If you’re trying to engage more/less in an activity, or use a resource more or less than before, I feel confident in saying that if you’re not putting any effort or energy into actively tracking it, it isn’t going to be as effective as if you were doing so.
If you’re trying to save money, you need to get a handle on how much you’re spending now, and consciously spend less than that.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to get a handle on how much you’re eating now, and consciously eat less than that.
If you’re trying to smoke/drink less, you need to get a handle on how much you’re smoking/drinking now, and consciously do it less.
If you have too much stuff in your house, you need to get a handle on just what kinda stuff you even own to begin with, consciously evaluate what is excess, and purge the rest.
It’s tough to spend “less” when you don’t know how much you’re spending now, eat less when you don’t know how much you’re eating now, smoke less when you’re unclear on how many cigs you’re smoking now, or get rid of stuff until you realize that you have 5 duplicates of that same item already, just scattered all over your house.
Assessment is powerful. It gives you the power to make informed change. It might disgust you. It also gives you the ability to measure progress in the future, which can be awesomely motivating! Or help you troubleshoot what’s really going on so you can solve whatever problems you’re encountering. I’m reminded that even failure really isn’t failure if you use it as a chance to course correct and get where you were going all along.
I’m tracking my spending.
I’m counting my calories.
I weigh myself every day.
I’m tracking my income.
Some of these tasks I’ve automated to an extent, as much as I can. The rest I’ve built into my routines. Sometimes it’s a pain, but in the end, it’s worth it, because then I know what the low hanging fruit is in these areas at any given moment, and I know what areas are ripe for a course correction. And that gives me control, and puts me in the driver’s seat, with hands on the steering wheel. Which is a good place to be in life, right? 🙂