#92 - One Month Tracked

Fact: I've tracked 35 days

Motto: Know Thyself


A little over one month ago I put into action a plan to better understand and manage my life. Thirty-one days ago I wrote:
The goal of the LTS is to audit my life in the four distinct areas I've determined have the greatest significance or impact. I want to track the following:
  • Diet - Garbage in, garbage out. What you eat is what you are.
  • Exercise - If you don't use it, you lose it.
  • Money - I'm spending how much on what?!?
  • Demetri - My list of 25 things a "good" person would do every day.
In doing so I hope to gain a greater sense of self, a greater handle on the important things in life, and use this knowledge to make intentional and positive changes in my life.
And for the past month I've done just that. Here's what I've learned about myself:

Diet:
My three favorite things
I eat better than I would have expected. Of course, I have altered my eating habits drastically during the past month. I have had little to no frozen or fast foods. My smoothie intake has skyrocketed. 

Diet results from month one
I used 3 different online calculators to determine my goal caloric intake. 3000 was actually a step down from the average they suggested; and I can't even get 2500 consistently. If you aren't eating fast food or drinking soda, it's hard to get more than 2500. I did manage to get 3700 on a few occasions, but never in a healthy manner (I LOVE pizza). I'm going to lower my goal some.

Somehow I've managed to exactly nail my goal fat intake. I accurately predicted I was going to exceed my carb limit and not quite meet my protein objective. I got a little closer than I expected, though.

Note: During the past month I've gained ~5 pounds. This officially put me at my goal weight of 100 kg. Now I can say "I'm over 2 m tall and 100 kg".

Second note: Most people I know won't have any idea how much 100 kilograms actually is. It's 220.5 pounds.

Exercise:
Still from one of my unused "second of the day"(s)
I worked out an average of 4.2 times per week. I also tracked my actual exercises. I found out first-hand what I had been told so many times in my life - if you track your lifts, you can intentionally increase your weight/reps and get stronger! I almost never failed to lift more in successive exercises. For a little while now, I've bordered on possibly looking strong... but, for the first time in my life, I've actually felt strong.

Not everything went perfectly, though. I very stupidly stopped warming up before my workouts. Last week I experienced what I have determined to be exercise-induced exertion headaches. After some Googling, I have decided to take a week or two off from weightlifting and shift my focus to cardio and flexibility. I'll ease back into lifting soon.

Note: I went for a run just before writing this column. First one in a while. I'm out of shape.

Money:
This picture was taken over 6 years ago
I spend too much.

In fairness, though, during the past month I splurged on myself an unusual amount. I have a wedding and a car coming up soon. I saw this as my last opportunity with any "fun money" and decided to make the most of it. Besides, I won't be a bachelor much longer.

I'm not going to delve any farther into my personal finances on the internet. I'm keeping good track. I'm on top of things. And that's all that matters.

Demetri:
A still from the stand-up routine that started all of this
The Demetri List is nothing new. I've actually been doing it on and off for a couple of years now. What's interesting is the comparison of my performance from before I started tracking everything to now. I've lived a (slightly) more disciplined life in the past month. How has that affected things?

Each category has a maximum possible score of 35 - for a total maximum of 35x5 = 175
My productivity has gone up across the board. Keen observers may say "no no no, your 'Mind' category actually dropped". To them I respond by saying "I no notice, I'm not do good with mind lately".

Really though, the dip in my average "Mind" score comes from an increase in goal difficulty. The version of the Demetri List I've been using for the past month is new. Almost every goal is a little harder to accomplish, "Mind" in particular was made much more difficult. I replaced "Cut down on multitasking" with "read for more than 20 minutes". Changed "worked on a project" to "worked on a non-column project". I added a stipulation to "learned/practiced something" that it now has to be something useful. In short, the data doesn't show the whole story there.

Unsurprisingly, the area that saw the biggest increase was "Manage" (which I'm only now realizing should be called "Management"). If you are constantly recording what you do, it's becomes much easier to manage what exactly that is.

Overall, I'm running at 51.4% of maximum possible productivity. Note that "maximum possible" does not equal "maximum feasible". I've never accomplished all 35 goals in one day - it's really hard. 

Maybe tomorrow.

Wrap Up:

Overall - the Life Tracking System has been a huge success and personal triumph. I have definitely developed a greater sense of self from a managerial perspective; and I have definitely improved my overall health and wellness. I still have greater goals and I'm still going to keep pushing forward. I see no reason to stop tracking life any time in the near future.

Honestly, I could have written a lot more about it.

Unrelated Site News:

I am introducing a new label - FEATURE. During each Feature Column I will choose a general theme, then try to cover that theme in both a complete and entertaining way. These themes will not be specific to me (like, say, my well-documented month); instead, they will be things everyone can relate to (for examples, see the Top 5). I'm retroactively applying the FEATURE label to Column #82 - Superheroes as it perfectly exemplifies what I'm talking about.


Top 5: Possible Future Features
5. "Big Brother"
4. Dogs
3. Movies
2. Tools
1. Intelligence (I actually already started writing this)


Quote:
“You Film Yourself More than Anyone I've Ever Met”
- Emily said something like this a while back -

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