Everyone dreams of living their healthiest life and looking their best. In fact, the two most common New Year’s resolutions are to eat healthier and exercise more. Sadly, only 8% actually achieve those resolutions.

One thing that separates achievers from the rest is tracking. Simply put, winners are trackers because they’re committed to measuring progress.

Coming up with health goals is easy. But staying on track and sticking with it until you’ve achieved those goals is the challenge.

Why You Should Track Your Health Goals

Tracking keeps you accountable. You might have a personal trainer or an exercise buddy you’re accountable to but you still need to be accountable to yourself because your accountability buddy might not know that you’ve increased your sugar intake, but you know.

The purpose of tracking isn’t to make you feel guilty. Tracking provides important feedback on your progress. This enables you to celebrate small wins and identify what isn’t working. Tracking makes it real.

Track What You Eat

The easiest way to stay on top of your healthy eating goals is to keep a food diary. Keep your food diary with you at all times and record everything you eat and drink throughout the day. Few things motivate you more than reviewing your food log and seeing all of the junk food you actually ate that day.

You might be tempted to leave your food diary at home and list everything you ate at the end of the day. But that’s not a good idea because it’s easy to forget the little things you ate, like the late-afternoon snack before dinner.

Some people prefer to keep a physical journal but there are plenty of apps from which to choose for those who prefer an electronic alternative. MyFitnessPal and Lose It! are two of the most popular tracking apps.

Track Your Exercise

There’s always the temptation to exercise a little bit less or skip an entire workout. Without a gentle nudge, your efforts decline slowly until you eventually give up on your fitness goals.

Most people use a combination of electronic devices and apps to track their workouts. There’s something motivating about having a tracker that tells you how many miles you’ve walked or calories burned that day. Combine it with a social app that allows you to share your stats and accomplishments, and cheer others on, and you have all the motivation you need!

Tracking might sound like more work but it’s the difference between staying on track and falling off the wagon. At the end of the day, if you want to achieve your health goals you have to be willing to go the extra mile and take advantage of all the tools that give you an edge by allowing you to measure the energy and effort you’re putting into making your dreams come true.

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