Ok what should I track?

How to get started with self-tracking

All your friends are doing it. Well, maybe only a few. But still, you’ve heard tracking things about yourself and your activities is a good way to make positive changes and enhance your memory. But where to start?

When you sit down to think about what you should be tracking, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Is there an activity you wish you did more of? Like taking vitamins, or eating more vegetables. These are prime things you can track and try and create a positive streak of doing it every day or week.

  2. Conversely, are there negative activities or habits you want to cut down on? Track when you do them and try and create a streak of days or weeks where you don’t do them.

  3. Think about your health. Are you currently weighing yourself at least once a week? Are you writing these numbers down and seeing how they chart over time? Cholesterol level, resting heart rate, and steps per day are all important indicators of your health. Being aware of these numbers is the first step towards improving them.

  4. Do you know when you last went to the dentist? Got a physical? Changed your drinking water filter? Keeping track of these activities and knowing when the next time you need to do them is an excellent thing to start tracking.

Now you have some good ideas about what to track. But how should you go about tracking them? The key to tracking is to make it easy on yourself. Here are a few tips to make your self-tracking journey as smooth as possible:

  1. Choose a good place to write things down. You can use a spreadsheet or a dedicated app like Druck. Just make sure it’s on your phone and doesn’t need an internet connection to work. That way you can write things down anywhere and at any time. Even late at night in bed before you go to sleep.

  2. You don’t need to be exact. If you want to track eating carbs, you don’t need to necessarily write down the total number of carbs in your food. Rather just write down if you ate carbs or not. Keep it simple. You can always expand later on down the road.

  3. Automate as much as you can. You wouldn’t manually count the number of steps you take per day right? Rather you’d rely on a device to do that instead. There are many other ways to automate tracking for you. Smart scales are inexpensive these days. You can wear a watch or bracelet that tracks your heart rate, sleep, blood oxygen levels, and more. Invest in these devices to make tracking easier for yourself.

Ultimately the path to improving yourself starts with know thyself. And that first begins with self-tracking. Go ahead and pick a few activities you want to track, and just get started writing them down. Keep it simple, stay consistent and have fun. In just a short period you should start learning things about yourself you may have never known. Then you can put those learning to good use and cause positive changes.

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