Tracking = data = results
Whenever we start something new, our brain is trying to process information and work out how you can achieve the same results with less work.
Say you start a new job which requires a new commute.
Before you start, you research the best route – you might go online to look on google maps (note, other maps are available!), you might ask someone who already does that commute which way they go, what time is best to leave, what routes/times you should avoid and if there’s anyone else going that way who you could car share with, and you might even do a couple of practice runs.
Then, those first couple of weeks (or longer) of doing the commute, you keep tabs on everything…what time you leave, how long you’re caught in traffic at different points, what time you arrive, how much traffic is on the road, which driving conditions impact your progress…and we keep tracking until we find the time and route that works for us. Then we no longer track what’s going on because it’s become a habit.
This is a natural way of being efficient at something.
So it’s perfectly reasonable to apply this to a new eating or exercise plan. We have to know what we’re going to do (set out a goal), we have to understand how we’re going to do it (plan for success), we need to try it and then understand what is working and what isn’t (tracking), so that we can make tweaks here and there to get the most out of it. We would quite happily do all these steps for a new job where we are accountable to somebody else, and our new company gets the benefit, but we tend to be reluctant to do this when we are doing something for ourselves. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT PEOPLE????
Just because something becomes a habit, doesn’t mean that it will run smoothly forever more….oh no no no!
Going back to our commute – just when you thought you had it down, ROADWORKS!! They threaten your routine, make you late, make you sweat and swear (or is that just me??) and as you sit there in the queue, you start to run through all of the other options you have….what was that little road that you saw – would this help you avoid the traffic and get to work on time? It might require you to learn a new route, and you might need to concentrate harder down those country lanes…but it would definitely be worth it to get to work on time and not have to sit going nowhere…so the next day you try it – it’s a bit of a detour, but you are moving forwards towards your destination. Just a little setback, but you overcome it. This becomes your new route – and soon enough you know those corners and bumps like the back of your hand.
Same deal with your weight loss and exercise ‘journey’ (see what I did there?!)….something becomes a blocker, stops you from progressing…so you look back at what you’ve been doing and see where you can make some changes/enhancements/omissions. You’re not back at the beginning when you knew nothing – you have still made all that progress, you just need some tweaks to overcome a setback. You can’t tweak if you don’t know what you are tweaking!! That’s why tracking is so important.
It can seem laborious and tedious at times, but you would do it for someone else, so now it’s time to do it for yourself.
If you want some help with how to set your goals, carry out your planning and/or make tweaks to your current approach, get in touch and we can look at it together. Because sharing the journey is always more fun than driving somewhere on your own 😊