One trait that I notice in people who tend to have success in improving their lifestyles, is that they take NOTES! You know, the good old pad and paper?
With modern life often being confusing, fast-paced, and complicated; it is sometimes difficult to keep track of just what we are doing in our personal lives. It is easy to forget about our food plans, our exercise that we have done, the time we have used on ourselves. Somehow, it can just slip away into the mess of everything else. Add on top of that jobs, bills, family stuff, and more, and you have your work set out for you.
What is interesting is that we seem to keep track of everything else as a culture. We keep our receipts when we buy important things. We keep detailed accounts of our finances, taxes, and earnings. We plan trips, budget, and plan for the future. When it comes to our personal lives though; things tend to be left to how we feel about them in the present. A great way to keep track of yourself is through the use of a simple “Health Log.” Here is an example of what would be kept in a log. They can be as simple or as detailed as is right for you.
DIETARY LOG: The meals you eat during the week.
EXERCISE LOG: The amount of time and what types of exercise you are doing weekly.
SLEEP LOG: The amount and quality of sleep you get each night. This may be unnecessary if you sleep well.
DE_STRESS TIME: The amount of time and quality of time that you spend unwinding, letting your emotions come out, meditating, or just simply being without hassles for a while.
SPIRITUAL/EXISTENTIAL LIFE: You may keep notes on your relationships with the greater world, universe, God, etc. As these are complex issues; it can help to have some notes on where you stand on these things currently in life.
RELATIONSHIPS: Log on how you are doing with friends, family, co-workers, etc. Sometimes it is hard to see how our relationships are affecting us when we manage many relationships.
Really, anything can be added to this list that you feel affects your health or well-being. It could be addictions, current health challenges, goals, etc. The main idea is that you log these factors so that over time, you can see trends that may escape your view during the day-to-day. It also helps track progress and keep you motivated. For instance; you may notice that your daily food intake is maybe 15% better or cleaner than it used to be. You may notice that your exercise regime is producing better endurance, or a more attractive physique. You may find that a relationship is hurting your goal setting. Whatever it is; a lot will show up in these logs. And what does this “LOG THING,” cost you? The cost is a pad, a pen, and maybe 15 minutes a day. Not much for what it gives you back.