Track how many steps you take.
Track how much water you drink.
Track how much weight you lift.
Track how many calories you consume.
Track how you feel.
Track how much you weigh.
Track how fast you run.
How can you really know if you’re improving if you don’t keep tabs and track day-to-day week-to-week or year-to-year?
Or on the flip side, and significantly more important, how else will you be able to tell if you’re getting worse? How will you know if eating the protein bar before working out actually makes you lift less? How will you know if your 5k time is slower when you don’t get that extra hour of sleep? How will you know?
The case for tracking everything.
The only real way to make life-changing, measurable progress is to track everything. I guarantee once you start tracking everything you do (hopefully with pen and paper) you can’t help but become more intentional about your fitness journey.
Try writing down ‘I ate McDonalds for lunch and Mexican food for dinner. I felt pretty lethargic throughout the day and didn’t get much done. I didn’t feel like working out, so I sat on the couch and watched movies’ three days in a row and not seeing the pattern. Try not making a change after that.
Also, try not wanting to continue along a healthy path after tracking ‘I felt great today, drank a green smoothie with protein after working out and at a large chicken salad later on and wanted to go back for a second workout.’
There’s something magical that happens when you start tracking everything. You become more aware. It forces you to place your attention on the things that matter and helps you become more intentional about becoming a better version of yourself.
You will build healthier habits and stop the bad ones. Habit reversal training helps people stop the bad habit of biting their nails simply by having them track on an index card every time they felt the urge. Another study found that people who simply wrote down when and where they intended to work out followed through 91% of the time. Simply taking the time to think and track their own schedule made all the difference.
Track everything. Make it visible. Make your habits apparent. Put it all out there in the world so that you can begin improving and changing.
The worst that could happen is you waste a little time writing things down while the upside could literally be life changing.