. By contrast, I can see immediately from my graph if I’m on-trend, behind, or ahead. I can “reckon” how I’m doing.

You don’t have to create some elaborate scheme to do this. If you can operate a pen and paper, you have the basics. The whole point is to be able to “reckon” whether you are where you planned to be (or not) at any given point in time. From there, you can make adjustments as needed. Small, frequent course corrections are easier to manage than large, drastic ones. For example, if I just realized on DAY 21 that I was at 1350 KB swings, it may be too late for me to complete the remaining 8650 KB swings in the remaining nine days to salvage my goal. So, I owe it to myself to know as quickly as possible if I am off my intended track. If you have ever traveled by air, you will appreciate small, frequent (AKA, “smooth”) course corrections instead of large, drastic ones.

Typically, the connotation of “a day of reckoning” is bad; we have fallen short of expectations and this will be clearly pointed out, often in public…  That is an unfortunate image, and it is a scenario to be avoided if possible. I would argue, though, that a day of reckoning is actually something to be welcomed. In fact, we should probably have more of them, in order to: a) get used to the idea of being evaluated, and b) stay true to our intended plan.

This presupposes that we actually have a plan. If not, we will struggle to know whether we are succeeding or not. I am pretty confident that investing effort into a project without a plan is a waste of effort, yielding only sporadic and non-reproducible success at best.

For now, embrace days of reckoning. Use them to your advantage!