How I started tracking and where I am now - Part 2
Here is part 2 of how I started tracking things about myself. Part 1 is here.
4 years ago I was tracking my steps, weight, and a few other health-related items when I took things to the next level. I chose a few items I wanted to cut down on and started tracking them every day.
I created a Google Sheet and every day wrote down if I ate carbs, ate sugar, drank alcohol, smoked pot, pooped, or took Advil. Other than poop, all of these were things I wanted to do less of. Over time I started getting a sense of what a good week looked like. Then what a good month looked like. Now I can even tell you what a good year looks like.
In 2021, I bought an Apple Watch and it automatically started tracking things like heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, and more. Since I was already using Apple Health for weight and steps, it was easy to look over these numbers and start making positive changes to see my numbers go in the right direction. Whether that was going to sleep a little earlier or running more to get my resting heart rate down, I was both consciously and unconsciously changing in the right direction.
Last summer, I had recently left my job and was work-free for the first time in a long time. After the pandemic, I looked to enjoy my time and relax. I played a lot of tennis, cooked a lot of BBQs, and just generally did a lot more leisure activities like swimming and golf. Realizing how lucky I was to be in that mode, I started writing down the fun things I did every day in Apple Notes. I’d write them down while in bed before going to sleep, which gave me a great feeling about how I was spending my time.
A few months ago I started working on Druck. I wanted a single place to enter and view all of my health data, activities I’m trying to cut down on, and a log of positive things I did every day. These things were all spread out - in Apple Health, in Google Sheets, and in the Notes app. Now with Druck, they are consolidated in a single place which makes my tracking data easier to manage and more insightful, ultimately helping me know myself better and make positive changes.
Today I track my weight, steps, when I take vitamins, sleep, when I drink alcohol, smoke pot, poop, eat sugar, eat carbs, take Advil, play tennis, run, my recovery heart rate, my resting heart rate, how many push-ups I do, when I visit restaurants, when I change the Brita water filter, and more. While I track multiple things, my journey to get here has taken me a decade. My advice to people that are just starting out - keep it simple. Track 1 or 2 things and don't worry too much about the fidelity. Just knowing how much you do something is the first step towards doing more or less of it.