How to Finally Make Progress in Your Health Journey

If I could change one thing about the wellness culture, I would have us be LESS informed.  I don’t mean uneducated, I mean less inundated.  Less saturated with diet talk and body-image to-do lists.  As much as I love this platform, and the community I’ve built through social media, being over-informed in the wellness community breeds one thing: obsession.

We second guess ourselves and question whether we have it right.  When the scale doesn’t move “just so” we figure intuitive eating isn’t for us.  And yes, there are a lot of issues we could unpack here, but what I want to discuss is how we can finally trust ourselves and begin to see progress.

I want to be clear that I’m not just talking about weight loss here.  I’m talking about progress in every area of health, which may mean changes in weight, and may be changes in mindset.

So how do we move from frustrated and second guessing ourselves?  My answer is something I call “Lessons Learned”.

Lessons Learned

This is a very simple concept really, but has done wonders for me staying motivated, by helping me see progress.  The beauty of this process is that lessons learned can be applied to anything in life; not just wellness.  The gist of this tool is to journal all the lessons you learn each day, compile them at the end of the month, then the year.  Viola.  A book about all the lessons you learned this year.  They may be small, monumental, profound, life-changing.  Either way they will help you see the progress you’ve made, as well as serve as a map for your future success.

Nightly Journaling

To actually make this happen you must commit to journal your lessons each night.  If you put it off, you’ll forget many of the seemingly mundane, which I assure you, are very important.  Each night, I grab my bullet journal and write 1-3 lesson I learned that day.  An example could be: “Had a headache by noon…didn’t drink water this am only coffee: Make sure to get a bottle of water in first thing.”

Maybe I’ll learn the same lesson in a few weeks, maybe this lesson will stick.  Either way, I’ve learned something about me, and my body.  Something that will help me from now on, if only I take it to heart.

Monthly/Yearly Reflection

Once you’ve written these out you’ll want to compile them.  Go back through your lessons and make a numbered list on a fresh sheet, listing every single lesson (omit any repeat lessons, but note how many times you “learned” this).

I find that the monthly reflections are actually the most important.  While looking back each year can be helpful, life could be very different by then, so make sure to check in each month.

Pick One New Habit

Last thing: if you’ve mentioned a lesson many many times over the past several months, this is an indication you need to take action.  Let’s use the example from above.  If I keep learning the lesson that I need to drink water, that means I’m repeatedly NOT drinking water in the mornings.  This then, is my new goal.  The new habit that I will establish the coming month.

Choosing the lesson you mentioned the most, will have the most impact on your progress over the next month.  This one lesson, could be a tipping point in your journey, that one little piece that needed to be added to improve your progress dramatically.

My Lessons Are Not Yours

Ok, so ONE more thing.  In this world of saturation (I’m seriously sorry I can’t do anything about it), you have to learn to trust yourself.  Your lessons will absolutely not be the same as mine.  Our lives are so very different, and trying to copy, or hope that someone else has the answers for you, is only shortchanging yourself.  You may make limited progress by listening to others, but your potential is much greater when you listen to yourself.

Adrienne is a Certified Exercise Physiologist and holds a masters degree in Exercise Science. Her passion is to help people find a healthy balance between #IIFYM and #YOLO.

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