So far you have learned a little about me, my j20 Workout and a little practical background on exercising. Before jumping into the deeper information, I want to talk a moment about self-management.  Without a self-management plan, you have little chance of creating successful in your new exercise or habits.  I am sorry to say that but it is true.  Keeping track of yourself is not only important, it is actually vital for your success.

I think we all know the value of setting simple, realistic goals and creating action plans for attaining those goals.  What you might have overlooked, however, is the value in tracking your progress by writing things down, entering them into a computer file or even a phone app.

The truth is that measurable progress is a big motivator!  I always recommend that people write down exactly WHAT their goal is with an appropriate timeline, come up with the reason WHY they want to reach it, and what steps they need to take to get there - the HOW (the action plan). 

Here are few reasons why you should be writing down your goals and daily progress.

1. A written goal brings clarity, focus and direction.  As you write your goal down you, it becomes      more real and you may get new insights.

2. Tracking your success and seeing consistent results will keep you going.   Tracking my running exercise sessions keeps me motivated every month to better the actual metrics of the month before.  There is no guesswork; it’s all about the actual numbers.  

3. When your actions are actually written down or logged, it's easier to be honest with yourself.  We all like to make excuses but if you can put your eyeballs on your actual behavior, it’s harder to pretend success or be dishonest with yourself.

4. Writing things down or having observable records created over time is a powerful reminder that you can use to keep yourself on the right track when you feel stressed and may consider making hasty decisions.  Success rarely comes quickly; normally it requires perseverance.  And it’s far easier to keep yourself motivated and going if you see your past commitment in black and white.

5. The brain is a marvelous organ that is pretty fair at remembering things and really great at forgetting.  As we write things down something special happens in the brain; we create spatial relations between the various bits of information we are recording.  The act of linking the verbal information with the spatial relationship creates more important, lasting memories.  In other words, writing it down keeps it real.

Let me give you some real life examples.  Research demonstrates that keeping a weight loss log will improve your ability to lose weight by 50-100 percent.  It doesn’t stop there, if you want to get stronger, record the weights that you lift for the various exercises that you do.  If you want to save money, write down every penny you spend.

You never lose time by tracking your success but you almost always gain results.