The single most robustly effective way to change anything in your life is to simply TRACK it. You and I are little more than a collection of habits. Our habits dictate our results. But most of us are painfully unaware of what we are doing on a moment-by-moment basis. We are robots repeating yesterday’s actions over and over again. Habits we formed mindlessly years ago simply repeat as we are “out to lunch”. Tracking your own actions will shake you into consciousness and awakens your observation of what you are really doing.
You can NOT manage or improve something until you measure it
Take 100% responsibility for everything in your life. Once you have assumed that responsibility then decide what is the most disturbing habit you have that needs to be altered. What is it that you truly wish to accomplish? Successful people are willing to do the things that unsuccessful people are not. It’s not giant heroic efforts that make the difference – it is the little things done consistently. Tracking brings moment-to-moment awareness to the actions that lead to your results.
Olympic and professional athletes measure everything about their body, their workouts, the reps, time spent, nutrition, sleep, etc in order to optimize their performance. They pay attention to what they have recorded and then make changes accordingly. A life worth living is a life worth recording so let’s get serious and do the simple things first – RECORD IT. Track yourself as if you were a valuable commodity because you are.
How To Get Started
Take the habit that has the greatest control over you and start tracking it every day for the next 3 weeks. After this expand into other areas of your life but start with the toughest one first whether it is weight loss, smoking cessation or relationship changes.
Write down what it is that you plan to target. What habit do you plan to track? Maybe its food if you are looking to lose weight. If you seek better physical conditioning, then track your exercise in quantity and intensity. If it’s smoking, then track each cigarette. Let’s use food as our example for the purpose of demonstration:
- Each day start with a fresh piece of paper and write down EVERYTHING that passes your lips. Every morsel, every drink, write it down.
- Simply having to write it down may make you think twice about whether you really want to eat it.
- No whining and NO EXCUSES. Write down EVERYTHING. Constant, thorough, relentless.
- Do this EVERY DAY for 3 weeks.
The very things you have written down will bounce off the page and quickly become obvious to you. You are for the first time in your life becoming AWARE of what you are doing. No more mindless eating because you are now seeing it. This alone will start to alter your habits. You will than share this information with Chelsea and she will work with you to show the patterns and problems found within. This will further modify your behavior leading to your desired result.
Tracking your habits makes you accountable to yourself. You don’t have to do this . . . you WANT to do this if you in fact desire change. If you don’t want to change then don’t track anything. But anything in your life that is important you have tracked your whole life. Ever pay taxes? Yes, to avoid going to jail so you tracked your income. Ever track your speed on the expressway? If you wish to avoid getting a ticket you sure did. Ever track your wife’s birthday? If you want to stay out of the doghouse you will.
I personally have a large spread sheet that allows me to track many aspects of my life. Why? Am I OCD? Maybe. But I think it’s because I value my life and love to enhance the richness of my experience on this planet. I track heart rate variability, blood pressure, alcohol intake, ketones, minutes of Zone 2 exercise, bike miles ridden, sauna exposure, meditation minutes each week and yes, even more elements beyond this. This tracking sheet has directly changed the way I view and understand my body, my mind and reflected my true beliefs. Trying to navigate my life without this tracking would be like trying to drive on the highway at night with no lights and no dashboard.
Most people try to drive their lives without lights and a dashboard and as you might predict they crash. They crash into diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, cancer and Alzheimers. All very preventable by simply becoming AWARE of what you are doing every day. See “Tracking - Part 2” to explore more details on what to track and how.