Keep Track to Stay On Track
Updated: Jan 6
Results keep us motivated. Whenever we set a goal, any wellness goal, like hitting the gym more frequently or as simple as cutting down on soda – we get inspired to increase our efforts when we see that we are getting nearer the finish line. For most of us who need constant inspiration to stay focused and keep our eyes on the prize, it is very important to regularly check, at a healthy frequency, our progress. This is a simple reward system in our brains that keep us going when we know that our little brush strokes of efforts are painting a big picture of success.
While it’s easy to understand why we need to measure progress, it is crucial to know how to properly track progress and by learning what to actually measure. A classic example would be knowing when to check weight loss vs when to check for fat loss. A common scenario we all know too well: You have big party to attend and you want to wow everybody in that stunning dress you’ve just scored. So you spend hours at the gym trying to lose weight and get the shock of your life when you check the scale and see that after weeks of hard work, you only lost 2 pounds! It’s easy to get disheartened by these results if you didn’t know that weight loss isn’t the deciding factor to looking good in that gown. Fat is actually much lighter than muscle. In those weeks, you could have lost fat and gained muscle, which is why the numbers on the scale didn’t move much. Fat loss, unless drastic, will not usually make an impact on the weighing scale. You can also gain a lot of muscle, and look better than ever in that dress. Losing fat around the tummy and gaining muscle in the form of toned arms, legs, and a firmer butt will usually register as weight gain on the scale. This explains why sometimes we don’t really see a difference in weight but we can somehow miraculously fit into an old pair of skin tight jeans.
Keeping ourselves informed about where we are in reference to our goal will not only keep us motivated, but it will also help get past the plateau phase. This phase is when we need to double efforts to continue seeing results. Keeping track of when the plateau happens will help us understand that it isn’t that our efforts are no longer working, it just means that it’s time to take it up a notch and push ourselves a little bit more.
Every wellness goal we set is a valuable journey that we are sure to gain something from. Take each day as an opportunity to learn from your body. Listening closely to your body needs will help you gauge whether you should work harder or rest and recuperate. Keeping track of things will not only make your progress smoother but it will also make the whole process of achieving your goal a meaningful and enjoyable experience for you.