What Are The Reasons For Tracking Progress
- The likelihood of succeeding on weight loss or strength training goals is increased.
- A workout journal (or whatever you decide to use) allows you to be more efficient in your time and workouts.
- Creates accountability to yourself and your personal goals.
- Allows for easier exercise program modifications, identifies bad habits, and shows when and where changes need to be made.
- It can be motivating and reinforces healthy habits to remind you why you are setting goals in the first place.
- Helps to drive the focus and direction of your programming.
- Keeps you committed to your plan and sets you on a path for further fitness progress.
Why Should You Track Your Progress?
Creating a Baseline
If you really want to be able to show progress, you’ll need a baseline to know where you started. You’ll need to track your data before you even start working on improvements. Having a baseline offers a way to measure how much progress you’ve made. You can also compare the effectiveness of different strategies. If you want to measure just how much success you have in something like changing your diet, starting with a baseline can help you decide what eating strategies worked, or didn’t work for you.
Reaching A Milestone
Milestones Are Crucial. Milestones to inform you if your efforts are working. When you reach a milestone, you can understand how long it took to achieve your goal and have realistic expectations of progress moving forward. You may set out with great intentions and a goal to lose 10 pounds of body fat, in a specified period of time but if it takes longer than expected, and you followed your plan to a “T” well now your goals can be more realistic or understand there is modification needed to reach your next milestone. Achieving success is a motivator and ultimately, may help you reach your next goal.
Looking Back At Progress
Psychologically, we can feel in a rut at times as exercise or weight loss improvements are not always linear. Having the ability to look back at where you started, how far you have made it, and where you are today shows exactly how your hard work and new behaviors are paying off. Using data to examine what you have accomplished versus focusing on one day or one week can stop you from giving up.
Keep You On Track
Knowing exactly what is going well and what is not is key in making improvements in your fitness journey. For example, if you started tracking calories and find you are struggling on weekends to meet your caloric needs, this will help you identify where you need help or need to reexamine what you are doing. if you were not tracking progress, you would have no way of identifying where you were struggling to keep you on track.
Tracking can force you to be brutally honest in a way that you never have before because you are not guessing. You have the data right in front of you. We often overestimate how often we do things (like snacking), but tracking eliminates this weakness. When we track we just have the facts, not our subjective thoughts.
As you progress and make improvements, your goals may change, and having information available to you to set your new path is instrumental in further success. Also, if you find your goal is too intimidating or it seems too far away, try breaking it up into smaller goals. This ties back into milestones, if you break it up, and have success, you will be right back on track.
When you are not tracking something it’s easy to forget. Have you ever tried to remember what weight you used last week, how many reps your performed, or how much rest you took? Yeah, me too! Now you don’t have to try and remember and then think back that you actually used 10 more pounds last time and you wondered why the set was easy this week. Now there is no guessing and you won’t stall progress.
This is why I love tracking my goals. When you have a system in place where you regularly check in with yourself, daily, weekly, etc. this forces you to hold yourself accountable.
Once you start tracking your goals, you’re able to see the day-to-day progress that you might not have otherwise noticed. it can be easy to overlook progress, which decreases motivation. Keep your motivation high by seeing your accomplishment!
What Tools Are Available To Track