Measure your success

Measuring Your Success

Author: Glenn Shelford

Measuring is something we do reactively in everyday life, whether it’s your friend who’s got the new promotion at work, or the person who you secretly check what they’re lifting, so you lift just a little bit more.


Even when we’re kids, it’s about who’s got the newest trainers or phone.


What I find with clients that want to set fitness goals and get to a certain waist size or putting on inches on their biceps… is that they’re SO reluctant to take measurements and track things between the start and end of their goal.


I struggle with this massively in my personal life, so this is quite a hypocritical post in some aspects… as I don’t always track my fat % and inches with my trusty tape measure (NO mention of scales here 😀 )


But, without knowing what milestones you need to hit along the way, there’s no way to know:

  • if we’re making progress or not
  • what’s working and what’s not
  • where we need to focus our efforts
  • how long it will take to get the end result


So the dream of the sexier waist or bigger biceps for summer just becomes an everlasting pipe dream that never reaches completion… simply because you don’t know how near you are to the finish line!

Counting calories


What to do instead…


A classic remedy that people come up with is measuring everything, they think that by tracking EVERYTHING – food, sleep, water, exercise, calories burnt, meal timings… that they’ll magically reach their goal and not get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that measuring this many things takes!


Rather than measuring all that, Take just TWO things!


Just two things from the following list:

  • inches with a tape measure
  • what you eat on an app like “My Fitness Pal”
  • litres of water
  • calories burnt
  • scales ← one of the most common on hand things, but definitely one of the worst things to track
  • or any other that’s relevant to your goal


JUST track those two, because by consistently doing those two things only, this prevents you getting overwhelmed!


My final point would also be to do a bit of research, there’s no point tracking your calories to 1500 if your daily intake is currently 3000. So by researching your goal, and knowing a bit more about where you currently are and where you want to get to… this will give you a clearer vision of how to get there.


I’m going to use weight loss here as an easy example… and then be realistic with what you can measure and adjust:

  • 3000 calories – 500 a day = sustainable weight loss
  • how can I burn/ cut out 500 calories per day?
  • 250 less calories at breakfast?
  • NOT having that 250calorie cappuccino at 11am?
  • skipping dessert when I go out for dinner?
  • burning 500 calories in my Body Pump class?


It hasn’t got to be 500 all in one go, you can burn 300 calories working out for 30-60 mins, and then just cut out one snack worth 200 calories… there’s your 500 per day!


Repeat that for four weeks until it becomes a habit and find yourself sticking to your measuring goals!


But without measuring, there is no PATH to where you want to get, it’s the same as the classic quote from Alice In Wonderland:

Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.


Get your end goal in mind, set your milestones and then measure yourself until you reach it!

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