By: Michael Beiter
Sleep, exercise, eat right. Besides these obvious actions what else can you do to improve your self?
I learned how to do all of the above with a five star college ruled notebook when I was in high school. I have been practicing that habit ever since. For me, that is 15 years.
Beginning with workouts I would write down the exercise, sets, and reps of whatever I was doing that day. If I ever need a laugh I can still crack open my warped books from high school and see far too many exercises, sets, and reps. I hadn't learned the 'minimum effective dose' yet.
Not long after I started journaling my workouts I learned how to do the same with my eating.
Some of you will recognize this story as I tell it often.
Back in the day, just over ten years ago, My Fitness Pal and smart phones were a brand new thing. And they were clunky at that. So anyone who logged their food did so with pad and pen and a 3 inch 'Eat This, Not That' reference book that databased all the foods we eat. Every year there was a new one published to account for the changes made to restaurant and fast food menus.
Add a food scale to the list and you were in business with the same method you use today to manage your eating: flexible dieting and macro tracking. Albeit twenty times more labor intensive and far less accurate.
This is why it is foolish not to use the phone we are already adapted to using all day to manage our eating: it has become laughably easy. The barrier for entry is next to nothing now. Kids and grandparents can equally learn the basic math and app use needed to take full control over their nutrition. What this does for our health can't be understated.
I am glad I learned how to do it the old school way so that I can tell this story of technological improvement to anyone who will listen.
Furthermore, I am glad I learned how to journal my actions in the gym and kitchen, because that eventually lead to journaling my thoughts and actions elsewhere. And this is where the magic happens.
I know of no better tool than a diary and time investment than writing in it. The capacities for this simple habit to improve your life are endless.
Don't worry. There is only one hard rule to follow: start every entry with the date. From there the page is your canvas. Go where ever it takes you.
This wouldn't be a blog by me if I didn't have a book recommendation to go with it. If you want to learn more techniques for probing your self and making journaling easier read: The New Diary by Tristine Rainer.
Pictured are all the journals I've been through since 2017 when I started Pillar Coaching Services. Contained within the 700 plus pages of front and back writing is every check in I've done with clients and reflections on my life experiences and books I've read.
Pour some coffee and crack a journal. You won't be disappointed.