One of the things that I hear most often from people is that they find tracking triggering. Upon investigating why, it inevitably leads to them telling me about how they have a toxic or difficult relationship with tracking because they generally use it as a way to beat themselves up.
This is something that I can totally relate to, but what I know for a fact is that if you want to be successful, if you want to achieve your goals, if you want to create that dream life — the finances, the company, the job, the relationship — there has to be some level of tracking. There has to be some way of measuring how you’re doing. There has to be some way for you to know whether you’re going in the right direction or not.
I’ve created six things, and these are actually pillars within WORTHY. The T in WORTHY is all about Tracking, and these are six pillars that I decided based on my own experience, that I think are actually the most important things to be tracking on a regular basis if you truly want to be successful.
I also want to remind you that tracking is just feedback. That’s all it is. It is telling you whether you’re going in the right direction or not, if you need to change something or not. That’s all it is.
The reason we often find tracking triggering is because of what we make it mean. But remember this, and this applies to everything in your life: Nothing has any meaning other than the meaning that you choose to give it.
Let me share a story first before we get into the six things that you should be tracking if you want to be successful. This story is about my own toxic relationship with tracking.
One of the things that has been a challenge for me throughout my life has been my weight. I have been going back and forth with gaining and losing weight. I had a really toxic relationship with the weighing scale because that generally was what I used to measure, whether I was being successful or not.
My personal trainer got so frustrated with me that one day she showed up at my door and marched herself into my bathroom to confiscate my scale.
She said to me, “You know what? You’re measuring your worth based on an arbitrary number. What does it even mean? What does that mean? You know, we can stand here and you can spit a pound. It’s a number. It doesn’t tell you whether you’re hydrated, whether you’re dehydrated. Is that muscle weight? Is it fat? You don’t know.”
And so I have made it mean so much. It literally dictated how I felt about myself, I’d wake up and it became a ritual for me — wake up, step on the scale, eat something, step on the scale, go to the bathroom, step on the scale — like it was this number that literally held me in bondage, held me prisoner, that my whole life and how I felt about myself was based on those numbers. But when I think about it, logically, it makes no sense.
A lot of what we do is whatever your number is — whether the scale or your bank account — it ultimately is just feedback. It is telling you whether, based on the goal you’ve defined, you’re moving towards it or away from it. Are you making progress? Or are you not making progress? I like to call it your GPS — your Goal Progress System.
And so what I learned from myself is that yes, absolutely, those numbers might matter, but not in isolation.
For me, the weighing scale, yes, it was feedback. But I could look at it in terms of:
- Did I work out every day?
- Did I get good sleep?
- How am I feeling?
That’s the better indicator — “How do I feel?”
With WORTHY, I wanted us to have some common framework of tracking that we could all track that ultimately would give us more of a 360 view of our lives, that we’re not looking at just one number in isolation, and also a way for us to track that ultimately could fit into any goal, regardless of what it is that you’re working on.
The first key is hydration. Stay with me on this and let me explain why hydration matters.
Ultimately, we’re looking at ourselves holistically, looking at you as a whole human. We know based on research that hydration matters. It is the way that we get rid of toxins in our body. It’s also based on something that I learned recently, the fact that your brain is 75% made up of water. At the point that you feel thirsty, by the point that you actually feel you’re dehydrated, you have long been dehydrated. And so it really is about making sure that every day you are hydrating, so that you are completely taking care of your body. Part of that includes making sure that you’re getting enough water, that you’re cleansing your body, you’re flushing out all the toxins from your body, and you’re making sure you’re taking care of what your brain needs to function optimally.
2. Your Body and Wellness
I know, you’ve heard it from everywhere and everyone that you need to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day.
But are you doing it? Are you truly taking care of your body? Are you making sure that you’re moving your body? Are you making sure that you’re taking care of your general health and well being?
This means what you are putting into your body in terms of nutrition. Are you eating healthy? Are you taking your multivitamins and supplements to help you perform at your best to be in optimal health?
So the second thing is all about taking care of your body through movement, as well as taking care of your body through nutrition and supplementation. And ultimately, speaking as the girl who’s probably tried every diet there is under the sun, when it comes to feeding your body and nourishing your body, there is no one-size-fits-all. You ultimately have to find what works best for you. There is no coach. There is no nutritionist who is going to be able to say what makes you feel your best. It is about you taking ownership of your body, understanding your body and what makes it feel its best.
I know this might be a surprise to you. Here’s why journaling matters.
I remember watching a speech that Gary Vee gave once. He said, “The greatest power that someone can have, the thing that will serve you the best in your life is self awareness.”
He’s right. Everything about how we move through the world, everything about who we are, who we want to be stems from being self-aware, and one of the most powerful tools that I have found when it comes to developing your self-awareness is journaling.
