Journaling is a common habit among successful weight managers. It’s a habit that, to many, seems boring and/or tedious. However, this boring behavior might be the one that keeps you going long term. There are many benefits that can be found from journaling and these benefits can be applied to any pillar of health; nutrition, fitness, and self. Three benefits that I would like to highlight on right now are; honesty, accountability, and mindfulness. Journaling done well provides you with an objectively honest documented report of what happened that day.
Whether it was logging your workout, counting your calories, or writing down the pros and cons of a life decision, an honest session of journaling can open up your eyes to what is really going on. I recently had a former guest express to me how impactful logging his nutrition has been. At the end of the day when he reads over what he logged, he realizes that he actually ate more than he had realized in the moment. This honest realization offered him the opportunity to approach the next day with a new game plan.
Keeping yourself accountable on a lifestyle change can be tough. Going to the gym on a regular basis, for example, can seem like a huge hurdle to overcome. On top of that, logging down every little detail of the workout you just did sounds exhausting. Fortunately, successful journaling does not necessarily have to take the form of a detailed workout explanation. Sometimes journaling workouts can take the form of a checklist. For example, you might have 3 fitness intentions for this week; achieve 10,000 steps each day, go to the gym 2 times by myself, workout with a personal trainer 1 time. In this example, for each day the goal of walking 10,000 steps is achieved that is another thing you get to cross off your checklist. Sometimes have a “to-do” list keeps us more accountable and improves our likelihoods of adherence.
Mindfulness is simply being present in the moment. Mindfulness has a way of taking you out of the stressors of the past and/or future and allowing you to focus on what’s important now. We live in a world where it can be so easy to unplug from your own emotions. When this happens, stress can build up and you may not even know why. Something as simple as this may lead you into mindless behaviors triggered by this ignored emotion. Behaviors like; mindless eating, snapping at your spouse, hyperventilating, and any other self-sabotaging behavior you can think of. Journaling your emotions down offers you the chance to be aware of these emotions. Sometimes simply recognizing and allowing yourself to feel the emotions your body wants to feel is all it takes for you to stop feeling them. When those emotions have been felt mindfully, those mindless behaviors just may go away leaving you with more autonomy over your own body.