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“I just don’t understand. I eat well, I train hard, and I do all the things necessary to achieve my goals, but I still can’t ______________.”
We all have these blanks in our lives. Goals and ambitions we want to accomplish but haven’t been able to for some reason. Focusing on the area of physical health and wellness, our blanks might be to finally get those six pack abs, to squat 400 pounds, to lose weight, to gain weight. The list goes on and on and on.
As coaches, we’ve heard this complaint too many times to count; everyone finds themselves in this situation at some point. I know I certainly have. While the blank could be any number of different challenges, the overall paradigm is the same in almost every case. Since the problems seem to follow a similar format, it’s likely the solution does as well. What this solution looks like and how we can make it work for us is as simple and practicable as it is powerful. Note-taking.
“Note-taking?” You ask. Can it really be that basic? Can just recording what we do in pursuit of a goal help us to achieve it? Absolutely. Take weight loss, for instance. While we might “try” to eat healthfully and exercise, if we don’t record what we actually eat and what we actually do in the gym, we are left to rely on our memory. Like all our memories, our brain mitigates the bad we do while exaggerating the good. A gluttonous Oreo binge becomes a “few too many, but not the whole package.” A half-hearted squat session becomes “another firm step toward my squat goal.” Now imagine keeping mental track of everything you eat and all your workouts for weeks at a time. It would be impossible! But accuracy looking backward is not the only benefit of a notebook.
When we track our performance in writing, we are much more likely to stay consistent and true to the plans we set for ourselves. Who wants to write (and later read) that they consumed “36 Oreo cookies” while binge-watching “The Office?” Or that they only completed “2 ½ sets” of the five they were aiming for? No one! This effect has been proven time and time again in studies across disciplines. Without consistently tracking nutrition, sleep, and training, you have no data to refer back to and nothing to correct moving forward. This is the only way to find what works and dismiss what doesn’t. while holding yourself accountable to what you know is right.
To help you get started, we have developed three simple logs that cover the biggest aspects of personal health: diet, sleep and exercise. (These can be found at the bottom of this post.) Try logging your behavior for one week. Then, at the end of the week, compare what you’ve written with what you planned to do. As simple as it sounds, this is a great way to get started logging and the first step toward identifying problem areas and breaking through your plateaus.
Regardless of your current condition and goals, we all benefit from written logs. Even if your progress isn’t stalling today, that doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow. Being health and strong is a lifelong journey, and we inevitably fall victim to slow or even regressing development. This accountability log will maximize your progress, saving you time and frustration.
For those that train with us at Hunger in the Wild S&C, log for seven days straight and then bring in your data to meet with a coach before or after class.
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Training Log Microsoft Word Format
Training Log PDF Format
Sleep Log Microsoft Word Format
Sleep Log PDF Format
Nutrient Log Microsoft Word Format
Nutrient Log PDF Format