the WHAT of tracking

You want to track. You intend to track. But, what do you track?

Don’t say everything. Unless you’re already tracking close to everything, everything might be too much.  Since tracking helps you focus your attention and energy on changing behavior and habits, consider what you want to change.  Then track that.

You could track…

individuals walking shoes

Your steps: If your goal is to get more steps, then tracking the number of steps you get each day is important.  If you don’t know how many you did yesterday, then how will you know you got more steps in today unless you track it. Check out how 100 more steps add up.

Cute parson russell terrier dog on lead on walk with his owner10 minutes of activity: If your goal is to move more, you could track your time in 10 minutes blocks of physical activity.  A walk around the block for your morning break could be one check-mark. Vacuuming the house could be another couple of marks. Walking the dog, yet another.  Soon you’ll want to mark off one more block then you did yesterday, or you’ll make the effort to get at least one in today. Change it up.


green and red healthy foodYour servings of fruits & veggies: If your goal is to eat 5 or more servings of fruits & vegetables each day, then give yourself a gold star for every serving.  Soon you might be planning your weekly menu around your veggies to ensure you get your gold stars. Increase your plant slant.


water with mint, cucumber, and limeYour water: If you’re trying to make water your go-to beverage choice, tracking the number of glasses or ounces you grab each day can help.  Celebrate and mark each time you choose water over soda.  Drink up.


use the remote control to change channels on TelevisionYour TV time:  Your tracking goal doesn’t just have to be about increasing the better choices. Sometimes tracking can help you decrease behaviors that you want to change.  With a goal of no more than two hours of recreational screen time each day, you could track your TV time to identify your baseline watching and then make changes from there.  Remember, I may have written TV, but this could include your computer, smartphone, and tablets too.  What’s in your day that shouldn’t be?


bigstock woman decision donut fruitYour emotions, feelings, level of satisfaction, or stress:  Tracking creates awareness about choices, situations, and behaviors.  If you track your emotions or stress level before you eat, you could identify a trend that when you feel bored, you reach for crunchy snacks.  After certain situations, you note that you’re feeling extremely stressed, and you go for chocolate.  If you track your satisfaction level during meals, you may find that you stop eating when you feel comfortable and not waiting until you feel full. Make each day delicious.

WHAT will you track this week?

100 more steps add up

In preparation for my teleclass on January 23, when I’ll be sharing some simple organizing strategies and tools for weight loss (Organize Your Health, Your Family and You), I was writing a blog post that included three challenges for the week.  One of which was to walk 100 more steps each day.

That is — today, walk 100 more steps than you did yesterday.  Tomorrow, walk 100 more than you did today.  And keep going for six weeks.

But you may think, “100 steps?  It only takes me a minute to get 100 steps.  What can 100 steps do for my weight loss?  What can a hundred steps do for my health?”  As you know, I’m a believer in small steps but I wanted to know what a hundred more steps each day would really mean.

After one week, 100 more steps each day would get you 2,800 extra steps for the week.  So?!

Well… 2,800 extra steps is approximately 980 calories burned.  That could almost cover a Burger King Tendercrisp® chicken sandwich and small fries (no drink other than water), or it could mean a loss of 0.3 pounds.

After six weeks of this ‘100 more steps’ habit, you would get an extra 90,300 steps (which, if you’re 5’6″, is approximately 39 miles).  But those extra steps also burned 31,600 calories which could lead to a 9 pound loss.

Check out what 100 more steps looks like over six weeks.

Adding 100 more steps each day builds your daily step count:
total daily steps

100 more steps burns calories:

100 more steps lead to 31,600 total calories burned

Adding 100 more steps will help you lose…

total pounds with scale

I have to add the disclaimer that the scale may not show all your hard work, but it’s not just about the scale.  After six weeks, your clothes will feel loser, you will have more energy, you will be stronger and it’s only 100 more steps.

Whether you add 100 more steps just for this week or challenge yourself to keep adding over the next six weeks, celebrate each step on your journey.  Let me know how your steps add up — post a comment here or share on Facebook.

Will you add 100 more steps today?

Check It Out

Looking for a pedometer?  Check out my favorite pedometers.

Another fun opportunity to get your steps in — walkadoo from MeYou Health– a daily step challenge.

Get Organized in 2014 with Shawndra & Amy — Organizing Your Health, Your Family, and You

If you found this post useful, supportive, interesting or fun, please share it with a friend.

walkin’ the dog

Amazon yo yo Do you ever feel like a yo-yo exerciser?  No, I’m not asking if you take your yo-yo for a walk (though walking the dog in real life is good for you both).

Are you the type that has gone from the couch to the 5k finish line and back to the couch?  Maybe more than once?  Have you gotten into an exercise routine, enjoyed it so much you even thought about becoming a certified instructor only to be distracted by life and found yourself on the couch again?

I don’t think I’m the only one that is a yo-yo exerciser, so I’m sharing my intention for this week.  I know that I need to get moving in order to be healthy, but that isn’t motivating me.  Knowing that the extra pounds I’m carrying around will come off a bit faster if I get off the couch doesn’t change my behavior.  Even using the incentive of having that treat totally guilt free if only I got my activity together isn’t working to getting me on my feet and out the door on a routine basis.

So…what am I going to do this week?  Back to taking small steps.  The only step I’m taking this week is to track my steps each day.  I have my pedometer Amazon fitbit(Fitbit) and I actually wear it every day.  It’s a normal part of my dressing.  Wake up, get dressed, clip on Fitbit, sit down and write Small Steps.  Brush teeth, change clothes, clip on Fitbit, go to work, type on my computer.  Come home, change clothes, clip on Fitbit, lay on couch (or sit at computer).  I’m wearing it.  Now I’m going to record it.

Dug is a Catahoula Leopard Dog
Dug is a Catahoula Leopard Dog

I know that I will naturally begin to add more steps just because I want to get to the next 1000 (or 100) steps.  I’ll begin to take steps just to beat yesterday’s record.  Steve and I will race to put the shopping carts away and count those steps.  I’ll take one more lap around the driveway with Dug (walkin’ the dog!).  It will become more of a game then exercise.



What small step will you take this week to get off the couch?

energy and persistence _ ben franklinCheck It Out  

 My blog on pedometers and a link to a Consumer Reports review of pedometers.

I know I share stories and pictures of my dogs more than my husband so here is a chance to see a picture of him and read his Dug story (big dog, big dreams).