How to create a diy fitness journal and actually work out

I love to journal and I love the layout of a journal and creating how it will function. I do love to workout, but I have to confess that there are times when my fitness goals, or any goals, come second to my desire to create the plan, organise my journal and do some writing! You may be the same. You may have really great intentions to set yourself up for success but your fitness journey is sporadic at best.

This blog post is written so that you can create a workout routine for yourself that will really work for you (if you do the work of course!). It will work whatever fitness routines you prefer.

I have created a table of contents to help you navigate the post information easily:

We have other great posts that you might find useful to read alongside this post including:

Create a healthy life with our easy fitness journal ideas

How to use weight loss journal templates for powerful change

How to create health journal ideas to inspire your life

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To be clear, a diy fitness journal is a workout plan that incorporates all your planned exercises, as well as a diet plan and your weight loss goals. It also contains health goals. It contains categories of goals: Firstly your ultimate goals, what size and shape do you want to be in; And secondly the implementation process of the journal such as your weekly goals, for which you will use trackers, logs and other measuring criteria.

Getting started with your diy fitness journal

Firstly you need a journal a pen and some idea of what your goals are. Spend some time journaling about what your goals really are. Don’t set yourself goals that you don’t want to achieve. Don’t lose weight because you think you should, only because that’s what you really want. Don’t do weights if you hate them. Don’t do yoga if it bores you. Make sure your plan is personal to you. This will ensure you a much higher chance that you will actually achieve your goals and totally rock your workout 🙂

diy fitness journal topics

Below is a list of topics that you can incorporate into your journal. You don’t have to use all these criteria, and you can create your own.

Timeframe to achieve your fitness goals

What kind of timeframe are you giving yourself. The best way to achieve your goals is to make them timebound. Give yourself a time limit in which you are going to achieve your success.

Track your body measurements as part of your fitness goals

Body measurements are a great way to track weight loss. Take your measurements at the start of your journal project and monitor your progress weekly. Don’t take your measurements any more frequently than weekly. It will stop you becoming either obsessed with measuring yourself or disillusioned at your (perceived) lack of progress.

Fitness goals and your weight loss journey

How much weight do you want to lose? What do you weigh now, what would you like to weigh in the future. Take time with your journal. Be realistic about the amount of weight you need to lose. Make it specific to you. What would make you feel like the best version of yourself? I really recommend journaling around these kinds of questions because you need to make it personal to you. Once you have that answer, you can then create the tables you need.

Definitely monitor your food consumption (see further below) and you can create a table/chart to monitor your weight loss. You might know from other blog posts that I am a little ambivalent about tracking your weight loss. Your happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what you weigh. However if you are uncomfortable in your skin because you don’t feel like yourself, then definitely track your weight loss progress and celebrate every step of the way/weigh!

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Water consumption during fitness goal achievement

This is a great one to track because it’s so easy! Definitely include it if you have other, harder goals because as it’s so easy to track, when you see yourself marking how much water you have drunk, it will encourage you with your other goals! I love having the glasses of water printed out onto blank paper, and then you just colour in the glasses when you have drunk that number of glasses of water.

Mental health tracker for fitness journal goals

I think it’s a great idea to track your mental health as you go through this goal. How do you feel as you start the project? How do you feel as you go through the project? what do you find harder or easier than you thought you would?

A workout planner to track your fitness journal progress

What workouts are you going to do? Are you going to try something new? Join a gym? Use YouTube? Will you do a combination of exercise or stick to one main type. You don’t have to go to the gym. You can take a dance class. Or you can walk the dogs. Similarly, don’t feel you have to do ‘feminine’ exercises just because you are a woman. If you want to do an endurance race, or a triathlon, or lift heavy weights, all power to you, definitely do that. Your workout planner will help you decide what exercise you want to do.

Track strength training in your fitness journal

Create a table or chart that lists which strength training equipment you are going to use and how often each week/sessions you are going to use each piece of equipment so that you can keep track of your progress.

