One of the problems a lot of people run into along their wellness journey regards measuring progress. First you need an effective system to create results but you also need a system to measure results. Sometimes individuals might be following the right principles and creating results but lack the method in which to accurately measure progress. In the same manner, they might place too much importance on certain progress indicators without understanding the overall importance of multiple progress points. This leads to to a decrease in motivation, consistency, and ultimately sustainable results. If we have high demand lifestyles we don't have time and energy to waste on spinning our wheels. We need effective and efficient systems to get us to our goal and give us the capacity to better execute our life mission (the things you are very passionate about). During this blog, I want to share with you my progress point system that will allow you to accurately track progress which allows you to see results effectively and efficiently.
Is the scale the only form of progress that matters? The short answer is no because it's just one data point. The day-to-day progress can be deceiving on the scale due to natural weight flucuations. Also, the scale doesn't account for habit creation and behavior modification. The first couple weeks of a transformation journey can be deceiving because during that period you are dialing in fitness aspects and creating the tools in which provide results. The scale can't measure those vital steps. I also don't agree with people that say the scale has no relevance. I believe the scale has importance over time. It's the trend line over a period of weeks and months that show if your calorie range is supporting your transformation goal.
If we put all of our hope and validation into the scale it will create inconsistency with our journey. You might be doing the right things but because of natural physiological factors the scale will inevitably bump up and down with no direct correlation to your habit success. In order to combat this, I recommend that you utilize multiple progress points because they give a more comprehensive and accurate viewpoint into your results over the long-term. Let's dive into the system starting with the scale!
Like previously mentioned, the scale provides some value along your wellness journey. First, it can be used as a tool to adjust calorie and macronutrient prescription over the long term. Assuming consistency isn't a problem, the scale does a great job of depicting energy balance over the week and month trend line. The problem arises when we don't have a system to track this metric accurately. Enter HappyScale. HappyScale is a smartphone app that does a great job of measuring trend-lines, averages, and predictions over the long-term. My recommendation is to utilize HappyScale when it comes to measuring weight. Weigh yourself 2-3 times per week in the mornings at the same time with limited clothing on. Over several weeks HappyScale will begin forming data trend-lines and averages that can be extremely useful for adjustments and motivation along your wellness journey.
This progress point is one of my favorites because it tells the whole story. Before beginning your wellness journey, take three pictures. One from the front, one from the side, and one from the back. Creating this initial baseline allows you to see the physical changes over time. Usually we don't adapt our eye to see these changes because we look at ourselves everyday. During this process we lose sight of the little changes that happen over time. Taking progress photos ever 12-16 weeks shows us the heart of our lifestyle transformation (assuming fat loss, recomposition, and/or lean muscle gain is your goal).
In the summer manner, measurements give us the direct response of our effort. I recommend measuring waist, hip, thigh, and arm measurements as a baseline before starting your wellness journey. After you create your foundation with these measurements you can begin to add measurements more specifically to your goals.
If you are progressing within your workouts regardless of your goal, you have an important factor dialed in. If you are getting stronger or progressing in a way that supports your goal, you are setting yourself up for success because you are either building or maintaining lean muscle mass. This is a component a lot of people miss because they are so consumed with the scale. If you want to feel, look, or move better in any capacity than lean muscle mass is your friend. Performance in the gym is a direct indicator of muscle stimulation.
Biofeedback is essentially our body's way of communicating from a physiological standpoint. How do you feel? Do you feel better? Do you move better? How is your energy? How is your self-confidence? How is your sleep? How are your stress levels? How is your mood? These are all important questions to ask yourself during this process. Spark with Stark members have access to the progress point system in which we create measurable surveys to evaluate biofeedback along your wellness journey. Improvements in biofeedback measurements are usually the precursor to improvements in physical adaptation.
Here is the big one that I want to highlight because it creates the much needed individual lens for your goal. For one individual, improvements in consistency might mean having 5 cookies instead of 10. For another individual, improvements in consistency might mean not feeling guilty after a bowl of ice cream. This has to be individualized to your lifestyle. You can't expect to see personal results when you aren't customizing them to your personal environment. Another way I like to depict this progress is through the book analogy. You can't expect to write your own book when you are constantly comparing your chapter one to someone else's chapter 15. It's the beginning chapters that set you up for the action that is usually found later on in the book. Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and you will start finding ways to become more consistent with your nutrition and exercise protocols.
Those are the big areas that I would encourage you to focus on before starting your journey. That's exactly what your wellness goal is... a journey but I promise you it is worth it. The journey (not the destination) gives you the capacity and bricks to help build an enhanced life. These are the right tools to see it through and sustain the result.
If you are looking for individual help or guidance feel free to reach out to me via the button on the bottom of the page and I will help you troubleshoot any specific problems you might have for free. We also have membership options and online training packages for specific needs and accountability. Give your life more capacity and make your health a priority today! Your best is yet to come!