A simple plan for February.

Month two of the year of simple. I thought a lot about living a simple(r) life in January, and some things worked out well, but others didn’t.

I am a goal-oriented person. I like to see my results. and I love data. My Garmin GPS watch is great for this, because it provides me with a ton of data for every run. That alone is motivating for me – enough to get me out of the house, because I know I will see my results, for better or worse. That’s how I know I didn’t do as well as I had wanted for running in January.

But the other things were harder to track. Part of that is that “get my brain, body, life, and house more organized” is a little less concrete. The plan for February is, therefore, to quantify some of this, to see what sorts of patterns exist in my life. Once I establish my “baseline,” it’ll be much easier to keep track of my progress.

Like just about everyone else who makes new years resolutions, mine include some weight loss (included under the broader “body organization” category). It’s another easily-trackable piece of information, so every day in January, I weighed myself. It wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t all that encouraging to see little to no difference (and even a lot of increases) from day-to-day. But then I graphed it and could see what was really happening.

dataI

See that red line? When I look at the 5-day moving average (i.e. the average of the previous 5 days, the blue line), I see progress towards the green goal line! That’s exciting! And even better than knowing the progress that I’ve already made, I’m now feeling motivated to continue. For me, this motivation makes sticking to a plan, a goal, or a resolution a simple task.

So February’s simple plan is to log all the data I can about my life. This might sound not-so-simple to a lot of people. To me, though, this sounds like fun. And it’s ingrained in me to collect data and crunch numbers and to look for trends and patterns (I am, after all, a scientist!) It’s a bit of extra work, but it’s work that I can do.

I’ll keep track of my time (and how much of it I’m wasting). The miles I run and the speed I run them at will be easy to log. I’m going to continue with the weight goal. And I want to very clearly document projects that need to be done (and the completion of said projects). My thinking is that, once I know my baseline, I’ll be able to find ways to make the improvements that I want to make – to identify where my time is wasted, what my trouble-spots are in my house (for organization) and to see that I am making progress.

So whaddya think? Does this sound like a nightmare to you? If it doesn’t (or even if it just sounds like a tough but manageable project), would you join me in keeping track of some behavioral goal for the month of February? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, and I’m excited to see what happens over these 28 days.

(Don’t forget about the Prairie Boots Pattern Giveaway!  Enter the drawing here)

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**I’ve been using the free Loseit app on my phone for daily calorie logging, with a 1-lb weekly weight-loss goal. I haven’t really stuck to it 100% every day, but it’s helping me be mindful of what goes into my body, and I’m re-learning portion control. Good things, without being restrictive. The habit of paying attention to what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat has been helpful as I work towards happy food and a simple life. **

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One comment

  1. Pingback: What you lack, child, is FOCUS. « whirlwind

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