I’m a super organised person. I have lists for everything, some on my phone, some written down, some in my head. I’m also a goal orientated person, sometimes long terms goals that might take me months to achieve, like getting my body weight to under 75kg, sometimes mid term goals like a competition in 3 months time and sometimes things that I want to do daily, like eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg.
Over the last few months I’ve been trying out a few different ways to keep myself organised and keep a track of my progress against my goals so I thought I’d share some of them with you in case they might work for you too.
The online journal
Every silver and gold member of Julia Buckley’s online gym gets access to the forums and within the forums there is an area where you can set up your own journal. This is a place to record pretty much anything you want to and I usually post something in here every day – what workout I did, how it went, updates on progress against my goals.
I kept the same journal throughout 2016 and it was great to look back and see the goals I’d set at the start of the year and see how far I’d come in achieving them. The other great thing is the interaction with other members – it’s lovely when people leave encouraging comments or just pop by the say hello.
The unstructured nature of the journal means it’s totally flexible and you can set it up however you please. Some people choose to record specific things like their step count or what they ate each day. Others use it as a place to brain dump their thoughts or feelings. For me it’s a fun way of keeping a track at a high level and to interact with other members of the site. Oh and a place to post my sweaty selfies.
The training diary
When I’m at the gym I like to have something I can write in to keep a record of the weights and reps that I’ve done. This training diary from Samson Athletics is great for allowing me to do just that and it also has a cover that makes me smile. I write in the workout that I’m going to do before I head to the gym and then add in the weights and reps once I’ve completed them. It’s great to look back and see the numbers going up. There’s also a section for recording your body measurements although it’s clearly aimed at men as there’s a space for a neck measurement but none for hips!
The 12 week health and fitness planner
Back last year I was sent a copy of Karen Oliver of Beyond the Bathroom Scale 12 week health and fitness planner. This planner is designed to be used alongside the apps that many people have on their phones – step trackers, sleep monitors, calorie counters. The idea is that by transferring the data from these apps into one place and writing them down it encourages you to really take a look at what they are telling you and spot patterns that may emerge.
The planner is really simple to use and follows a standard format where you are prompted to record particular details each day. There’s also sections for weekly planning of workouts, menus and for updating your measurements and weight. Each week there’s also a different focus or challenge, such as drinking more water, or taking time to relax.
The planer would make a great partner to a 12 week fitness programme or for anyone who is taking their first steps into health and fitness and who wants a bit of guidance.
The bullet journal
This is my most recent discovery and rapidly becoming my favourite. There are lots of very detailed blogs about what bullet journals are and how to set one up, including this one by Georgina at Fitcetera so I won’t go into it too much here, only to say that a bullet journal can be whatever you want it to be. I’ve been using mine for the last month or so. It’s not very pretty compared to others I’ve seen online but that’s not the point. It’s a place for me to write down all sorts of things. My to-do lists, shopping lists, goals, household budget, personal best lifts. Whatever I want. And it’s already helped me to become more organised.
One of my favorite pages is my monthly habit tracker. I’ve set myself a number of different things to do each day which will help keep me on track with my health and fitness goals. I’ve given myself targets for each thing and then record each day how I’ve done. Green is on target, amber is nearly there and red is way off. I’m not expecting to see a sea of green, I’m human after all. But it is helping me to notice trends and things which I need to focus more on. Plus it’s fun to sit down and do a bit of colouring in each day.
How do you keep track of your goals? Have you got a journal?
At the moment I just use a standard A5 week to view diary with a notes page opposite each week. I also have a separate training log I keep forgetting to fill in, and several Excel spreadsheets to keep track of my weight and spending. Slightly random I know! I really like the look of your monthly habits tracker, one of my habits would have to be ‘Diet Coke consumption’ and ‘fruit & veg’. Most of your squares are coloured in green. I’m guessing green = good and orange/yellow = not quite so good. I might have a go at making my own monthly habits tracker if you don’t mind.
Yes that’s right, I’ve set myself targets- like 10K steps a day – if I do that or more I get a green square, if I do between 7-10K it’s orange and below that would be red. It’s quite revealing to see at a glance the areas that now come naturally to me (eating 5 portions of fruit/veg) and those that I still need to make an effort with (getting 10K steps in each day).
Oh and I totally don’t mind you nicking the idea – I’ve completely stolen it from stuff I’ve seen online too!
I really like the visual impact of the bullet journal for overall habit tracking (and I like yours a lot more than some of the calligraphy examples I’ve seen on Instagram … they intimidate me!)
I was quite intimidated when I looked at a lot of the stuff online. And then I realised that the point wasn’t to be pretty -unless that rocks your boat – the point is to help you be organised! So I’ve just done what works for me.