If you want to get a bad habit under control, or just improve in a certain area of your life, tracking is the way to go.
Now, I want to keep this more in the exercise scheme of things. However, this one task can significantly improve all the areas of your life. It can also help you become aware of the choices and progress you are making in that area. For example, if you want to get your diet under control and eat healthier, then you would write down everything that you consume; no exceptions. This conscious act of writing down what you are about to eat will bring light into the decision that you are about to make; positive or negative. So, let’s say you go into the kitchen and reach for a handful of chips because you are a little hungry. By writing down before hand that you are about to eat that handful of chips, hopefully you will end up changing your mind and reaching for a healthier option instead.
On the exercise end of things, I would HIGHLY recommend starting tracking of what you are doing in the gym. The night before, I always write down what I am going to do for next day’s workout. I write down the specific exercise, the reps, sets, and weight that I am going to use for each set in a small notebook. So, once I enter into the gym that day, I do not have to think about what I am going to do, and I can get right after it. By keeping track of my workouts, I can also keep track of the progress that I am making week by week, and make the necessary adjustments when the time comes in my programming. Often when I see someone in the gym or locker room and ask them what they are going to do today for their workout, I 99% of the time get the response, “I don’t know, I’m just going to feel it out/ wing it.” This tells me that they are not truly serious about getting improving themselves physically.