Track exercise routines in your fitness journal

What kind of exercise do you want to do? There are so many options available to you. Create them in a weekly table format and tick them off each time you do that particular exercise

A workout log

Your workout log is simply a way of tracking everything every day. It could come in the form of an app, diary, spreadsheet, or journal. It tracks your metrics, thoughts, and feelings about every training session. 

Your workout log enables you to observe patterns and reflect upon your achievements. For that reason keep it as simple as possible. If you decide to take your workout to the next level and use a personal trainer or workout coach, you are able to give them the history of your routine which you can then build on. But even without that, being able to look at what went well, what you can improve on and how you can produce better results next week is the most important thing that your log can do for you.

Your monthly specific goals can be logged here. How much weight do you want to lose? How many times do you want to exercise? What are your workout goals. If you want to try a new workout you can journal about it and log it at this level.

At the start of each month, create a new monthly calendar. Assess your progress from the previous month. Decide how you can get better and use your previous four weeks results to set new monthly goals for yourself.

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A workout tracker

Your workout tracker is the workhorse of your workout log. Whereas the log monitors the overview, it’s the tracker that will indicate whether you are doing the work and showing up each day. The log will note your daily routine, but the tracker will show what that routine looked like, how long it took, how much you completed.

If you are tracking exercise with weights then you can track all the exercise types, the weight of the weights, the number of repetitions. A simple formula for your weights-based exercises is:

[Exercise] – [Weight] – [Sets] x [Reps]

If you are tracking different types of exercise then I would recommend having different tables for each exercise. For example, If I want to have a period of time when I am doing yoga, dance classes and arm weights, I would create three different tables and monitor each one in that way. I’ve seen some bullet journal fitness trackers which have a generic table and then you use colour coding to make the different types of exercise you take. That’s great for an overview. But if you want to be more granular I would make the tables separate for each type of exercise.

The success of your fitness plan will be evident in your tracker. The best fitness journal is the one you actually use. It’s as simple as that. In the workout log section of your journal you will have your overview, but it is here in the tracker level that your results are going to be plain to see. For the log I would recommend you use the monthly review.

For keeping an accurate track of your workouts I would recommend a weekly review and keep your eye on the daily implementation too. This is because, as I’m sure you know, it is the daily implementation of your workout schedule that you are going to start to see the results.

Use your fitness journaling practice to write about your feelings, your motivation, your energy levels.

Your personal meal planner

You can use your diy fitness journal to create a healthy eating plan which monitors food intake, hydrations levels and nutrition goals. Think of it as your unique, personal nutritionist/chef/coach all rolled into one! What you focus on gets actioned and worked on. If you need a little discipline to stop snacking or to stop emotional eating, then creating a beautiful meal planner for yourself is a great way to take care of yourself and stick to an eating plan at the same time.

Many people and companies now offer meal planners. Rich Roll has a vegan meal planner subscription option. Kris Carr has great ideas in this blog post.

Page of motivational quotes

Quotes that speak to you, that really resonate with you are a little bit like having a personal trainer talking to you each time you read the quote! You can find quote that inspire and motivate you and put them into your journal. You could also put them on your wall where you will see them. I also once created small size print outs of some of my quotes so that they could go in my purse. Inspirational quotes that I love are:

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Woman performing a squat with a band around her legs. Accompanies the blog post on diy fitness journal

What is your personal healthy lifestyle

For each of us, health, fitness and wellness mean slightly different things. The best workout journal for you is the one the means something to your personally. So make it personal. What does it mean to you to be healthy? What does being fit mean to you? Is it that you want to be able to keep you with your children/Grandchildren when they are running around? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to be strong and have muscle?

Whatever it is the personal goals for you are your most powerful tools. Because when it is raining, you are tired, you feel a bit depressed, you won’t want to exercise. But reminding yourself of your why will get you off the couch and into your exercise gear.

When you are creating your own diy fitness journal you can include as much or as little as you want from this blog post. Whatever you do, make your fitness journal personal to you. The more personal and relevant it is, the higher the chances are that you will achieve your goals. Good luck!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you liked it and what to read something similar why not try:

How to use fitness bullet journal ideas to motivate you

17 reflection journal prompts to get to know yourself better

18 goal journal ideas to create a life plan you love

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