Using Tracking to Create A Healthy Habit

Tracking is a process where you use a system to motivate yourself to create a healthy habit. For example, I use foil stars on a calendar to encourage getting my steps in for the day. The more stars I accumulate, the more motivated I am to exercise. 

Before I had the cooties, I was committed to 10,000 steps a day. I perceived anything under 10,000 steps as a failure. Once I began to recover, I realized that I needed to change the rigidity around my practice. I was no longer willing to beat myself up over what I hadn’t done. Instead, I decided to reward myself for my accomplishments.

As my health came back online, I realized that 10,000 steps a day was no longer a realistic goal for me. So instead, I created a tier system. 

Della’s Step Reward System

Silver Star = 7,000 

Gold Star = 8,000+ 

Super Star (Gold Star with a black dot) = 10,000+ 

Unicorn = 11,000+

If I don’t get at least 7,000 steps, there is no star on the calendar. But, as a competitive person by nature, I don’t want to see a gap on the calendar. So the holes there are because my body needed a rest day.

One night, I had slept only a few hours. I taught a yoga class the following day and had a chiropractor adjustment right after. I knew that I was unlikely to get my steps in due to a lack of sleep the night before. I napped when I got home and found myself towards the end of the day with 5,000 steps already accumulated. Knowing that I do not like gaps on my calendar, I felt motivated to get 2,000 more steps, then I did 1,000 more, and as I like being a superstar, I got 10,000 steps in by the end of the day. As I had honored my body’s need for rest, I could then honor my competitive nature by winning the day.

Here is the tracking device I use.

Tracking is not a new process for me, but I forgot what an effective tool it can be to keep me motivated. Listening to Stephen Guise, the author of Elastic Habits on The One You Feed podcast, brought this tool to my awareness. It inspired me so much that I bought his book!

What tools do you use to motivate you to practice healthy habits?

Note:  As I live in the boonies of Northern Minnesota, and it is frickin cold during the winter, I use this rebounder to get the majority of my steps on most days.

Della offers weekly yoga classes, workshops, and intuitive readings. You can find out more about her services here.