An underrated component of improving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is self-monitoring: observing your behaviour and evaluating it in relation to your goals, especially if those goals are to kick butt in your next race! Self-monitoring can be done in many ways, but I find keep tracking of your food and exercise essential. Keep things simple, not too detailed or else you stick to it. It’s better to get a ball-park feel of what you’re doing then not knowing at all. Keep it consistent and you will be able to plan and progress things accordingly, and before you know it, you’ll know exactly why you have or haven’t been improving.
Track Your Eating Habits with a Food Journal
Eating well-balanced meals is half the battle to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keep track of what and how much you eat. If your goal is to lose weight and limit calories, keeping track of how much you eat is essential. When you see on paper what you are eating, it becomes an organized and informative tool. Instead of assuming or trying to recall the amount of food, record numbers and details to help you track your overall progress and keep you focused.
Use an Exercise Journal to Track Your Progress
An exercise journal is especially important when first starting out with a regular exercise routine because it serves as a reminder of what to do and what you’ve done. Writing down your routine allows you to review your steps and check to see what you did in the past and adjust accordingly, for example, by switching your routine on a monthly or weekly basis to make the workout interesting, new, and challenging.