When you can get all of those thoughts and things that are worrying in your mind down on paper, and you can actually look at them in the cold light of day. It really helps you to become aware, aware of the thoughts that you think and ultimately questioning those thoughts. Of course you can absolutely go and seek professional help in terms of counseling, but it also can come from your journaling — writing down your thoughts, and analyzing what you think. Because remember, you are not your thoughts, you are the thinker of your thoughts.
Gratitude is so important. Back in the day when Oprah had a regular talk show, I remember watching Sarah Ban Breathnach being interviewed. She talked about her book about gratitude, and I ran off and bought the book. I started to do my gratitude list every single day, the five things that I was grateful for. It was absolutely fantastic for helping me bring awareness to my gratitude, for me to go through every day thinking about what I was grateful for.
After a while though, it started to feel routine. I would just get to the end of the day, and think “Okay, I’ve got to find five things. I’m grateful for breathing, I’m grateful to be alive, I’m grateful for water…” and it just became a chore. It became another thing to check off the to-do list.
And so I recently changed how I do my gratitude practice. What I decided is that I am not going to tie a number to it. It might be one thing, it might be 20 things that I’m grateful for in a day, but every day, I’m still going through the day looking for things to be grateful for. At the end of the day, I set myself a minimum standard — that is at least one thing, one thing that I truly felt gratitude for.
Something else that I also recently started doing is extending gratitude beyond the now. Yes, we absolutely should be in the knowledge, be grateful for the things that we’re experiencing now, but I also realized that I can be grateful for the things that have already happened in the past. I can also be grateful for the things that will happen in the future, the things that I want to create in the future.
When we think about the things that happened in the past that has led to you being in this moment now, they are not all good things. There are bad things that have happened. There are wonderful things that have happened. And for each of those things, they led to this moment. You are the product of all of those choices, all of those decisions, all the things that happened in your life.
Everything is a gift. When you approach life from that perspective, then you can look at the bad experiences from the past with gratitude. Because if nothing else, they opened your eyes to what life could be. They opened your eyes to what you didn’t want in your life.
Gratitude for the things that have not yet happened is your greatest demonstration of belief in yourself and belief in your ability to create the future that you want. So it’s not that you’re not living in the now, it’s not that you’re not grateful for what is happening in the now.
I believe that there can be that part of you that can be grateful for the things that are to come. The things that you’re working towards, the fact that you can step forward with all assuredness that whatever your dream is, that you’re going to get there. That level of belief in that future that you are creating, you can be grateful for it now.
Meditation is something that has been a part of my life and has truly been such a savior for me, so much so that I actually decided to become certified in being a meditation teacher. It has truly been such a gift in my life.
Everything that we create comes from our mind. We create with our thoughts, which ultimately become our actions. Meditation allows you the purest way of connecting truly with yourself, connecting with that self that knows that you are destined for greatness, that self that knows that you deserve to have the most extraordinary life possible.
Through meditation, through being quiet, through stilling your mind, it allows you to connect with that inner voice — that intuition that is your guide, that sixth sense that will give direction to the questions:
- Which direction should I take?
- What should I be doing?
- What are the right choices for me?
That can only come when you still your mind enough to hear that stillness, that quiet, that little voice that is your guide. Make meditation and mindfulness a regular part of your day.
6. Did I experience Joy?
The sixth thing that is so powerful when it comes to truly creating a life you love is asking yourself this question every single day, “Did I experience joy?”
So many of us are going through life just existing. So many of us are going through life, deferring our happiness. “I’ll be happy when…” and yet life is passing us by every single day.
You should really be looking at creating a life that allows you to experience joy every single day.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not being all Pollyanna and everything skippity Scotty unicorns and rainbows. Absolutely in life, there are hard things that happen. But as your journey towards whatever your goals are, whatever those goals that you’re continually creating, whatever that highest version of yourself is, ask yourself:
- Am I happy?
- Am I experiencing joy?
- Am I taking care of myself?
- Am I allowing myself moments of joy every single day?
They don’t have to be massive things. If you find yourself experiencing one more day when the answer is ‘no’, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Think about it. Is this the life that you truly want to live? Are you living with purpose and on purpose?
And so these are the six keys which are all about tracking, which is part of our GPS — our goal progress system. These are the things that we should be tracking that ultimately leads to a successful life, regardless of what your goal is, regardless of what your dream is.
As always, I want to remind you, that regardless of what your dream is, regardless of what that extraordinary life looks like for you, may I be a reminder to you that you are worthy to be, to do, to have whatever your heart desires.
Sandra has a podcast episode on this topic in the WORTHY Podcast:
You can also watch it on YouTube: