How tracking my behaviour is getting results!
During February I have been busy tracking a lot of my activities on a physical and mental level. My previous post was about habits and keeping track so I can find out what could do with a change.
I like to follow up with how that worked for me during February. The idea is to explore a few things in my life. One of them is how to become the type of person who is capable of setting up an online business by the end of 2023. I intend to reflect on that process once per month in a blog post. This is my first reflection.
The first thing I did!
One of the things that I implemented during February was tracking. I had my birthday in January and funnily two of my presents were tracking devices. To be precise, a Fit Bit and a really fancy planner called the Happiness Planner. Both of them are perfect to track a variety of things and that is exactly what I have done.
From a health perspective I tracked my sleep pattern, my heart beat, my water intake, my daily steps and exercise. It is quite cool to see what you can measure with such a thing. Furthermore I noticed something interesting.
While I was tracking my behaviour and my habits, I became more aware and motivated to do the behaviours I had chosen. For example, I decided to do every day 5000 steps as a minimum. Before I set the actual number as a minimum on my Fitbit, I did not achieve 5000 every day. Since I set the 5000, I make sure I walk that extra mile as I want to tick it off the list.
Tracking – does it work?
I love updating spread sheets and marking what has been done. Tracking steps, daily exercise and water intake seems to make me do what I need to do. It definitely helped me with measuring my progress and I did not want ‘to break the chain’. I wanted to show up and add to the chain. On top of it I really enjoyed doing it and was amazed how I managed to fit it all in.
Filling in the Happiness Planner is a similar activity. It asks me to think about intentions, habits and awareness to name a few. It also focusses on self love, gratitude and what to look forward to. I have noticed that I am natural good at tracking factual things such ‘to do’s and what to schedule.
When it asked me to reflect on ‘what I love about myself’ and ‘good things about today’, I have to dig a bit deeper. However, as such questions are asked on a daily base, I can’t do anything else than fill them in or at least have a go at it.
I am reading the well known book Atomic Habits and in there it says, that for a habit to stick, you have to feel successful even if it is in a very small way. I do have a feeling of achievement about last month – a sense of small wins. In reality not much has happened but I know now that I can walk every day 5000 steps. I make an effort to drink between 1-1.5 liters of water and my heart rate is behaving like it should.
Additionally, I have been doing a short meditation every morning after waking up, did the yoga sessions I scheduled and filled in my planner. I did this all before I started to work so getting up in time was crucial. Simply the act of tracking sparked my enthusiasm to continue doing the things I had set out to do.
All this has given me a sense of fulfilment. Above all it forces me to stay honest with myself as tracking acts as evidence of the progress I am making. To be honest, it is almost a bit addictive. And it means I have stuff to write in my planner.
On my list was the write a monthly blogpost about all of this and there you go! Here it is!
Feel free to let me know if you are the type of person that tracks! Even if it is just to see how you actually spend your time. There may be a dark side to the habit of tracking and that is that it becomes more important than the purpose of doing it. I surely keep that in mind!
See you next month!