Journals are all the rage right now and with good reason. Not only are they a great way to stay organized and track a journey, but they are also an excellent way to have fun and be creative.
A weight loss journal can be as general or as specific as your heart desires. It can hold your most aggressive goals as well as your deepest, darkest secrets.
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If you have weight to lose or just want to make a transition in your life, grab a journal and let’s get started.
Journals can be found online, in book stores and or in the dollar store. They can be extravagant and high-end planners or a ringed tablet with plain or lined paper.
I prefer customizable disc planners. You buy the cover that you like and whatever inserts that suit your needs.
Inserts can range from address pages to dotted paper, to dividers and pockets. Disc planners are universal and offer tons of flexibility.
Okay, now that you have picked out your journal, what should you do with it. Well, it is the perfect tool for tracking your weight loss journey and documenting your transformation.
Let’s get started with simple things you can include in a weight loss journal.
The first thing that comes to the mind for most people is how much do I weigh and what would I like to weigh? You can record your starting weight.
Height and measurements are also often tracked as part of a weight-loss journey. Blood pressure and cholesterol may also be items you would want to track, especially if they are above the healthy range.
Track these numbers each month and watch as they change over the months.
2. Food and Water Tracking
Food and water tracking is often high on the list of things to track when you start to follow a weight loss plan. There are simple journals that focus solely on food and water intake.
There are also many online apps that make the tracking of food and water very easy. And since we are never without our phones, you would always have your food tracker with you.
However, there are simple journal pages that can be added to any planner where daily food and water intake can be recorded. If you are an emotional eater, you may want to include where you were and what you were feeling at the time you ate.
This information can help you identify triggers and patterns associated with your eating.
3. Monthly Goals
My personal feeling is that goals should be broken down into smaller time periods for weight loss and health. If you use a year as your time period, it becomes easy to delay taking action because you have a lot of time before your deadline approaches.
Pick some things you want to accomplish in 30 days and get started. What are you waiting for?
4. Action Items
Now that you have identified some goals, you are going to need some action items. What are you going to have to do to be successful at meeting your monthly goals?
Maybe you are starting a weight loss plan and you want to lose 10 pounds in the first month. You might include things like:
1) walk 30 minutes a day 4 – 5 times each week
2) replace one bread serving each day with a vegetable
3) spend 15 minutes a day journaling about what is working and what is not working
Your action items are your plan for what you will have to do to be successful. It is that simple. To get a certain result, what steps are necessary?
5. Weekly Focus List
You may also want to refer to this as a weekly task list. This also goes back to the actions you are going to need to complete this week to reach your monthly goal.
So, if you go back to the last step you would need to schedule time to walk 30 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. For the second item, you made need to buy more vegetables at the grocery store and one less loaf of bread or dinner rolls.
The journaling can be about your day or maybe you will choose to answer particular questions that can help you deal with challenges in your life. You would need to schedule a time to do this as well.
6. Mood Tracking
There are whole books written on mood tracking. They can be creative, full of color and fun. Most importantly they can help you track your emotions and spot trends in your eating.
One of my favorite ways to look at emotions and feelings is to use a descriptive word. How do you feel in the morning when you wake up?
How about other times of the day. Being as descriptive as possible will provide the most value. By the way, “fine” is not a good descriptor of feelings.
7. Fitness Tracking
This one is pretty much what is says. You can record your activity (walking – 30 minutes, strength training – 45 minutes, etc.) or you can plan your fitness out ahead of time and check it off as you complete it. There are no real rules here. It is just a way for you to ensure you get off the couch and move.
8. Daily Motivational Quote/Affirmation
This is a spot where you would write something that is going to motivate you to make progress towards your goals. Write what you feel or choose from one of the many thousands of quotes that have been used by others.
9. Self-Care/Reward Ideas
This item is about what you will treat yourself to or how you will pamper yourself each week or month for a job well done. This is another incentive to do what it takes to achieve your weight loss/health goals.
10. Progress Scoring
How did you do overall with getting through your task list? My suggestion would be to do this weekly just so you can stay on top of things.
Remember that no one is perfect, but this a good way to take note of when you are doing well. It will also let you know when there is room for improvement.
Weight Loss Journals and Trackers
A weight loss journal is a great way to make a plan for making healthy changes in your life. It can help you track progress, make a plan and follow a journey over a period of time.
Weight loss trackers – Weight loss tracking printables are a fun way to track the pounds one at a time as they come off.
They can be anything from a series of boxes that you color in or jars you fill with dots or stickers to represent each pound that is lost. This bullet journal weight loss tracker is a good example of a weight loss tracking for recording pounds as they are lost.
Weight loss quote bullet journal – Keeping a motivating quote or positive affirmation handy can be just what is needed to get you through a tough spot in your journey. Create the perfect motivational statement for hitting your targets.
Mood tracker bullet journal ideas – mood trackers are really cool visual ways of recording the way you feel. Some have numbers for each day of the month or objects that can be colored in with the color that corresponds to the feeling.
Fitness trackers – want to get fit? A fitness tracker is your tool. Figure out what your plan is for exercise and activity and get it down in a journal or create a chart. Don’t have time to create one, try one of the many free printables that are available for tracking weekly workout.
Food and water trackers – Most people on a weight loss plan use a food and water tracker. They are perfect for giving you a record of what you put in your mouth. If you love the detail of tracking everything, a food and water tracker can be the way to go for your weight loss journey.
Body measurement trackers – You may choose to lose weight without closely tracking pounds. In this case, a body measurement tracker will come in handy for monitoring your progress.
Instead of pounds lost, you will be watching inches lost. If you are into the full package, you may choose to take beginning measurements as well as a starting weight.
Goal setting ideas for your health – If you are going to make changes in this area of your life, making a plan is always a good way to get started.
Goals can be really simple. What do you want to get done in the next 30 days? But it might be better to start at looking where you want to be in the next year, 3 years and 5 years and work backwards. I would recommend looking long-term every 6 to 12 months because these goal items often change.
Final Thoughts on Journaling for Weight Loss
To me, journaling and tracking are an essential part of a weight loss plan. Experts say that people that write down their goals are more likely to achieve their goals than those that do not have their goals recorded.
Bullet journals and art journals are one way of creating a tracking system. You could also opt for a printable that is specific to what you want to record..fitness, weight loss, life goals, etc.
A vision type board would also work. Get a simple bulletin board and pin pictures and charts. Don’t have time to get that creative? Stick post-it notes on the board. All of these things can be done digitally as well.
The journaling world is unlimited and is as close as your fingertips! What are you waiting for?