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Tracking Helpful Actions: It Works!

Last month I decided to walk at least 48 miles for exercise. I needed a boost, and setting a goal and tracking progress seemed a good remedy. I came up with 7 steps to make it happen.

08-02 Mystery Pinks
Photo © Jeanne Farrington

Walking. As soon as I set the goal, I wanted to beat it. And I did—by over 15 miles. In fact, I walked the most of any month since I started tracking over a year ago.

The goal was Specific | Realistic | Flexible | Fun. That helped.

Exercise. I also added time to my goal for weight-bearing workouts. I was not as confident that I’d meet those goals, but I ended up exercising more time than I planned, which makes me smile.

Once again: Specific | Realistic | Flexible | Fun.

Cleaning Up. Toward the end of July I noticed that I wasn’t getting to my “simplifying” goal. This is the one about going through everything and removing clutter.

Try It Out. One night I set the timer on my phone and sorted a few things. When I was done, I saw that only 4 minutes had gone by. In just that tiny amount of time, I made a little progress. So every day since then I’ve done the same thing, and spent 15 to 30 minutes straightening and clearing out drawers, sorting old receipts, and filling a donation box.

Set a Goal and Go for It. I’m tracking decluttering times on my calendar, the one I keep handy to record miles walked and minutes working out. After seeing how it went for a few days in July, I set a time goal for August. I’m happy to be seeing progress.

To get started: Try It Out, Even a Little| See How That Works
Figure Out How to be Specific | Then Set Goals

If you want to try this for any of your activity goals (things you want to do on a regular, on-going basis), you can track by any unit of measurement that works for you. Here are some examples:

  • Walk XX miles a week, XX miles a month
  • Sleep an average of X hours or more a night
  • Work out at the gym XX minutes a week
  • Eat XXXX calories a day
  • Rest (for example, take naps, read on the couch) X to XX times a month
  • Work on simplifying XX minutes (or hours) a week

It takes just a few minutes to track things, and it feels good to meet goals if you choose them carefully. It’s all about healthy living, which we can add to or subtract from on any given day.


Post: 7 Steps to More of a Good Thing

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