When working towards a new and improved healthy lifestyle, there are a number of things you need to consider throughout your journey—you need to consider your goals, your availability, your emotions, and your exercise. There are a number of tools that people use to track this journey—a FitBit, pedometer, or a good pair of sneakers. But there is one thing that’s accessible for everyone—a fitness journal.

Here are a few tips on how to start a fitness journal and keep up with it:

fitness journalPick a Journal You’ll Use

If your journal is too big, you won’t carry it with you. If it’s too small, you might lost track of it or lose space to write in. If you’re more of a digital person, download an app or track your progress in your notes. Whatever medium is the easiest for you to commit to—stick with it.

Start With Your Goals

Whether your goals are to lose weight, run faster, or lift stronger—write them down. Once you know what you’re striving for, you can constantly look back at your goals for an extra push. Before you start tracking your progress, you need to know where you’re looking to go.

Track your Food Goals and Intake

When you see your food habits in writing, they can be illuminating. The Reese’s Cups you had with lunch may not seem like a bad thing until you realize you’ve had 4 a day for 6 days in a row. This can give you a different perspective on your eating habits.

Keep Track of How Often You Exercise

And for how long. If you’re training for a 5K, writing down your times can help you reach your overall fitness goals. If you’re looking to lift more weights, keep track of your daily successes. Some days you’ll do better than others and that’s okay. Your fitness journal will show you which days are your prime workout days.

Write Down Your Emotions

How did you feel before your workout vs. after your workout? Did a certain meal make you feel sluggish? Write it down! This will help you reach your overall goals.

Make It Visually Appealing

Don’t make your journal feel like work. Make it fun and inspiring. Use brightly colored pens to write inspirational quotes, and add fun stickers or magazine clippings. Whatever is personal to you and your journey.

Make it Part of Your Schedule

Again, don’t make the journal fee like work. Make it feel like part of your daily (or weekly) routine. Once you’re in the habit of tracking your progress, you’ll be a journaling fiend!