Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Back in April I had a great idea. Some of you are probably thinking I should have a lot more of those because they don't come very often. But the great idea was to track and color code my weight loss journey with a progress map and give myself sticker rewards. Now my progress map is truly indispensable and has helped me immensely, so I thought I'd share it with you.
First I got some ordinary star stickers - the kind that come in silver, gold, red, blue, and green. Second I went to Microsoft Word, set up the document landscape style and formatted it as a calendar, allowing as much space for each day/square as possible. I made a calendar for each month for the remainder of 2012, printed them off, and glued them into my weight-loss journal. I left the back side of each month empty to give me room to add my monthly goals/updates. Yes, it would be faster to use a regular calendar but I'm cheap and made my own.
Second I decided to track various goals on this calendar, color-coding them with the star stickers.
Gold: weigh-in. Star automatically earned if I weigh myself regardless of whether the scale is going up or down.
Silver: good diet day, meaning between 1200-1700 calories.
Red: strength training
And if there was room on my calendar for a fifth star, which there isn't, it would be ...
Green: at least 7 hours sleep
For about three months now I have been tracking my weight, sleep, calories, cardio, and strength training every day and rewarding myself with the color-coordinated stickers. Surprisingly the stickers pose enough incentive to do extra than I normally would. I now track my calories every day, a chore I usually loathe. I exercise in some way just about every day instead of feeling lazy. I'm weighing in, getting more sleep, staying motivated, and losing weight. I even reinstated strength training through the Ballet Beautiful DVDs, and I really have to force myself to do strength training under normal circumstances. For those of you struggling to stay motivated this idea might help keep you on track.
You could also extend this system to life goals.
Silver: spent at least 1 hour cleaning today
Gold: sorted all incoming mail, paid bills on time in full
Red: allowed myself at least 1 hour free time, etc
This system has helped me so much, being able to see at a glance if I'm making progress and heading in the right direction.
Hope you all have a fantastic Fourth of July!