“The Seven P’s” – Find Out how To Better Meet Your Goals.


I have a husband. I know, I have no earthly idea how I landed him, but my good fortune allows me to enjoy his beautiful smile and his sharp wit. There is another perk. You see Brent is employed in a “corporatey” environment. So on occasion, Brent comes home from the office spouting some fabulous saying that only “corporatey” folk would know. Flowery, mysterious sentences that have layers of meaning and I love them. I am of course referring to…


I love lingo. I love the way it sounds rolling out of my mouth, and I love its short, concise way of telling you a great deal.

On one occasion he taught me about the “PIP”. The “Performance Improvement Plan” The “PIP” is actually just a greased slide to the exit sign, but it sounds so cool. “I am on a PIP, lookit me!!”

Heather, let me

My all time favorite, however, has to be the “The Seven P’s”. This mouthful stands for Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

 Say it with me! With gusto!!



Once you get past the explosive use of alliteration, which I love almost as much as lingo, the saying has some deeper meaning. Let me dumb it down for you in case you happen to be on a “PIP.”

The “Seven P’s” suggest the more place “planning” has in the execution of your goals the more likely you will succeed.

Oh, sure, you can also relate the “Seven P’s” to little things like the time I left my passport in a Mexico hotel room dresser drawer, but if you look at it The Seven P’s in relation a the bigger picture it can be hugely impactful.

How much time did you spend planning the events and tasks of this week? What sort of time investment did you make reflecting on your current goals, or planning your future aspirations?

Poodles. Listen, up. If you are hoping to launch across some sort of finish line, any finish line there must be “proper planning” put in place. Perhaps you want to “eat more healthy” or “exercise more”. Wonderful! But did you put the time into planning the success those trajectories? You did? Fantastic! You can expect great reward. Conversely, did you fail to dedicate the right amount of time to planning your dreams? Uh-Oh… the last three P’s are on their way.

So what can we do to prevent “Piss Poor Performance?”

  • Dedicate specific time each week to forecasting: What does this mean? Forecasting means sitting down with pad and paper and writing out the concept for the week. Not when you are going to hit the grocery store but asking yourself what little steps toward the greater goal need to be completed this week to stay on track? After answering that question, we have to give those action steps a date and a time. “Jane is trying to lose six pounds of needless weight. She knows that to do this, she has to be very conscious about her eating. Jane spends one hour on Sunday writing out meal, by meal, her conscious eating plan for the week. She also writes on her calendar a self-weigh in time for Friday morning.” That is forecasting.

  • Visualize: Hundreds of Olympic athletes can’t be wrong. As goofy as it sounds visualizing and imaging “success” works. Scientists now understand some of the brain chemistry and physiology behind visioning. We grasp that your body doesn’t, from a chemical/ neurological standpoint, identify the difference between actually doing the activity or visualizing it. There was an excellent study on injured Olympic athletes who only visualized their event, in this case, diving. The athletes were tremendously successful even though they hadn’t jumped off a diving platform in weeks. “Jane wants to run a half marathon. Nightly, before bed, she spends five minutes with eyes closed visualizing what success looks like to her. The feel of the finish line ribbon across her chest, the cheer of her family, the fatigue in her muscles, the pounding of her heart. Jane is biochemically training her body to finish a half marathon successfully before she actually does it.

  • “Inspect what you expect”: You guessed it. This saying is yet another treasure of corporate lingo I received from Brent. Here is the concept. If you are running along the trajectory toward your goals, you must stop periodically and “Inspect what you expect”. Are your efforts effective? Are you clearly heading toward the intended outcome, or is there a better way? Do you still even want the same destination? There is a great quote that I am going to paraphrase badly. “People trudge along the same path toward a goal that no longer serves them because of the time and energy they have already put into the goal so far.”“Jane has been training for the half marathon for some time. She stops part way to reassess her plan. She is wants a quicker finish than she is predicting, so she inspects her current regimen. In the end, she decides a different training approach might be better.”

  • Ask for accountability: When you are properly planning toward a goal or an outcome it is important to have at least one person walking along-side to check in with you that you are on track. “Jane, while training for her marathon, ran with Susan on Thursdays. Susan is a seasoned marathoner and during their run would check in with Jane on how her training schedule was going.”

  • Do what you say you are going to do: Follow-through is authentic and steeped with integrity. If you consistently practice a behavior of always doing what you say you are going to do, the deepest part of you knows that the alternative is not an option. Your body will become wired to follow through to the goal. “Jane announced to her book club that she is going to run a half marathon. They are all supportive and encouraging, and now that Jane has put her goal out publicly she has a stronger drive to complete.”

The seven P’s have come in handy. You could really use it to apply to anything that requires intention and forethought. My husband applies it often regarding my lost keys or forgotten “insert any item here”. But, from a health and wellness perspective the Seven P’s are a tremendous predictor of if you can expect to make your goals come true! 

Disclaimer: If the word PISS offended anyone I am truly sorry. Please feel free to substitute little random symbols after the P to denote meaning. Or you could use “Particularly bad” – Totally up to you. Xo


I encourage you to take ten minutes this Sunday to sit down and plan your food and fitness goals for the week. Take it a step further and break that weekly goal into tangible action steps, physically laid out in your planner.

If you liked this post, you would do back handsprings for these:




44 Responses

  1. I need to follow the 7 P’s! I love this…. I need to plan my week on Sundays for sure – not just for fitness but personal and other goals! Great tips and great truths!

  2. I need to be more consistent about following the 7P’s – stopping the procrastination would probably be a step in the right direction, lol!

    1. You made me VERY happy with that comment.:-) I love The Seven P’s too but wasn’t sure if it was hitting the mark with people. Thank you for commenting! Thanks, Mayara!

    1. This will be right up your alley then, Audrey. Feel free to use it liberally on those around you who are not as savvy a planner as you. 🙂

  3. This is perfect! I’m huge on planning – and this will greatly help with the kids (who are allowed to say piss). Have tweeted. Thank you for sharing!

  4. The 7 P’s seem like a great way to stay on track with goals – sometimes its hard to keep them in mind. It’s a good reminder to “say what you’re going to do”

    1. For sure, Rachel. They make me laugh every time I say it in my head but it is a good reminder! 🙂

    1. I love “goat” setting as well, Cassy. 😉 they are fidgety little buggers but if you hold ’em real tight…. KIDDING. Could not resist that one. In all seriousness goal setting does make life so much easier! My anxiety goes down multiple notches when I have clear goals in place. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Ha! I loved this. I agree completely. It’s only when I started to really get serious about planning out my week that I started seeing real progress. (I’m a bit of a planner obsessed person now). Another thing that really worked for my family is meal planning. It helps the week run smoothly!

    1. Very true, Kari. Much smoother and more productive than it would otherwise, right?

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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