How to Measure Success

By Krista Large – January 8, 2022

New year, new bright and shiny goals. It’s 2022, motivation is high, gyms are packed, resolutions are set and the refrigerator is stocked with healthy food. But how long will it last?

In 2019, a popular activity tracking platform called Strava gathered data from people who used their app and saw that the volume of activity started to fall off after day 19. I hear this all the time from people who hire me as their nutritionist. They tell me they can be consistent with something for two weeks, but they always go back to their old habits.

What happens to everyone who makes them regress? Why does someone follow through with a coach and not on their own? Accountability certainly has a lot to do with it, but I can say from experience that results keep people engaged. 

What I notice most in my coaching practice is that people, on their own, don’t take the time to track their success. You will NOT see the results you want if you don’t measure your results. What is measured and monitored is more likely to move. If you don’t measure progress, how do you know if you are getting anywhere? Today, let’s rewrite that statistic and set you up for success and results this year.  

Step One:

  1. Think about your health and fitness goals for this year or month.
  2. Take a moment and write them all down.
  3. Be specific; make sure they are attainable and realistic.

Step Two: Choose two ways to monitor progress every week.

Keep your goal in mind here. How do you know if you are closer to reaching that goal? I suggest picking one from each category or two from the objective measures list.

Track Objective Measures:

  • Weight
  • Progress pictures
  • Measurements
  • Food intake
  • Water intake 
  • Body composition scans
  • Blood work
  • Blood pressure
  • Hormone levels
  • Heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Fitness tests
  • Sleep quality – Oura Ring or Woop Strap

Subjective measures

For these, you can use a scale from 1 to 10.

  • Energy levels
  • Stiffness
  • Mood 
  • Clarity of thought

Someone writing their New Year's Resolutions in their notebook.

Whichever way you decide to measure progress, be sure it is directly related to your goal or action. Make sure your method of measuring is something you can realistically commit to doing consistently. As you notice, objective measures are pretty black and white, whereas subjective measures have many gray areas.

Right now, I am training for a photo shoot in the spring of this year. Here is what I track and the cadence:

  • Pictures – front, back, side (weekly)
  • Body composition using the DEXA (monthly)

Because I have all of this data, I can see where I am improving. Without this data, I may not see the progress, get frustrated and give up. When in reality, maybe I am experiencing real progress. Perhaps it’s not visible to my eye but visible on paper. It is hard to notice changes if you look at yourself daily. Tracking data can be fun, rewarding, eye-opening and the difference between reaching your goals and not. 

Bonus Step: Set an appointment with yourself weekly to check in. Pull out your calendar, set a time and keep that appointment with yourself like you would your boss or a client. This appointment is so crucial in coaching yourself. Skip this step, and you are putting yourself at risk for not seeing the results you want. Taking progress photos can take five minutes. Trust me when I say that you will be so glad you have them at the end. When we see how far we have come, it makes the changes last longer. You also can get a boost of confidence knowing that you can stay consistent with something.

When I am working with someone, a question I like to ask is, “What is keeping you engaged?” The answer is almost always that they see results, and results keep them driven to stay on the course.

This year, commit to monitoring your progress, never miss a check-in, see the results and you won’t have to worry about staying inconsistent again.

 

About the Author

Krista Large smillng.

Krista Large is a nutritionist, habit coach and online fitness trainer. Her passion in life is teaching others to dream big and live large, which starts with health. Large is an Ole Miss Rebel and runs her own brand and business based here in Austin. You can learn more about her at livinglargewellness.com.

 
 

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