Tips for Making Self-Monitoring Less Tedious
Written by Sarah Dramstad, Mayo Clinic Dietetic Intern
Self-monitoring is key when it comes to weight management or improving your health. It can help identify areas for improvement, especially if you have a specific goal in mind. You may be asked to self-monitor your weight, food intake, blood pressure, or blood sugars. You may also simply be looking to improve your lifestyle by incorporating healthier habits.
It’s important to stay on track towards your goal, but let’s face it, self-monitoring can be hard or tedious at times. Busy schedules make it difficult to remember to jot things down and you may already lost track of what you had for breakfast that day. Here are some tips to make self-monitoring easier:
- Utilize what works best for you - Learn what method works best for you. Is it easier to make tally marks or cross off a checklist to track frequency? Points, calories, or food groups? Do you prefer filling out a blank calendar or chart? Are you more comfortable with a smart phone or paper and pen? Keep it simple and organized!
- In sight, in mind - Keep your self-monitoring log nearby and in places you frequently see, such as the front door (before you head out), the refrigerator, or even your bed stand. If you like to self-monitor electronically, you could place sticky note reminders around your home or reminders in your electronic calendar.
- Get into a routine - Track at the same time of the day or week. This could be weighing every morning after getting out of bed, tracking your food during each meal time, or recording your exercise minutes at the end of each work out.
- Set a reminder - If you need help getting into a routine, try setting a reminder on your phone, laptop, or alarm clock. Remember to set it on repeat and switch it up if you're mindlessly ignoring it.
- On the go - If you're eating away from home, consider taking pictures to help you remember what you need to track later. When you find the time, scroll through your pictures and record your intake in your self-monitoring log.