Looking Back Helps Us to Prepare for the Ahead

It’s audit time!  Don’t panic. You still have some time to do your taxes. I’m talking about it being a good time to audit our old food trackers. I hang on to each and every one of them. The producers of “Hoarders” may be knocking on my door for this habit alone.

Here’s why I don’t throw my old journals away: I know that my great intentions and good habits can slowly slip whenever I get too comfortable in my routine.  It’s good and bad: for one, it means I believe I’m doing well on program with little effort and with very little thought, but on the other hand, when I get too comfortable, little things have a tendency to fall by the way-side . That’s why  I take regular opportunities to “audit” myself by pointing my eyes on past weekly trackers. This way, I can see in black and white what I’m doing well and where I can use some improvement.

Here are some things I make note of when I’m reviewing them:

  • First, have I been tracking daily?
  • Am I thinking ahead, and mapping out my expectations for the week?
  • Am I tracking my hunger signals?  (This one’s so easy to forget, yet such a useful tool!)
  • How am I doing with my Good Health Guidelines?
  • Am I keeping track of my earned activity PointsPlus values?
  • Power Foods? Am I enjoying enough of them everyday to keep me satisfied?
  • Do I record my thoughts and feelings for the day?

There are so many reasons why I take the time to write out my food and exercise for the day and taking a look back helps me to stay on track (or get back on track if it’s been one of those weeks or little things that I should be doing are being pushed-aside.)

Here’s a prime example: When I looked back on my tracker from last week, asking myself the above questions, I found out that I needed to be better about recording my thoughts. I know there was a day last week when I thought “I really should make sure to eat low-fat yogurt at breakfast.”  Yogurt keeps me satisfied longer throughout the morning, without being too heavy. I should have written that down as a reminder if I get away from including yogurt as part of my breakfast. I also learned from looking back at a tracker that I had on hand from 3 weeks ago that I didn’t plan for flexibility 7 days ahead of time, knowing full well that I had a weekend coming up packed with social events. If I had done that, I could have saved my weekly PointsPlus allowance and earned more Activity Points so I could have managed the weekend more successfully.

Hey, none of us are perfect. Not you, not me and not that member sitting across from you at your meeting. That’s why it’s so important to look back at our progress, take inventory, and make tweaks to our plan.  Life’s full of trial and error, learning from them is the key and looking back on our old trackers and journals will keep our eyes wide-open.