How keeping careful track of your spending behavior is valuable.
First, the idea that you’re tracking said information is often enough to nudge you to better behavior. During the periods when I’ve been serious about tracking my expenses I didn’t want to write down silly expenses in that notebook that I would just regret at the end of the month. It was much easier to be frivolous with my money if I wasn’t really thinking about it. If I have to stop and think for long enough to write down the expense I’m less likely to actually engage in frivolous spending.
Second, the data UF process enables you to make better decisions about how you should be changing your behavior and how to move forward. Having a clearer picture of your exercise patterns help you figure out when and where and what kind of exercise is most effective for you. Basically data reveals what the most effective strategies are for your specific situation.
Third, data overtime lets you see that you’re actually changing things even if it’s not showing up like you expect them. Data lets you set goals that are oriented around the process rather than the results and that’s important because results don’t always show up right when you expect them, especially in the short term. There are almost always factors involved that you didn’t consider that can alter the results. What really matters is that you have a process for getting those results and are sticking to that process and that’s what keeping track of your behavioral data can show you.
Finally, data is more reliable than hunches. You might have a gut feeling about what changes you need to make to be truly effective but actually looking at the real numbers will show you the reality of what’s actually happening. Sometimes your hunches will sync up with the data, and that’s great, but when they’re not in alignment you can realize that perhaps your gut instinct isn’t guiding you in the right direction or perhaps that the data and your gut feeling are both telling you something important.
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