Posted by: Cathy | January 10, 2015

Review Lessons from your Goals

a.k.a. How I Met My Goal Weight in 2013

I don’t usually post on the weekends, but I had an insight tonight and I want to share it.

I’ve talked before about debriefing after a goal is met or not to see what you can learn about the process. This evening, I was wondering how I met my goal weight in 2013 (-18.8 pounds) and didn’t lose any weight in 2014 (I actually gained 10 pounds last year). I wondered if astrology had something to do with it; maybe my planets were in a motivational pattern in 2013, etc.

[Photo: me 3.5 pounds from my goal weight in Sept 2013]
Coach Blog 011015 So I looked at the spreadsheet I used to track my weight in 2013 and compared it with the astrological charts. Nothing about my planetary positions was jumping out at me. Then I scrolled back up and noticed that, between Jan and Jul of 2013, I had tracked my weight on a daily basis. The only gaps were when I went out of town on vacation, etc. In May that year, I hit my target weight, and I think I got complacent and lazy tracking after July … Aug and Sept were very intermittent and I have no data for Oct to Dec.

In 2014, I switched to weighing once per week for Jan and Feb, and then stopped altogether in March until I set a new fitness goal that July and started weekly tracking again through the rest of the year. Between Sep 2013 and Jan 2014, when I wasn’t tracking my weight, I gained 8 pounds. When I was weekly tracking Jan-Mar, I gained 6 pounds. Then again between March and July when I wasn’t tracking, I gained 12 pounds. Between Jul and Dec when I was weighing weekly, I lost 7.8 pounds, which is something but not compared to the 18.8 pounds I lost tracking weight daily between Jan-Jun 2013.

So I guess I need to take the 20 seconds every morning to step on my scale and do a daily weigh-in. That’s the most obvious answer for why I was successful in 2013 and not 2014.

*~*~*~*~*

I’m sharing all of this to give you a real-life example of how debriefing taught me something. I happened to have this data on my weight change to compare. If I hadn’t been curious and thought to look back over it, I wouldn’t have noticed the correlation between daily weight tracking and weight loss.

I’m not necessarily advocating tracking everything if that’s not fun for you; I happen to be an organizing nerd and it helps keep me motivated to track things like my weight for fitness goals and my word count for writing goals. Maybe it’s more natural for you to make a weekly journal entry to record what worked and what didn’t. Maybe you would rather keep a food log or track your measurements than weigh yourself daily, etc. Find what works for you, but keep track of what you’re doing and how it’s working so you can replicate success in the future and avoid pitfalls.

Now I can try daily weight tracking again to see if that helps my fitness goal for this year. Maybe it will. Maybe it was something astrological that I didn’t see when I looked at the charts! But at least I have something to try, and I’ll evaluate in a few months to see how it’s working.

If you have any tips on tracking your progress on any goal, I’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts in the comments.

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