Dot Journal – Monitor Your Weight Loss Journey
Have you heard the saying - What gets measured gets done?
I’d say it applies to most of us, and it most definitely applies to our health and weight loss journey.
There are many ways to measure and record your goals and results.
For instance, you can buy one of these beautiful journals on Amazon that will give you everything you want to measure prepopulated.
Or you can buy a simple dot or bullet journal and decide for yourself what you want to measure. (Click on the images, to check them out on Amazon.)
One like this one if you want to be discreet about what you are using it for…
What is a Bullet Journal
It is a logging system developed by designer Ryder Carroll to keep track of his thoughts, ideas, and to-do lists.
He called his system rapid logging. If you want to know more about it, you can find his book here.
In a simple book with only dots, he found a way to easily organize his life. He could keep track of anything happening in his daily life. He could easily organize daily events and plan for the future in the same journal.
It has since become a trendy way to record, organize and plan all kinds of things.
I will not explain exactly how it works but check out Ryder’s YouTube channel if you want to know more.
Or check out this Pinterest board to see how it is used in practice by other readers like yourself to achieve their goals.
You’ll find many names for these journals – dot journals, dot grid journals, bullet journals, or BUJO (bullet journal for short).
But now, let’s move forward and see how best you can apply it to your keto journey.
How Can a Bullet Journal Help Me to Get Healthy and Lose Weight?
When you decide to get healthy or lose weight, you usually have a goal in mind.
For most of us, this sounds something like:
“I want to lose 20 pounds.”
The objective of journaling is to write down your goal and then track and measure it in an organized way. You can use your journal to reflect on your progress and adjust your approach.
When you write it down, you can:
- See trends
- Work out what actions or habits are sabotaging your effort.
- Identify what you need to do to best support your journey.
This way, you have the data to make better decisions and easily change track.
Remember that the objective of bullet journaling is rapid logging. You don’t want to commit lots of time to log and journal daily.
So set 1 to 3 goals and then log your results so that you can track and measure them.
Not sure whether writing down your goals will help you? Then read this article by Josh Carlyle.
It’s long been said that writing down your goals can make you more accountable and often improves your performance.
Clear goals can help you focus and avoid distractions. When you consistently measure these goals by tracking results, it can be easier to overcome cravings and get through weight-loss plateaus.
Not convinced that creating and implementing a weight loss bullet journal could really help you lose weight?
Then my question to you is –
Are you happy that you are achieving your health and weight loss goals and already have a system that works well for you?
If you do, carry on doing what you are doing. Focus all your energy and attention on what is already working for you!
But if you don’t -
What can you lose by giving it a try?
There is a good reason why bullet journaling has become the phenomenon that it is today.
The Steps to Create Your Keto Dot Journal
Firstly, there are no set rules! Design it with YOU and your needs in mind!
Do whatever works for you!
Let’s start with the tools you’ll need, consider your why, and define your goals. Then we can look at how to set up your dot journal, and lastly, let’s talk rewards.
We are discussing setting up your journal to support your keto journey, but the steps are really the same no what your goal is.
1 - Your Dot Journal Tools
All you really need is graph paper, a pen, and a ruler. But you can make your journal as elaborate as you want.
To start, get yourself a simple dot journal. A 6 by 9 is my preferred size as it is small enough to carry with me.
I assume you already have pens, coloring pencils, and a ruler.
So, there you are, just get going.
But if you want to get creative you can use stencils, tape, and stickers like these...
2 - Be Clear on Your Why
I assume you’ve already decided to “go keto” and have all the information you need to go forward. If not, then you’ll want to start with our shopping list.
Be very clear on why you decided keto is the right approach for you. For many of us, the reason is more than losing weight. It is more often the need to overcome adverse health conditions or get the energy to play with our children.
Whenever I set up a journal, I also use a page or two to confirm “My Why.” I set out exactly what my why is. I am particular, and I clearly state how I will feel when I achieve my WHY.
Also, be sure to add a photo of what you will look like when you get where you want to be.
3 - Set Your Goals
Decide what you want to achieve, and then decide what you are willing to do to achieve that goal.
Goals need to be very clear, measurable and have a specific deadline.
So, I want more energy is something you may really want but hard to measure. Add how you are feeling or how energetic you feel as a secondary daily tracker so that you can gauge whether you are gaining energy over time.
Start with fewer goals rather than many. The more you can focus on 1 goal, the better.
But let’s start with defining simple actionable and measurable goals. If you have a lot of weight to lose, let’s start out with the following example:
My goal is to lose/let go of 50 pounds over the next year or wear a size 4.
This is a laudable goal, but not specific enough on a day-to-day basis to achieve.
So, the next level would be to break this goal down into achievable sub-goals.
I want to lose 5 pounds per month. Then track daily, weekly, or monthly.
To achieve this goal following a keto diet, you know you need to do the following:
- Achieve a 75/20/5 macronutrient ratio
- Limit net carbs to 20 grams per day
- No sugar
- Hydrate properly
- Eat enough salt
- Balance electrolytes
- Move or walk/exercise most days
So, these all become very specific sub-goals of your main goal.
If you want to work with more than 1 goal, consider a fitness goal or challenge and a personal development goal.
The commitment to setting up and regularly noting down what you are eating, how you are feeling, and everything else you choose to document is a goal in itself. So, make that your second goal.
Another thing, a year is a long time. So, maybe focus every month or so on a sub-goal. For instance, it is important to focus your attention on your food and hydration when you start keto.
After the first month or two, you may want to consider fitness challenges. For instance, I tried a plank challenge.
Starting out with a weight loss challenge or a custom made meal plan can also be a powerful way to get going.
Consider a custom made meal plan like this one.
4 - Set Up Your Journal
How do you get started?
Start with a table of contents or index page. This should be the first two pages of your journal.
Whenever you include a new page into your journal, add the page name and number to the index. This way, you can stay organized and know where everything is.
Add a Vision or Why page.
Add a page with your primary goal and get to work on your particular bite-sized smaller goals.
Then, you’ll want to create a system to plan and track.
First, decide what you want to record, plan and track. Here are a few ideas:
- Weight and weight loss
- Inches and inches lost
- Meal planning
- Shopping lists
- Favorite Meal Ideas or Recipes
- Monthly, weekly, and daily calendars
- To-do lists
- Goal trackers
- Food, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
- Carbs or net carbs, protein, and fat
- Fitness and workout log
- Exercise challenges
- Daily steps
- Water or hydration tracker
- Mood and feelings
- Sleep tracker
- Side effects and keto flu symptoms
- Intermittent fasting
- Supplements taken
What you write in your journal doesn’t only have to be related to your health journey. You can also add a spending log, books read, movies watched, or anything else you want to write down.
You can write about what you are grateful for every day, including your favorite quotes or anything that makes you happy or excited about life.
5 - Rewards
Think about rewards!
Consider adding short-term non-food awards into your plan as you start to reach your goals.
Rewards, like an item of clothing. If you are losing weight, you’ll probably need new clothes.
Or maybe a massage. Whatever is important to you and will help to motivate you.
What gets measured gets done!
So go ahead, set up your bullet journal to plan and measure your weight loss results.