Making changes in your life is great and it is the way we grow and develop as people. Change is a constant process and part of being human. When you embark on changing anything in your life you have to start from where you are. Until you know where that is it would be difficult to effectively make the change. You have to start with a baseline.
Starting with a baseline is about honestly figuring out where you are and what you are doing so that you know exactly what needs to be changed. It may sound odd, but many of us are unaware of what we do. When my clients tell me they want to lose weight the first thing I do is have them keep a food journal for a week just to get a baseline. The next week they share how shocked they were to see not only how much they were eating, but also what they were eating. Many of us are on autopilot and we simply are not aware of what we are doing. When you track it – and this works with anything – you have a real picture of where you are and what needs to change.
I read a statistic once that said most people consistently spend about 10% more than they make. I believe that is true, and it is because what is being spent, especially on a credit card, is not tracked. I once had a client that just didn’t have enough time to accomplish everything she needed to do. When she tracked her time for a week she was made painfully aware that she was spending hours in front of the television. The first step in change is awareness. You have to become aware of what you are doing and exactly where you are before you can proceed forward. Keeping track for a week or two will provide you with valuable information that will support your change effort.
Before you embark on any type of change effort you have to know where you are. I liken it to those travel maps that have an X printed next to “You are here.” Until you are aware of exactly where you are – and many of us don’t have a clue – it will be impossible to make the needed change.
The first step in your change effort is to determine where you are. Keep a log for a week or two. This will give you a realistic idea of what you are doing. You can track anything from how much money you spend to how many hours of sleep you get. Once you know the truth about where you are you can proceed.