Whether your goal is to get in shape for spring break, your wedding, or your daughter’s graduation party, it’s easy to start a fitness plan, but it’s another thing to stick to it. One way to keep yourself on task is to start a fitness journal. Keeping the journal with you at all times can help track your habits including how often and how long you exercise as well as track your diet. A hidden benefit is time management, so you can make it to your son’s first soccer game without thinking…I should be in the gym!
Remember you can find little ways to exercise just about everywhere you go, just keep moving! If you have your journal with you, it will make it easy to record your extra movements like walked around the ball field or around the block.
Here are some things to consider when customizing your journal:
- What suits you? It can be as simple as a composition style book like you used in college, a typical day planner, or go all digital and use an online social site.
- Include a section in the front (if doing one on paper) that includes your goals. Don’t forget to leave space for amending! Your cruise might be a time to splurge, but come up with a plan to get back on track!
- Make a goals page for each week for best results that way if you get off track the following week you can quickly recover.
- Daily goals are also important, you might want to challenge yourself to cut back or avoid completely sugary soft drinks, at the end of the day, you can chart your success.
- Have a section for fitness including workouts, housekeeping, or anything that may require cardio exercise (if that’s a goal for you).
- Have a section to record your meals and snacks. One double latte may not sound like much, but every day, and the calories add up.
What you should include on your goals sheet:
- Begin by writing down your measurements, weight and dress size.
- Then determine how much weight you want to lose. You can include short term and long term goals on your weight loss.
- Next list some of the activities you know you want to include. Cardio? Strength? Do some research to spice it up!
- Are you going to have a mentor or exercise buddy to help? Record their phone and email.
- Write down the reasons you want to lose weight and get in shape, be specific. It could be so that you can play with your children or grandchildren or fit into a sexy new outfit or look better for a class reunion.
What to track in your fitness section:
- What you did and how much. 100 crunches? 5 miles walking?
- Was it planned or spontaneous? If you’re not making scheduled time to exercise, reconsider your routine.
- How was your motivation today? If you see a trend in your lack of motivation, investigate what is causing it, and fix it!
- Are the exercises getting easier?
- Do you feel stronger?
- Do you have more energy than before you began your fitness program?
- All of these notes written in your will be beneficial in helping you reach your goal.
What to track in your diet section:
- What food you consume each day and how much.
- How much water you’re drinking. It will keep you hydrated and keep you from being tired. Water also helps to cleanse your body of toxins.
- Also keep track of all the beverages that you indulge in as the calories can really add up if you drink soft drinks.
- You can keep track of nutritional facts too, like amounts of saturated fat, protein and sodium in the foods that you eat. Remember to have protein at every meal.
- Record your weight each week to help you stay on track.
- Measure your body at your bust, waist, hips, thighs, calve and ankles. Also measure your wrists and upper arms. This will give you a true picture of your fitness plan.
- Remember you are not a number on a scale, look at yourself in the mirror. Can you see the differences in your body? Are you clothes fitting better or becoming too loose? These are true indications that your body is changing and taking on a whole new shape. Record all of this in your journal.
- Consult a doctor to ensure you’re physically able to accomplish your goals.
- Utilize technology such as built-in pedometers on mp3 players that can track your mileage.
- Break up grand goals in manageable chunks. Splurge when you reach each step, you deserve it! That doesn’t mean to sabotage your weight loss goals with loads of high calories or sugar. Just do something nice for your self, you deserve it.
- Never erase mistakes in your journal. Draw one line through it and correct it. It looks messy, but you may discover a pattern that may help you out!
Short of a genie, there are no magic pills to lose weight. Everything you eat and do has an effect on your weight. A fitness journal is the right step to help you reach your goals because when you record everything you eat, drink and all of your physical activities, you’ll have a much better chance of success. It’s been proven time and again.
Fitness4Her is a complete diet and exercise program that is specifically developed for women. The diet consists of five meals rather than the customary three meal plan with special attention given to portion control. My 30 Minutes To A New You Exercise plan, incorporates some of the Pilates Principles of engaging the core in all exercises. Check out the Members Exercise section for workout routines that are designed to get you in shape. The journal is the final part of the trilogy and in my opinion is no less important than the diet and exercise. The journal will keep you accountable and will be your “go-to” source as you stay on task and meet your goals.
Share your journaling tips with us and our readers by leaving a comment:
~ Karen Ficarelli
- One-on-One Fitness Phone Consultation with Karen Ficarelli
- Visit me on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/KarenFicarelli
- Follow F4H on Twitter - http://twitter.com/fitness4her
- Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/karenficarelli