You then reach for the bigger wine glass.
I think many of us have experienced some kind of money stress at some stage of our lives. Money management is one of the most common types of stress in our life, yet it can so easily be fixed.
If you were to go to a financial advisor with your budget issues, more than likely, his first question may be “what are your expenses and what are you spending your money on?” After a dumbfounded pause by you, he may add. “Ok, first thing we need to do is track your expenses. We need to know where the money is going.”
Whether it’s finances, nutrition, fitness or even your social life, there is a fail proof strategy to help you right away improve your life.
This strategy is called tracking. That’s right folks, good ‘ol pen to paper note taking. For the millennials out there, I’m sure there’s an app you can use. Actually, Google docs is fantastic, and easy enough that even non-millennials can find it useful.
The goal is to keep a tally of the activity you’re looking to improve.
Let’s say you are looking to eat less sweets. You would mark down with an “X” every day you don’t eat any sweets. Alternatively, you can also mark down at the end of every meal. The more you write down, the easier it is to keep that activity going.
So, many people discount the simplicity of tracking, but when it comes to your health, it is by far the very best way to get in shape and eat healthier. It’s the first thing I tell people that are looking to improve their nutrition; “write down everything you eat and drink for at least three days”.
It’s the best way to find the current pattern and change it if necessary.
Here are 3 other reasons “tracking” can change your life:
1.) Every time you complete a task, whether it’s writing down every meal or marking an “X” on the calendar for everyday you didn’t eat sugar, you experience a small hit of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers (and it’s sugar free). Every small victory leads to a squirt of dopamine in the brain. The more hits you have of that, the more likely that Mo will show up in your life.
2.) Mo is the catalyst for change. Some people call it Momentum. If you have enough momentum in your activity, you’re going to finish it with less stress. It’s a lot easier to do 5 minutes of cleaning the dishes after cooking, then to do it after you’ve sat down and had the meal right? Once you’ve sat down, you’ve lost momentum and you’re in the enjoyment period.
3.) It’s easy to start and doesn’t require much. Even a caveman can do it.
Every time we’ve done a nutrition challenge at the studio, the people who tracked everything they ate for the extent of the challenge were the ones who lost weight and were able to introduce positive habits in their life.
Now it’s your turn. What is something in your life that needs immediate attention? Is it your eating habits? Your workout habits? The amount of time you spend with family? Time you spend meditating? Watching TV? Spending habits?
Whatever it is, write it down and keep track of it for 1 week. If you don’t notice any changes...then come yell at me.
Pick an activity----> Develop a daily habit-----> Reap the small victories-----> Absorb that dopamine----> Attract Mo into your life----> Create lasting change.
One last thing. You don’t have to track forever. Once you’ve introduced big Mo into your life and noticed that the habit has been anchored down, then you’re good to go. Every so often if you feel that you’ve fallen off the wagon, simply start tracking for a few days to get you back on the right path.
There’s nothing to it but to do it. Make it happen!
Committed to your health,