I spend a lot of time in front of a computer and had neglected to look at the details of my physical life. But 2012 brought a New Year’s Resolution of trying to loose weight and get more fit, without drastically changing my life style. Enter self-tracking.
I tried and evaluated most self-tracking apps for web and iphone but there was always a feature or two missing. So I have created a web application the way I liked it and have used it since January 2012. Result: over 10kg sustainable weight loss in a few months, more fit, and all without drastically changing my life style. Here’s what I discovered: eat slightly less, move slightly more. Find patterns and trends in your habits. How to achieve it? Track, graph and tweak.
I started by keeping track of small numbers. Daily weight, kilometers biked, minutes walked. Not even very accurate, it doesn’t matter if you walk for half an hour or 40 minutes. As long as you do and keep track of it. In the long run you will see patterns. And I wasn’t training for the Olympics, so I didn’t care about the details too much. I just wanted to track a few variables in my life and only those which would be easy to assign a number to, daily, for months.
Once you have entered those numbers it becomes addictive to see the evolution over time and correlation between variables. You start noticing patterns too, short and long term. So, automatically you will see what works for you and what not. You will slowly define goals and stick to them as they came from your own conviction of what works and not from some outside adviser or banana diet program.
So now that you are tracking small numbers you will understand the big picture. And you will see what works for you and what not. If it doesn’t you can simply tweak: “To tweak is to optimize a complex system with small adjustments.” Normally this term is used for computers and car engines, but Life is an equally complex system and worth tweaking as well.
The web application LifeTweaker.com has following features: