When was the last time you sat down and really thought about how you’re feeling when it comes to your health and wellness – the actions you’re taking, where you’re headed and what your big (and small!) goals are? Your San Jose personal trainers have a tip for you today that they personally find to be helpful! It’s called reflective journaling.

Journaling for Weight Loss & Fitness

Reflective journaling is an idea borrowed from the field of education. It’s like a food/workout log – except you record your ideas, thoughts, feelings, wins, and challenges as you create healthy new habits and try new things.

Journaling can be especially helpful when it comes to sticking with new habits, because writing things down can give you some clues as to why some habits “stick” more easily than others. They work best when you write in them at regular intervals – daily or weekly – so you have a record to look back on to see what worked (and what needs work).

How to Get Started with Reflective Journaling

It’s easy to start journaling reflectively. There aren’t many rules about what goes into your journal, and best of all, your entries don’t have to be long. You may include:

  • Workout information – what you did and for how long.
  • Whether you feel tired/energized today (or at a certain time of day).
  • If your eating is on track (or not).
  • Any new recipes/foods you’ve tried.
  • How you feel after eating certain foods.
  • Your mood/level of enthusiasm.
  • Anything else you can think of!

Not only will your  journal be a part of your support system and hold you accountable, it’ll give you a record of what’s going well, and what needs attention.

Noticing Patterns

Over time, if you stay consistent with journaling, you will begin to notice patterns. Here are a few examples:

  • You wrote that you felt tired shortly after you had a slice of of pizza or cupcake.
  • On the day that you worked out first thing in the morning, you felt more focused.
  • You were a little dehydrated one day and as a result, you couldn’t push as hard during your training session.
  • Whenever you have a long day at work or have an argument with your spouse, you end up eating not-so-healthy takeout instead of cooking a healthy meal.
  • Those breakfast smoothies you’ve been making keep you full and energized, so you don’t feel the need to snack between meals.

When it comes to journaling, the power is in the patterns. It can shine a light on what is going wrong in your healthy lifestyle and what is going right. Once you’ve been keeping a journal for a while, it is fun to look back over progress. You get to see the new activities you’ve tried and the goals you’ve achieved.

One Rule to Hold Onto

Your San Jose personal trainers do have one suggested “rule” for your journal: Let it be a positive and empowering tool.  You can use it to coach yourself with positive reinforcement vs. nagging at yourself for missing a workout. Talk to yourself as if you were your own best friend. It goes a long way toward helping you uncover the underlying things that motivate you.

All you need to do is set aside a couple of minutes at a regular time every day to jot down your entries. The end of the day is a good time, because you’ll have perspective to “wrap up” your day. If you are writing weekly, Sunday is a good day to review your previous week and set goals for the coming week. Let us know how it goes.

Stronger for Today,

The Method3 Fitness Team

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The Method3 Fitness blog is updated weekly. All content is designed to improve the way you move, eat, and think so you can achieve your goals and live stronger for today. Check back here each week and LIKE our Fan Page, to stay up to date on the latest tips, strategies and methods to get fit, lose fat, and build confidence. Ready to get started with us? Click here to get a free week of workouts!