One of my big goals for this year is to lose some weight, and finally a couple months ago I got serious about it. I had made a few feeble attempts (in January, and again once spring started), but nothing really stuck. This time around I made one major change, and I’m glad to say I’ve got this ball rolling now. I started using a fitness planner. It has been one of my greatest tools so far.
What is a fitness planner?
It’s basically a planner where you record your meals and exercise every day. You can use a regular every day planner if you like, or there are some made specifically for this reason.
Since I’m such a huge fan of the Happy Planner, I used some spare covers and discs, and got the Happy Planner fitness extension pack. It’s four undated months, and comes with stickers so you can date the weekly and monthly views.
I was a little wary of it at first. I thought it would be a huge hassle to write down every single thing I ate, every workout, every day. However, I’m such a planner addict that it’s actually fun. In fact, I love my fitness planner so much that I want to share with you the top 3 reasons why you should be using one, too.
The Top 3 Reasons You Should be Using a Fitness Planner
1. It makes you accountable to yourself. Even if you have a workout buddy who helps keep you on track, a fitness planner gives you personal accountability. I’m much more likely to stick to my diet when I write down everything I eat. I’m also exercising more often because I want to fill in all the spaces in the planner.
2. It helps you create healthy habits. On the left hand side of the weekly view there is a space to write your goals for the week. I always write down how much water I want to drink every day, my daily step goal, and how many workouts I want do accomplish each week. Since I’ve started doing this I actually reach my weekly goals more often than not. Now it’s pretty much a habit for me to drink so much water and to get a walk after the kids’ morning snack.
3. It’s a journal of your progress and success. I use the monthly view to write down one reflection every day, and I also record my weight there. When I flip back through the past two months I can see my struggle in the beginning, how frustrated I was. As the days progress the reflections are getting more positive, and the weight is dropping. When I reach my weight-loss goal, I will have this planner as a memory of my journey. I’ll be able to remember how hard I’ve been working.
How I Use My Fitness Planner
Now that you know how I use the monthly view, I’ll show you how I use the weekly view. I add a little glitter washi to the top, and then I add the date stickers on top of that. I love that the date stickers are clear. I also add a thin strip of washi across the exercise row to give myself another small row on the bottom. I record my weight there, and how much it varies from the day before. That just gives me an excuse to celebrate every ounce lost!
There is a space to record calories every day, but I’m not counting my calories. Instead, I record my daily steps there.
At the very bottom of the page is a space to keep track of your water. Since I drink more than 8 glasses every day, I just added a few extra circles to color in.
What should you include in your fitness planner?
Anything and everything health-related! But just in case you’re stumped, here are a few ideas:
- Meals. Everything you eat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts. I even count coffee.
- Water. How much water do you want to drink every day? Your fitness planner is a great place to keep track of that.
- Workouts. I love recording my workouts.
- Daily steps. Do you use a Fitbit or another step counter?
- 30-day challenges. There are so many of these online. You can either print them out and add them in your planner, or you can write them in your weekly or monthly views.
- Reflections. Write down a thought about your fitness journey.
- Weight. Record your weight however often you’d like. I do every day, but I know some people prefer weekly weigh-ins.
- Supplements. If you’re taking vitamins or any other supplements, make a note of it when you record your meals. This way you know for sure you didn’t skip any doses. You can use an abbreviation or a symbol to make recording it even easier.
- Calories or points. Are you on a diet that counts calories or points? You’ll want to keep track of those.
- Periods. Yuck. But at least you’ll be able to see how long you have between cycles, and if your eating habits or weight change any around that week.
- Measurement chart. Just like recording your weight, when you record your measurements you can see those inches dwindle away.
- Monthly progress selfies. Snap a photo every month and you can see the difference you’re making.
- Fitness Success Plan! No fitness planner is complete without this awesome workbook I created. You can grab your free copy here!
Using a fitness planner has totally changed the way I’m getting healthy. I am more motivated now than I ever was. I don’t have nearly as many cheat days, and I’m getting in more workouts than ever. I hope this leaves you inspired to keep track of your own fitness!