Why Measuring Your Progress Is Essential for Growth:

What gets measured gets done. You’ve heard it before. But that also means the opposite is true, what doesn’t get measured does not get done. You can take this as deep as you want and try to have very detailed goals and action plans but I know from first hand experience that too many goals leads to overwhelm and feelings of falling short. But no goals leads to vague results and confusion on what’s actually working or not working.

You can’t build Rome in a day, so start broad and then narrow it down. Cities are built over time, no city every started with a population of 100 people and they started building commercial buildings and skyscrapers and apartment complexes. They start by building enough homes, a farming land, vehicles to trade goods, and methods to keep it sanitary. As the demand grows for more houses and items, then expansion occurs and bigger plans are made. This happens over and over and over and over again.

1. CREATE YOUR VISION

The same is true for your health. You may try dreaming of losing 100 pounds or desiring to look like your friends on social media who are strong and disciplined… sharing their progress with running and weightlifting regularly. I’ll say, I’m not a fan of social media in general because comparison is inevitable, but I digress. My point is that you need to start with realistic, but BIG goals. Where would you like to be in 5 years? How does your health look different then as it does now? You can do this in bigger or smaller number, 1 year? 20 years? These are all relevant but you have to pick something.

Now… why is that the image of health that you chose? Did you hold back? Most people will hold back in their goals because they want to be “realistic” and not feel like a failure if they don’t reach a more optimistic goal.

Screw that.

1. B. SERIOUSLY… CREATE YOUR VISION

You need to be excited about who you are becoming and you need to be clear that your body and the results in your health is in your hands and you can, and will, follow through with it when you get real about who you are becoming.

So, re-envision that. Who are you becoming? What do you look like? What habits are you performing that live out that lifestyle? What are you NOT doing? Which foods are you refusing because they don’t align with your vision? What do your shirts and pants look like and how do you feel when you put them on? When you remove your clothes how AMAZING do you feel about yourself once you’ve reached these goals?!

Okay, great. Now that’s a vision of a better version of yourself. Let’s narrow it down. What are some of those habits you can start working on right now? Most likely it’s cutting out the sugar and processed foods in your diet and incorporating movement. So where does journaling and logging your workouts come in to play? Right now.

2. BEGIN LOGGING TO GAIN CLARITY

Today, right now, you can write that you did absolutely nothing in your workout log. And tomorrow, you’ll know that anything is better than nothing and you can write down that you went for a walk, lets say 400 meters. Sweet. Log it! How long did it take? Okay. Now you have a measurable. Now let’s log how much you weigh and take a picture of yourself. Post that shit up on your wall to remind yourself who you are stepping away from.

Another one could be logging your nutrition. Be real. I drank 4 cans of Pepsi, ate brownies and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then ate a frozen pizza for dinner. That documentation will now CLEARLY tell you that you can do something different tomorrow to be on a better path.

Now at this point you should have one or two goals that you’re trying to measure in order to become the best version of yourself. In CrossFit we log every single workout. We don’t necessarily repeat every single workout, and some days really we only log it because it was the way in which it was measured, we call these training days. Putting in the work. But occasionally we hit a repeat workout as a measurable to compare our progress. That may mean you jump on the scale once per week. Or you repeat your 400m walk/run once a month. Or you look at your food log and can realize that you are eating much cleaner.

3. CONVERT YOUR CONVICTION INTO MOTIVATION

This is why we log our workouts. It seems pointless at first and, really, people just feel that way because they know they’ll feel convicted because they are ashamed of who they’ve let themselves become. But listen, here is the point…

When you look back at these types of measurements in 6 months, 3 years, 10 years… you will be BLOWN away at the evidence that you’ve stacked up and the variety of workouts and understanding that you’ve grown into becoming. Your goals will change. Your “buildings” will be more developed and you will be operating on a higher level. But if you don’t measure then you are avoiding the very thing that will assist you in your progress and make your aim too broad and too vague.

4. REJOICE AND CELEBRATE, BUT KEEP GOING

Start with a vision. Create a goal. Create an action out of it using a simplified SMART goal… and begin logging. Even if it’s just once a week logging. Kind of like I’m currently doing with my finances. Once a week we are sitting down and organizing it, refining it and tracking it. Then once a month we compare to the previous month and look at our debt and have the information we need to know, “Are we making progress? And how can we improve yet again?”

Is this “easy” probably not. But here at CrossFit West Des Moines we build the log in your workout performance for you and all you have to do is log the result. Later, when the workout or assessment pops up again, you’ll be thankful that you took the 60 seconds to log and reflect on this. I promise.

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