Making changes in your life is great and it’s the way we grow and develop as people. Change is a constant process and part of the human being. When you embark on changing something in your life, you must start from where you are. Until you know where you are, it will be difficult to make the change effectively. You have to start with a baseline.
Starting with a baseline is about honestly figuring out where you are and what you’re doing so you know exactly what needs to be changed. It may seem strange, but many of us are not aware of what we are doing. When my clients tell me they want to lose weight, the first thing I do is keep them in a food diary for a week just to get a baseline. The following week they share how surprised they were to see not only how much they ate, but also what they ate. Many of us are on autopilot and 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 once read a statistic that said most people consistently spend around 10% more than they earn. I think it’s true, and it’s because you don’t keep track of your spending, especially on a credit card. I once had a client who just didn’t have enough time to accomplish everything she had to do. When she logged her time for a week, she realized that she was spending hours in front of the television. The first step in change is awareness. You must become aware of what you are doing and exactly where you are before you can move on. Following up for a week or two will provide you with valuable information to support your change effort.
Before embarking on any kind of change effort, you need to know where you are. I compare it to those travel maps that have an X printed next to “You are here.” Until you know exactly where you are, and many of us have no idea, it will be impossible to make the necessary change.
The first step in your change effort is determining 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 keep track of 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 move on.