Day 2 Homework
The Life Changing Big Four You'll Track
The Magic of Tracking Your Life
Yesterday we covered the mental aspects of change, and began sculpting your new, healthier, fitter life with some powerful exercises. That is a major first step towards change, and making change stick.
Today we’re going to build something I like to call a “success net”. This is kind of like child proofing, only for the brain! You can also call it a success system. The idea is to put systems in place that will constantly remind your conscious and subconscious of what you want to work towards.
Your mind is a fickle beast, and left to it’s own devices, it will always take the path of least resistance. It needs constant, daily reminders of what really matters to you, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Also, that little inner monkey mind needs to be reminded that you are the one in charge, and you’ve got the daily system in place to prove it.
If you have no way of tracking your daily activity, tracking your goals, or refocusing, you’ll end up back at square one. If you don’t have a system in place, your monkey mind controls your behavior, and you’re a slave to it’s desires. Your mind should be working for you, not the other way around.
#1 - Track what you’re doing
WHY we track our actions:
HOW we can track our actions:
What we’re NOT doing when we track actions:
Self awareness is a discipline that opens the doors of change, and helps you to stop making the same mistakes over and over again. Beyond meditation and quiet walks, tracking your activities is one of the best exercises in building self awareness. Rather than going through life in a haze of reactivity, you can observe yourself and your habits. You can get a more conscious look at how your time is spent, and how it is effecting your life.
Tracking your day is also a blueprint of the results you’re getting, and the results you can expect in the future. Many things in life are a perfect reflection of the actions we do or don’t take. There is often a major discrepancy between what we want and the way we spend our time. So many people experience frustration at where they are, not realizing that they are exactly where their actions have taken them.
For example, a person might be following a diet and exercise program for weeks, and not losing any body fat. But she may not even see the blind spots in her day if she doesn’t look close enough. After tracking her days, she might find that she consistently spends four hours a day watching TV or browsing Facebook. That’s twenty eight hours per week of inactivity that could be used for walking, yoga, stretching, or anything else productive.
If our actions match our goals and values, results are guaranteed to come. If our actions and goals match those of a couch potato, yet we still have a deep desire to change, that is the source of great unhappiness and low self esteem.
When your actions line up with the actions of your Ideal Self, you build a level of self confidence that is unstoppable. Even if your actions are skewing in a better direction, day by day, progress is being made.
#2 - Track what you’re Eating
WHY we track what we eat:
HOW we can track what eat
What we’re NOT doing when we track our meals:
The act of tracking what you’re eating can be a huge wake up call. We’ll be covering important nutrition details throughout this course, but you don’t need any details to start this life changing practice today. It’s not uncommon for people to transform their bodies by just tracking the meals they eat, and seeing their bad habits laid out in plain sight.
We need to track the food we’re eating so that we can get a snapshot, maybe for the first time ever, of our relationship with food. It’s a way of bringing a consciousness into the habit of unconscious eating.
Don’t get judgmental about the meals you track. Yes, there are some foods that are less than ideal, and you’ll eventually want to start adding in as many of those as possible. But right now, practice tracking your meals as an exercise of awareness.
For example, if you eat a big mac, track it, review it as part of your day, and then let it go.
Side Note: Cronometer is the best food tracking software because it shows the nutrient content of food, not just the calories. As we’ll discuss on Day 5, focusing on nutrients instead of calories can boost fat loss and health in a major way. I’ve used cronometer for years, and find it to be the best meal tracker available. And it’s FREE!
#3 Track Today’s Wins
WHY we track Daily Wins
HOW we can track wins
Throughout the process of getting fitter and leaner, there will be stretches where you can’t visibly see the changes happening. But nonetheless, changes are happening.
Staying motivated in the face of slow progress is tough. That’s why it’s beyond crucial to see daily battles you win as progress, as equally important when getting leaner and fitter. This is going to keep you motivated, and keep your self confidence up.
If you have a week or two where you’ve hit a plateau, but you’ve managed to walk 10k steps each day, that is still progress. That is still a win. And those 10k steps that you’re taking when you didn’t take them before matter more than any number on a scale.
#4 Track Your Habits
WHY we track our habits
HOW we can track our habits
Decide on the habits you’re going to adopt, and the habits you’re throwing away. What are some of your worst health habits? Now pick one that you’re very confident you can eliminate for the next thirty days. At the end of your day, track the habits you did or didn’t do.
If you are consistently neglecting a certain habit for weeks on end, it’s time to just erase that habit from your log until you are truly ready to commit to doing it. If you have “dead” habits cluttering up your habit sheet, it shows a definite discrepancy of your desires and/or intentions. If this happens to you, I recommend you revisit your goals, and get a more moving “why” for that goal.
Today's Homework1. Choose your tracking methods