For fitness, personal improvement is about creating or losing a habit. Keeping a fitness journal is a great way to ensure that you start to create a positive habit. Setting goals and continually striving to reach them is one of the best ways to keep motivated.
We’ve all made our New Year’s Resolutions, only to have life get in the way, and have those goals become distant memories. Recording your progress in a fitness journal on a daily basis can greatly increase the likelihood of achieving your goals, as your written history can provide positive reinforcement and motivation.
By keeping a fitness journal, you create a plan for yourself. This plan can focus strictly on the workouts themselves, or you can expand and include diet, personal motivations, energy levels, amount of sleep, and anything else that may seem relevant to your success. You also then have a log of your progress. You can look back through your fitness journal and truly see how much you have pushed yourself, and how your diet and sleep patterns have impacted your weight, energy levels, and workouts.
Our favorite excuse for not following through on our fitness goals is often, “I just don’t have time.” But you may find that you can squeeze at least 30 minutes per day of fitness into your day just by performing your everyday routine with a few modifications. Take the dog for a longer walk, or if you don’t have a dog, borrow a neighbor’s! While on a phone call, instead of sitting still, pace around the room. If you’re moving, you’re burning calories. And yes, you can even track those “exercises” in your fitness journal.
Another tip: Try wearing a pedometer. Make a goal to try to get more steps the next day then the day before. Track the steps in your fitness journal. Before long, you might even find yourself parking toward the back of the parking lot, or even taking the stairs, just so you can get a few extra steps in.
There are many options for keeping a fitness journal—from maintaining a paper record, to creating a tracking spreadsheet. While creating and keeping a fitness journal may seem like a lot of work, in actuality it only takes a few minutes a day, and the benefits it offers far outweigh the time spent.
My favorite is a nice little book that fits easily in my bag so I can carry it with me to make notes when I work out. If you do your workouts at the gym, you will probably want to get one that is compact but big enough to write in.
Keep track of all the exercise that you do each day. If you make a point on a regular basis of walking around the mall or parking further out in the parking lot, make a note of that, too. Be sure to write down everything you eat and drink, don’t skip anything. This will really help you see what you are consuming and let you know if there are some foods that are keeping you from reaching your goals.
Some people feel like they cannot live without sweet soda drinks. Well, okay then, write in your journal each time you drink one of those sugary carbonated treats and if you are brave enough, try a week without them. Compare your weight loss without any other changes in your diet or fitness program. I think you might be surprised at the results. Many ladies lose weight automatically when they cut out sweet soft drinks from their diet.
By coming face to face with what you put in your body, you make a conscious well-informed decision to either continue with empty calorie food, or to change what you eat and drink for more nutritious and healthy foods that will provide your body with fuel it needs to perform.
Begin each day, with affirmations and journal writing. This will allow you to clear your head and allow you to focus on the things you need to for that day. Writing in your journal not only helps you to prioritize your duties but also alleviates stress and anxiety.
A fitness journal is so vital to the success of your program. If you are loyal to your journal writing, it will become your little buddy, or ally. Within the pages of your journal will be the secret to your weight loss success.
You can record your struggles, the days that your muscles burned and ached. The days that you were tired but worked out anyway and then felt better. It will in essence describe all of the feelings that you harbor about your weight loss and fitness regimen.
The reason that this is so beneficial is that it encourages positive self-talk. Rather than degrading or speaking negatively to yourself about your body shape, you will find yourself becoming more appreciative of your body, just simply by keeping a journal.
It’s true, you know. The journal provides a sounding board for your struggles and then becomes a source of inspiration when you read back over it. Giving you the encouragement you need to keep going even when it seems you have hit a plateau.
You see—healthy eating and fitness are lifelong goals. Not something that you have to accomplish overnight. The important thing is that you have turned that corner; you have made the ultimate decision to improve your health and lifestyle.
Your fitness journal will be there for you, as your personal witness to all your hard work. A constant reminder of what it takes to lose weight. Because we all know that losing weight is not easy. It is something that we must work at everyday.
Always begin each journal by recording your current weight and measurements so you will have an accurate record of where you began your journey to fitness. That’s pretty much what a journal depicts, isn’t it? It will outline your whole trip to a healthy new lifestyle.
Avid journalists: Tell us about your journaling experiences by leaving a comment!