When it comes to living a balanced life, there are so many factors that we must consider as we cannot rely simply on just one area of change that will help us fill our cup and make us feel whole. As complex beings, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the conflicting information out there - especially when it all makes sense!
The truth is… you don’t have to do any one thing perfectly! In order to feel a sense of achievement, and balance, the best thing you can do is to track your journey (from where you are now, to where you want to be). Simply tracking our habits allows you to:
1. Be consistently reminded of your progress and identify potential obstacles.
2. See visual cues that remind you to make improvements to your behaviours.
3. Remain motivated to be the best version of yourself.
So what should we track? We’ve made it easy for you and have narrowed down the 7 major habits that will benefit you the most to track daily.
Smart Watches and Pedometers are an incredible investment as they do all the tracking for you without you having to do it yourself. At the end of each day, you can simply jot down how much exercise you did that day and set a goal to improve on it the next day. Don’t forget to track your coffee intake.
Remember: Our ancestors walked everywhere! Despite our physiology being very much the same as it was tens of thousands of years ago, our modern day lifestyle is super sedentary in comparison. So, it’s no wonder that exercising provides us with a rush of endorphins, triggering positive feelings, reducing our perception of pain and relaxing our brain. #lifeisgood!
Surely, this one comes as no surprise! We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to weight loss: 80% food, 20% exercise! What we consume on a daily basis becomes fuel for our body and mind, though sometimes our stress levels, sleep patterns and other lifestyle factors can disrupt our hormones and make us reach for food and drinks that sabotage our wellness journey.
By tracking your food and drink consumption daily as well as other lifestyle factors, you may begin to see these patterns for yourself and make better choices instead of being at the mercy of your hormones. This will strengthen your willpower and make you feel more in control of your behaviors. We love myfitnesspal app for tracking food. Tracking for 5 serves of veggies and 3 serves of fruit each day is a great way to start. Remember: Women should consume at least 2 ltrs of water on an ordinary day, whilst men should consume at least 2.6 ltrs of water on an ordinary day. Contrary to belief, coffee, tea & juices do not count towards water intake, infact, they cause fluid loss.
Research shows that adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night on average. Adequate sleep improves our memory, learning capabilities, and overall health. Whilst the duration of sleep has been the usual focus, the quality of sleep is equally important. How we sleep can often determine how well-prepared we are to attack the day ahead. Fortunately there are many trackers out there to help us get a grasp on our sleep experience such as wearables, bedside devices and bed sensors. The greatest sleep tracker out there is YOU! Simply recording on a scale of 1-10 each morning, how well you slept will prompt you to make better behavior decisions when it comes to bedtime. You might like to try meditation, putting your phone and screens away at least 2 hours before bed or writing in your journal (our personal favourite).
Remember: On average, we spend ⅓ of our life sleeping… So make your zzz’s great!
There are a number of ways that you can track stress, from measuring your blood pressure on the physical level, to measuring how you feel at an intuitive level. At MIND • BODY • VIBE, we believe that keeping a journal where you can reflect on what happened throughout your day and how you responded. This might include encounters, thoughts, feelings or anything else. Stress, also known as anxiety, often rears it’s ugly head when we are not fully present in the moment, and reflecting on these moments is an important step to understanding how we are truly feeling about things. Some handy tips for effective stress tracking might include:
- Record on a scale of 1-10 each day how much stress or anxiety you felt that day - Journal a short entry on your stress responses at the same time each day
- Be consistent. We sometimes only journal on days when we are struggling, but doing it consistently every day helps us see ourselves much more clearly
- Honesty is the best policy. Be completely honest with the thoughts and feelings that caused you stress or anxiety, and without judgement.
Remember: Stress is our body’s natural response to what we are perceiving in our environment (internal or external), it’s designed to save your life. Through evolution, stress has protected us from dangers. We learn and store information on things that have hurt us, so that we know not to make the same mistake again in the future. Essentially, there is a lesson to be learnt from every stressful situation so why not take note of these lessons?
How could we forget this all important part of life?! Who has ever heard of a little thing called budgeting! Contrary to popular belief, this is not a once a year exercise. In order to truly stay on top of your finances, it is important to revisit your budget at least every month. Simply recording your total income and your total expenses at the beginning of every month (or week) will allow you to clearly see how much money you save, spend or owe. Knowing exactly where all of these dollars are going gives you a great sense of control and may even prompt you to make better lifestyle choices.
Remember: You should never spend more than you have, and you should definitely save for emergencies. You never know when these tips could save you from a hairy situation.
Knowing what you want to achieve in life is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. And identifying SMART manageable steps to get what you want is the key to making a plan that will help you reach your goals. Sometimes we’re so busy meeting the demands and responsibilities of modern life that we may fail to actively track our progress on our journey to the ultimate goal. By identifying just one small step that we can take each day or week and tracking our steps, we ARE making progress. Be it making time for reading books, doing a little study, connecting with mentors or seeing a coach.
Remember: Reading 20 pages per day is 30 books per year. Saving $10 per day is $3650 per year. Running 1 kilometre each day is 365 kilometers per day, if you can aim for just 1% improvement each day, by the end of the year, you will be 37 times better off than where you are now.
Gratitude is a powerful positive force. Sometimes touted as a frivolous or hippy-dippy practise, it has been scientifically proven to improve physical and emotional health and wellness. Practising gratitude inspires motivation, belonging, patience, mindfulness, engagement and openness to name just a few.
The simple act of acknowledging the things in your life that you are happy for uplifts the mind and body and is actually quite infectious to people you may come in contact with. Recording your gratitude is particularly powerful as you are giving yourself an opportunity to pause, reflect and focus on elements that bring you joy, even when you may be unhappy. This simple act instantly changes your mindset to an empowering and positive state as you replace the idea that something is lacking with a sense of happiness and satisfaction. We recommend starting your day with gratitude, and for bonus rewards, it’s also the best way to end your day. When practised consistently, you will certainly feel it is a surefire way to change for the better.
Remember: When you share what you’re grateful for in a social, family or team environment, it holds even more power. Set the intention in your journal to thank a family member, friend or co-worker… it takes absolutely nothing from you, benefits you immensely and may mean the world to that person.
Ready to get started with tracking?