A good practise to track your progress is by keeping a journal. I am keeping one right now, of course – this daily blog post.
Yet I have never really found a good explanation how to keep a useful journal.
When I started, I sat down for an hour and wrote up everything that had happened that day. Sometimes I would even write and comment on observations throughout the day.
Those days ended with 2,000 word blurbs that were fun to write – but I would hardly ever go back and read what I wrote. I simply did not have enough time to relive the whole day.
So long texts seem ultimately counterproductive to me. I want to use my journal as a place to track progress, learn from it and improve. What then works?
After a while, I realized I can adapt a reframing exercise. A reframing exercise helps you to turn a negative view into a positive view. For example:
“I should not have X. X rarely works out.”
“I am glad that I did X today. It is not working smoothly yet, therefore, tomorrow I’ll leave myself more time, so I can do X more slowly.”
And the same works for my diary! I am always asking myself three questions:
1. What did I do well?
2. What do I want to improve?
3. How will I improve?
I like to keep myself brief – then, after one week, I can review the days and write a summary of what went well, what I can do better and how I plan on doing that.
One example of such a summary from october:
Things that went well
1. I am disciplined and improving, letting go of distractions.
2. I am not dwelling on past mistakes, but look for ways to improve instead.
3. I am making decisions and not react to other people’s decisions.
Things I want to improve – and how
1. Sleep more – by establishing good bed time rituals.
2. Avoid distractions – by setting a definite goal, visualizing it and moving towards it. Write down ideas so you don’t lose them. Look at them later.
3. Become more confident – live healthy and work on your business.
This is how you can make your journal more efficient. I call it the Improvement Triad™.
What went well?
What do I want to improve?
How will I improve?
These are the three questions that will help you summarize your days and improve on the long run.
Summary of Day 12!
Below you will find
(a) a quick description how I fared on my main goals – losing body fat, working on my blog, installing good habits;
(b) my thoughts for the day;
(c) how the rest of the program went and whether there were any irregularities or other noteworthy points.
Losing body fat
Body fat back down to 22.5%. Happy. I think part of the loss is also due to the fact that I have resumed drinking BCAAs before, during and after my workout. I don’t want to burn muscle. This site has a description of the brand I am using.
Breakfast: Eggs, Protein Shake, Coffee
Lunch: Steak and broccoli
Dinner: Mozzarella, Tomatoes
Today’s juice: Carrot-Orange.
34 good form push-ups (one more than yesterday!) + 86 in ok form (half way down)
120 squats in good form. I can do them pretty fast now.
120 sit-ups in good form.
To be honest, the calisthenics routines are becoming a bit boring… yet once I am able to do 120 complete push-ups (nose touching the ground), it will all be worth it.
Working on my blog
Continued the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. He actually set out on a self-improvement routine and kept a journal, similar to what we all to some extent do nowadays. His categories included temperance, order, silence, sincerity, etc,. up to humility, where he gives the interesting examples: “Imitate Socrates and Jesus”.
If you already want to check the book out, you can click here. (*)
(a) Emotional Health: Lots of eMails back and forth with one of my best friends from Germany… yet I do prefer the personal aspect of a phone call. Will call people tomorrow.
(b) Spiritual Health: I continued the Happiness Habit. What was I grateful for?
1. Thank God It’s Monday.
2. The strength to keep working towards my goals.
3. My daily habits.
(c) Mental Health.
10 ideas how people can benefit from commercial space travel.
1. Space vacations on Moon and Mars.
2. Zero Gravity Roller Coasters.
3. Clean up interplanetary junk.
4. Conducting scientific experiments in zero gravity.
5. Proposing marriage.
6. Using planets or moon as theater staging.
7. You really get to “switch off” with some “alone time” during space travel. Putting enough distance between you and your mother in law.
8. Watching the stars without clouds.
9. Playing golf and driving the lunar rover as a gold cart.
10.Digging for precious metals as family attraction.
Thoughts for the day
What did I do well?
I was focused at work.
What do I want to improve?
Still tired over the day.
How will I improve?
Get more sleep.
Rest of “30 Days of Discipline” went fine.
No extraordinary occurrences.
Video Summary of Day 12 😉
To check the description of the “One Year of Discipline” challenge, click here.
To see yesterday’s post, click here.
To get back to the homepage, click here.
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