Let’s face it: some people LOVE creating spreadsheets tracking every moment of their days while some people can’t be bothered to create a simple to-do list.
Even if you are one of those “can’t be bothered to create a to-do list” people, I think there are three things you absolutely must track in your life.
These three things give you a clear snapshot of your life and allow you to make intelligent decisions.
1. The daily X
Jerry Seinfeld said that the key to his success was to write one joke a day, even when he didn’t feel like it. How did he get himself to do it? He simply bought a monthly calendar and used a marker to put a big X on the day when he wrote his one joke. Once he did that, the challenge became “not breaking the chain of X’s.”
Don’t break the chain!
Hopefully you are trying to create one new positive habit in your life. Maybe it’s going for a morning run, cooking at least one healthy meal or day, or writing for 20 minutes. Whatever it is, buy yourself a monthly calendar and mark a big X each time you actually do it.
This helps keep you motivated and lets you know at the end of the month exactly how consistent you were.
2. What you spend money on
Where does your money go? Most people only have a vague idea, and that’s a problem. Your finances are too important to just have a “general idea” about.
You may not want to track every penny that cycles through your life, but at the very least, you should track the general categories of where you spend your money, such as food, rent and fun.
By tracking even these general things, if you need to economize, you can get a “snapshot” view of where your money goes and make intelligent decisions off that.
3. What foods you eat
Let’s face it: you are what you eat. So it’s a good idea to have a general idea of what you’re putting in your body.
Some people go hardcore with this and count calories. You don’t have to do this; however, just writing down at the end of the day “I had eggs for breakfast” gives you enough information to reference so that, down the line, when you’re focusing on your health, you have real data to work from.
It also helps with feeling guilty when you eat “food you shouldn’t eat.” You can look at your food journal and say “OK, it’s clear that the extra slice of cake isn’t going to actually mean anything in the long term. I’ll just have fruit for dessert tomorrow.”
So start tracking these three things today:
- The Daily X
- What you spend money on
- The food you eat
I guarantee tracking just these three small things will make you a more empowered and HAPPIER person!