Whatever your goals are, tracking progress along the way is vital for success.
This is especially true of weight-loss and fitness goals, where change is gradual and not noticeable day-by-day, but you must keep going for a period of time before the difference become apparent.
Keeping a record of how well you are doing can help to keep you motivated. There are hundreds of apps and gadgets out there to help you keep track of your food intake and exercise. On a daily basis, these are really great methods of record-keeping.
I love my apps as much as anyone, but when I want to see my progress on a weekly or monthly basis, I find that using a humble old-fashioned wallchart works better for me. Here’s why:
- if you pin it somewhere where you can see it often (in your bedroom or above your desk), it will keep reminding you of how well (or not well) you are doing, every time you see it
- if you fail to fulfil your programme several days in a row, it will act as a reminder to get back on track asap
- you can see immediately if there are any patterns – for example, if going out on Friday nights makes you more likely to skip exercise the next day
- you can scribble comments anywhere on the chart – for example, if you were feeling unwell for several days
- you can mark up good days and bad days by stickers – I use green round stickers to indicate success, and orange or red ones to indicate failure
- the simple act of recording your progress and seeing a visual representation of it on a regular basis will motivate you to stay on track
You can download a free food/exercise wallchart template here (Excel). Amend the date in cell B4 to your starting date, and print out the chart (ideally on A3 paper).