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3 Ways To Keep Track of Your Progress

3 Ways To Keep Track of Your Progress

Whether your goal is to lose weight or to gain muscle, you definitely need to keep track of your progress. You might think that you can rely on your intuition and you will “feel it” when you reach your goal, but this is not the best method! Because you have to live with yourself each and every second you are so familiar with your body that you will barely notice any difference.

Even though you will lose (or gain) a few pounds you will mostly feel exactly the same. If you ever lost weight you know what we are talking about and you also know the feeling of meeting with someone you haven’t seen in a long time and they say “Wow, you lost a lot of weight!” when you actually didn’t feel any differently. You don’t always need to rely on the opinions of other people because here are 3 great ways to keep track of your progress yourself:

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1. Weigh Yourself (including Body Fat)

Whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle this is definitely the first step you need to take, but it’s not the only one! Weight can be a good measure for progress but it’s NOT the most accurate one. Let’s say that you want to lose weight and look great naked. You might not lose any pounds, and you might even gain some. Guess what? It is possible that you look much better! In this case you lost a good amount of fat and gained some muscle instead. So in this case the weight itself is not a good measurement and you need to also measure the percentages of body fat and lean muscle mass. You can do this with a digital scale that uses the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, with some fat calipers or by using an online calculator (this is the least accurate method).

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So find your percentage of body fat (and muscle if possible) and keep track of them over time. If you see your fat going down and your muscle going up, you are definitely on the right track. The best time to weigh yourself is once every 4 weeks. You can also weigh yourself every week, but in this case you won’t see big changes. You definitely DON’T need to weigh yourself every day like some people do. Compare the results of each month and as time goes by you will also be able to compare overall results (your progress in the last 6 months, in the last year and so on).

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2. Measure Yourself

Besides weight and body fat, you also need to take accurate measurements of different body parts. If your goal is to lose weight then you definitely need to measure your waist and ladies might want to measure their hips as well. On the other hand, if you are looking to gain muscle you need to measure the circumference of your arms, your chest and back, your quads, and your calves. This way you can see exactly which muscle groups are growing faster and which ones still need improvement.

3. Take Photos

Last but not least, you need to take some photos. You might not feel in the mood to take photos of your body right now, but keep in mind that one day you will compare your dream body with your “before” photos and you will be very proud of yourself. As long as you keep these photos private, there is nothing to worry about. Who knows, maybe one day you will be featured on websites or magazines as one of those truly inspirational body transformations. Just as with weighing yourself, you don’t need to take these photos very often. Once every month should be fine to see some changes and when comparing photos taken in different months or years, you will definitely see improvements.

So feel free to use any of these methods but for more accurate results we definitely recommend using all 3 of them. Are there any other aspects we missed? Let us know in the comments area below.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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