My friend, Justis Peters, told me about this group, and as soon as I read the description of it, I thought, "These are my peeps."
Interestingly enough, just today, I was reading a list of 2013 Disruptive Technologies, and lo and behold, what should be on the list, but "Quantified Self!"
I track a lot of things in my life, and at last week's meeting I gave a presentation on one of them—about having a blog entry for every day of my life for the last 9+ years.
Each presentation should have three elements: 1) What you tracked, 2) How you tracked it, and 3) What you learned about yourself as a result of the experience.
I shared that one of the things I've learned as a result of my nine years of daily blogging was about affirmations—how I've come to recognize more than obvious (explicit) affirmations, such as someone saying,
- "You're fun to be with,"
- "You did a great job on that report you wrote," and
- "You're such a good dancer,"
but also, more subtle (implicit) affirmations like:
- When someone that you didn't even see calls out, "Hi" to you, when they could just as easily have not since you didn't see them,
- A friend asks you if you want a ride home when you didn't even mention anything about that and it's not even on their way home, or
- You're invited to a party you didn't even know was taking place.
You can view my presentation on the Slideshare website, although it's not very engaging without the narrative that goes with it.
But enough about me. Let's talk about what you think of me. :-)
The other presentation last Wednesday was given by the organizer of the group, Geroge Saines, who is just amazing in terms of his tracking. It's extremely thorough, analyzed with statistical rigor, and compelling. You can view his presentation, which was titled, "Reducing My Commute By Flying to San Francisco: How I'm Saving Time By Flying Across the Country."
After his presentation, George talked about a gadget in his pocket that had buzzed during my presentation and explained that it was a "mood ping" that he gets several times a day asking him to assess his current mood and enter it into the gadget, as he's currently in the midst of tracking his "happiness"—using a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the happiest.
And then he said to me, "When I got pinged during your presentation, I entered an 8."
To which I retorted, "I'm going to count that as an implicit affirmation."
So, it was a fun time. People were very kind and asked me a lot of thoughtful questions, to which I hope I gave thoughtful answers, and I'm looking forward to next month's meeting.
Just to give you a sense of how much tracking I actually do in my life, here is a list of some of the other things I track or have tracked, including my blog that I already talked about. And I'm sure I've forgotten some. Bless my heart.
- My life—I have a blog entry for every day of my life for the last nine years (and two months now).
- On dailyburn.com, when I go to the gym, what exercise (e.g., abs, upper body, lower body, cardio) I do while there, and how many calories I burn off doing them.
- My Fitbit tracks for me: how many steps I take each day, how my floors I climb, how many calories I burn, and statistics about my sleeping, such as how long it takes me to fall asleep, how many hours sleep I get, and what the "efficiency" of my sleep is.
- I track (in my blog) the movies that I see, with each title pointing to a blog entry that typically says: what theater, what time, and with whom I saw a movie, a synopsis of it, and in the more recent years, the trailer of it embedded, and then my thoughts and observations about the movie.
- I've tracked (on my home page) the lectures, plays, operas, and concerts that I've attended.
- In a little bit of an overlap, I track (in my blog) the plays and operas that I attend, and for the operas, I often include a copy of the mindmap (e.g., the one for Tosca) I create before going.
- The places to which I've traveled—including place, date, lodging, airline taken, and links to respective blog entries I wrote while there. List definitely needs some updating for the most recent years. :-(
- The line dances (both single and partnered) that I know.
- Books that I've read as part of three book clubs over the years: The Nematomes (1991-2001), The Mostly Social Book Club (1993-present), and a short-lived (1-year) GLBT Book Club, (2002-2003).
- I kept a food diary, tracked my weight, and tracked my commitment to walk for at least 30 minutes throughout 2012, which I called my "Walking Challenge 2012."
- On the more frivolous side, I also track several things on my Google calendar, such as:
- When I change my razor (last changed on March 11)
- When I last changed my oil (January 8) and an estimate, which I keep sliding out once I reach it if my mileage hasn't reached, when it'll be time to change it again (July)
- When I got a haircut (last one was on February 13, and I'm getting one tonight)
- Which anniversary it is of having having rid my home of television sets (was 11 years on March 17)
- Which anniversary it is of my "coming out" (will be 19 years on April 17)
- The places where I've lived in my life.
- My grad school experience, including course name, course code, instructor, semester year, type of class (i.e., application or theory), hours the class counted for, and my grade.
- My ever-evolving end-of-life documents and last wishes.
What do you track?