Tracking Your Trends

Last summer I spent a really motivating four days at the Tennessee Fitness Spa – working out, eating well, sleeping well – every day living a pattern of the healthy life. At the end of my visit, I attended the Take It Home seminar hosted by Kimi, with a pit in my stomach. I knew my daily routine would look nothing like it had these past four days (TFS example found here


I decided to log my food and exercise, in hopes of guilting myself into a better way of living, perhaps? Ilana Muhlstein notes in her book, You Can Drop It!, that you track what you care about. And so, I did – sleep, water, exercise, food – not all of these every day, but I wrote down something, measured something, summarized something at the end of each day.


Surprisingly, I had retained more good habits than I realized. And I continued to see results even after leaving Tennessee Fitness Spa. What I remember most about that productive time was the trend of my measures, particularly time at the gym and my weight. It was like the jagged side of a mountain. Not smooth, and not steep. There were ups and downs, but it was definitely sloping downward – a trend. Back away a bit, and the jagged places fade, and the trend is more obvious. Focus too closely on one part of the line, and you may think you are seeing an up-slope.


What I like about trends is, that there is room for grace. Not every mark must be exactly below the one before it. No single mark screams failure or definitive victory. Together, these marks, day in and day out, let me know where I am going and where I came from. No one mark is too burdensome for the day.


This morning I feel that I am currently mucking around on a plateau…but am I? Or is this the first day of my next trend? It could be! Do you have a goal that is easily measurable? Drinking water, cumulative days of exercise, pages read, performing secret acts of kindness – I’d love to see positive trends in all these areas of my life. And isn’t that a lot less daunting than to think “tomorrow I begin doing X every day. Every day MUST be better/more/less than the last!”? Are you measuring your progress, or do the daily or weekly marks send you into a tailspin? Are you looking at the graph too closely? Step back and see your trend. Do you feel like you are on a plateau? Then check back in another week! Let your marks motivate you to start your own trend.


Written for TFS by guest Julie Johnson.


Julie Johnson is a professor, novice blogger, and visitor to Tennessee Fitness Spa. You can find her blog at


Image from Kim Chan Ho on