Monday, February 11, 2019

Stars stars everywhere: a plan for staying on track

Over the multitude of years on this healthy lifestyle journey I have changed my operating procedure quite a few times.  I have tried all sorts of things.  I have counted points with weight watchers and calculated calories with a variety of different websites and apps on my phone.  I have monitored exercise with stickers in 
my day planner and kept track of my running in a running journal.  I have swung wildly through various different means of organization as I work on this lifestyle. 

 There is no right way.  Something that works for someone may not work for someone else.  One of my friends shuts down if it becomes competitive….yet I thrive on competition.  Just look at   me a few years ago when Jason and I had a competition going with running. I worked to match him mile for mile because I was NOT going to let him get ahead.  I didn’t want to lose and I DEFINITELY wanted to gloat!   So competition works for me!   Sometimes though, what worked for me last month or last year  might no longer work for me.  It really is a constant adjustment to match our tactics and efforts to stay the course on this healthy lifestyle with up to date and current ideas, plans and goals.
A while back I was using a streak tracker.  I liked it, but it was hard to ‘live’ because if I fell off track one day it messed up my streak.   I stopped using it because it didn’t allow me to live and be was too restrictive. 

So that brings me to my current thought.  I don’t know how well it will work and it may be gone by the end of the month,  but I’m going to give it a go.  I have seen something similar over the years and I have done versions of the same thing over the years, usually just for one aspect of my healthy living.  It just seemed like it was the right thing to do at this point in my life.  I quickly decided that I wanted simplicity.  I didn’t want an extra notebook or extra anything, it had to fit into my life…and any tracking had to fit into my current day planner.  So without further ado, I announce my star plan.
This is a very simple plan.  Every day in my day planner I will be giving myself a star for certain activities.  I am giving myself some ‘freebie’ activities that are easy to earn the star and some stars require more work.   So what can I do to earn a star?
1.        Track my food every day. (an easy star)
2.       Weigh myself every day .  (another easy star)
3.       Exercise at least 20 minutes, 4 days a week. It doesn’t matter if it’s walking, running, crawling or whatnot….exercise 20 minutes!  (not so easy star……well it’s easy to do….hard to get going to do it!)
4.       Keep my food level in my appropriate predetermined range….for me this is between 1200 calories and 1530 calories.  (why those calories?   1530 is the amount that myfitnesspal says I can eat and still lose 1.5 pounds a week….which is still a respectable figure).  I figure that this needs to be done 6 days a week.  (Ok, it should be 7… and most weeks I can manage that just fine, but I need to account for ‘life’ happening and embrace the fact that there will be failures!)
5.       Stay on the low end of my calorie goal 2 days a week.  This is 1300 calories or under.  Realistically, I would like this to be lower also….but once again….I’m embracing life and saying “I would rather lose slowly but in a healthy sustainable manner”
So what does this mean?  35 stars per week would be an absolutely perfect week.  It would mean that I tracked and kept my food at 1200-1300 each day, I weighted every day AND I exercised each day for 20 minutes.   Absolutely perfect!  But I’m not aiming for perfect.  I am aiming for   living life and making this work for me and allowing myself to have days where I stumble.  SO to have a win?  I am aiming for 26 stars each week!

26 stars each week.  
For the month of February (28 days) I need to accumulate 104 stars
For a month with 30 days, I need 108 stars
For a month with 31 days I need 110 stars.

Easy peasy!  It is a silly mind game….it is a stilly method to keep myself on track.  But guess what…every time I open my day planner, I’ll see those stars and know what I need to do!   It may be silly, but if it works….that’s all that that matters. 


*Stained Glass Butterfly* said...

It's not silly at all! I remember challenges like that on a weight loss site I used to belong to. Anything that helps you focus on the daily actions that add up to success is great!

jesseybell said...

Whatever works for you - stars doesn't sound silly at all!

I hear you with the streaks - it kills me that my 10K streak ended on Friday because of being in the freaking hospital! but I know, I know, I know I get a pass for that - I was tempted to still put in my streak app, but I didn't.

Here is to a good week!

SANRDJ said...

Challenges can be huge motivators and they spark some excitement again. Best of luck!!

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

I love this idea! We need to change and adapt as we grow. I'm doing something similar but not using stars.....yet!

jen said...

Great idea

Tiffany said...

I hope this plan works for you girlfriend, cheering you on. New blog