motivation · planner · planning · self care · trackers

Can’t Keep Track: Christine asks for wellness-tracking ideas

I know that recording your habits, your exercise, and your goals is supposed to be one of the best ways to challenge yourself and to stay inspired.

I love the information I get from my Fitbit (even though it’s limited) and I find the charts it generates to be very inspiring.

And I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from looking at a paper list of things completed, progress made and skills slowly gained.


I HATE the process of tracking.




I get tangled in trying to track the ‘right’ thing.

Then I forget to track, or, worse, I get so obsessed with tracking that I feel vaguely anxious about it all day.*

I find it tedious to create or customize a tracker (paper or digital) and then I find it annoying to fill it in.

I tried using a few different apps but there are so many finicky details and I find that my goals often change as I go along so it hardly feels worth the effort.

These issues are especially annoying when I am dealing with fitness-related tracking because there are so many different things that you could track and so many details that you could include.

But as annoying as it is for me to track things, I can’t write off the idea entirely.

A grid is drawn in green ink on off-white paper. There are numbers in the top row and there are flowers drawn above the top line of the grid.
Here is one of my latest attempts at creating a tracker.
I was hoping that adding some fun elements would make it more appealing.

Having ADHD makes me kind of atemporal – I forget that about the progress I have made, I forget that I used to feel differently about the challenges at hand, I forget (sometimes) that I have previously solved an issue that is looming again.

Tracking helps me counter that.

When I do track my efforts, I can see that I am making progress, that I can do things that I couldn’t do before, and it shows me that I have successfully dealt with similar challenges in the past – inspiring me to figure out how to handle them this time.

Tracking shows me patterns and invites me to reflect on why certain challenges come up.

But yet, I hate it.

On any given day, the annoyance of having to do the mechanics of tracking overshadows any possible future pay-off. (Atemporality striking again!)

But my eternal hopefulness makes me wonder if I just haven’t tried the right approach yet.

So, I thought it might be interesting to ask the Fit is a Feminist Issue readers about it.

What kinds of exercise or wellness habits do you track?

What criteria do you use to measure your progress?

What sort of tracker do you use? Digital or analog?

When and how do you use your tracker?

Have you tried using anything other than a row of checkboxes? What did you try? Anything involving colouring or drawing?

Do tell! (Pretty please.)

*Yes, I do overthink everything, it’s part of my charm. 😉

5 thoughts on “Can’t Keep Track: Christine asks for wellness-tracking ideas

  1. I do two things. I let my Garmin watch track a bunch of stuff, resting heart rate, sleep, steps, active movement minutes etc. And then I track workouts by number in the 220 in 2020 group. I find that simple and motivating. I think you might like it. It really is just counting workouts. I like that.

  2. I have a fitbit and I’m in fat loss mode so I track my calories(mostly) on my fitness pal. In terms of exercise I try to creat goals and just create a plan ahead of time and write it on a calendar, hoping at the end I improve, which I usually always do. I’d rather do the before planning and pre tracking than the during. I can reflect on my goals at the end and creat a new plan with my hypothesis if and why I didn’t get my desired results. This is what drives my long term fitness.

  3. I am SUCH a tracker! It helps me a ton. I love data and just tracking something usually means I make doing/logging that thing more of a habit. I track my daily macros and some other health related things (hours of sleep, workouts, my weight) in one spreadsheet. Most of those data points are tracked in different apps where I get the summary at the end of the day to stick it in the spreadsheet. Example: workouts are logged in strava, macros are logged in my fitness pal, sleep is logged through AutoSleep app on my apple watch.

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