Setting goals is the first step. These three tracking tools are the second thing you need to become your happiest, healthiest you!
Disclosure:I was provided with a Life Trak fitness tracker for review and for giveaway. I was not compensated to write this post.
We all have a unique and personal vision of who we want to be and what we want to achieve in life. It would be nice if our vision transpired with minimal effort, living life as we always have, but alas, becoming our happiest, healthiest and most confident selves takes more than simply wishing it to be so.
The first step in turning dreams into reality – setting clear goals. This defines the action steps you’ll take and makes a commitment to achieve your vision. When setting goals with my clients, we set small goals and progressively add more. Setting small, achievable goals is scientifically proven to be most effective for turning actions into habits and ensuring success. But one of the problems is it can be hard to know if you’re actually achieving them and it can be discouraging if you’re not seeing huge results we’ve come to expect through years of being exposed to quick-fix marketing.
This is where tracking comes in. Without tracking, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Besides letting you know if you’re actually achieving your goals, tracking keeps you motivated by visualizing the progress you’re making. It gives you the data you need to troubleshoot when you’re struggling or not seeing results. It also helps build self accountability. Plus the simple act of checking an item off can be reinforcing. If you’ve ever written an item on your to do list simply to check it off, then you know what I mean!
Please don’t skip out on this important step! Here’s three tracking tools I’ve used and recommend.
Study after study has shown benefits to keeping a food journal. In fact, one study found keeping a food journal doubled weight loss! Achieving wellness goals relies not on individual food choices but on our eating pattern, so keeping a food journal is necessary to visualize this pattern. I know a lot of people like to use calorie trackers and online databases to journal, but I’m not a big fan of these. Not only are they time consuming, but the fact that it’s much easier to search processed, packaged foods than to insert recipes encourages people to choose those foods. Also, I don’t like the focus on calories and macronutrients – it can be a little information overload and distracts from the quality of your diet.
Instead, I encourage my clients to go old school and keep a written or typed journal. One of the advantages of this is you can lay it out in a way that works for you. Plus, you’re able to insert important information, like triggers for eating or your hunger scale. If you like the convenience of storing it in your smart phone, try Evernote, which allows you to insert pictures as well.
GOAL TRACKING APPS
Every month, I set personal development goals. It’s helped me build a mindfulness practice, tackle stress and anxiety and grow my business. I used to write them down in my planner, which worked fine, but recently I downloaded Habit List for a totally worth it 4 bucks and I am now obsessed. It’s a simple to use app that allows you to not only track goals but also set reminders and view trends over time. Being able to visualize my progress is incredibly rewarding and I like having all my goals in one place rather than thumbing through pages of my planner.
Fitness trackers have come a long way from bulky pedometers! By tracking your steps and in some cases your heart rate, fitness trackers are able to look day by day at how active you are. I think these are incredibly valuable tools, especially as new research comes out showing the dangers of sitting to long, reinforcing the fact that getting in activity throughout the day is just as important as scheduled exercise.
Recently, I was sent the LifeTrak C210 fitness tracker to review. What sets it apart from the others is their state of the art, ECG-accurate heart rate technology. They have quite a few different models to choose from, so you can pick one that best suits your needs, but the one I chose monitors steps, heart rate, activity, calories and sleep. Some of the upgraded models are also app connected and one even analyzes your sleep quality patterns to wake you up at an optimal time – woah!
One of the things I liked most about this is that all the data is at your fingertips and you don’t have to sync to your iphone to know where you’re at. The other thing I really loved (and this might sound kind of silly) is that it’s also a watch. I also liked that by tracking your workouts, you can calculate distance, steps and calories separate from the rest of your day. My only minor complaint was that at first, it was a little difficult to figure out how to use. But after I wore it a few days then reread the directions (key!), I had no problems!
And guess what? I’m teaming up with LifeTrak so you can win your very own fitness tracker and take your wellness to a new level. To enter, submit your entries in the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends midnight on 9/29/15!