Have you ever watched a movie where the character is lost in a forest or maze and they make marks to let themselves know where they’ve been? Often, as a plot device, they end up going around in a circle, and finding one of the marks they had made, and then they get a bit disheartened. But what if they hadn’t made any marks? What if they had no idea that this was familiar ground? They could go around in circles forever and never realize it.
Or how about when there is an arrow pointing the way to safety, and it gets spun around or knocked over? Now our character doesn’t know which way to turn. (And thus gets eaten by a Dilophosaurus)
To keep this from happening, today we are going to earn our tracking merit badges. It is so important to track what you are doing, whether it’s tracking your food, your exercise, your mood, or your sleep. If something isn’t working, you have a way to see where you’ve been and what you’ve done, and make a course adjustment into a new direction, rather than constantly going in circles. It’s also essential that you are accurate in how you track, so you know which way to turn when choosing your new bearing. Perhaps you’ve tried running before, but going back to your notes, you find that in the past, you’ve found it boring. Now you know to try something different this time: perhaps spinning or weight lifting. Similarly, if no matter how hard you try to eat Atkins or Paleo, you just cannot manage to give up rice for more than a couple weeks, then perhaps you should try an eating regimen that doesn’t restrict what you can eat.
How you choose to track is up to you. The best system is one that you will use regularly, whether that’s a spreadsheet so you can create your own graphs of the data, one of the many apps that are available for phone or web, or even just a journal and your favorite pen. The important part is to start. Having this roadmap of where you’ve been will keep you from going around in circles and help you reach your destination sooner.
What is your preferred method to track various aspects of your health?