Every month I give my clients a printable monthly calendar. A month at a glace. An opportunity to zoom in on an area of life. It's simple, direct and gives space for tracking trends.
Why would this be important? I think there's at least 3 reasons.
When behavior modification is the goal in any single aspect of life, focus is key. This small sheet of paper can provide focus, a place to write what went on over the past 30 days and chart it. It's a place to come back over the course of 30 days. Writing it down every day if you got in a workout, ate 3 servings of vegetables, did some cardio, drank a shake, went to bed by your goal of 10pm or simply met your goal water intake for the day. It's a resting place to re-focus and remember what you were targeting in the beginning.
Often what we think is going on, actually is only a feeling but not actual reality. This happens all the time. One day we feel great and have a lot of energy. Other days, not so much and are ready to throw in the towel. Pre-menopausal females are the largest group where I see fluctuations in motivation and energy levels throughout the month. This is largely dependent upon wavering hormone levels. If a female is going to quit a program and give up, I will always place my bet it's on day 17-30 of her cycle. The reason being, this is the time when energy levels plummet via hormone shifts. If there's extra life stress, decreased sleep quality, or any other aspect of life that creates tension these are the days it's hardest to cope. Knowing the data and trends help increase predictability and rationality throughout the month. I find it decreases feelings of hopelessness and self pity that lead to quitting. Instead it's empowering to know what the trend is via data and keeps our heads a bit more level. The biggest aspect of this is we know what's going on outside of how we might be feeling.
The biggest predictor of the future is our past patterns. Patterns can be extremely difficult to alter as they are deeply entrenched paths we've walked over...and over. There's a part of ourselves we don't know. Maybe others see it and maybe they don't. Revealing the hidden parts of our lives is the only way we can change them. Tracking trends can reveal some of those hidden behaviors and shed light to the well worn paths we've been walking yet not actually getting to our destination. Changing the path can be difficult, but we only know to change the path when we see the one we've been walking.
I fully understand certain personality types enjoy charting, tracking and analyzing while others could care less. This is by no means the end all be all and doesn't even have to be something you do all the time. However, if there's an area you are looking to improve, change or delete this can be a useful tool.
Habits change our life. Habits shape our life. This is simply a tool to look at those habits and alter them if you wish.