A little story about how lifestyle and habit tracking made a woman happier.
One day Ellis received a gift from her sister, it was a pretty logbook. It was designed to help its owner record good and bad things that happened during the day, what the weather was like and what they had for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The main idea was this: before going to bed Ellis had to draw a face that reflected her mood during that day. There were separate pages with a big circle to do that:
Ellis really liked that idea. For the next half a year she marked and wrote down everything that happened to her, she immersed herself in quantified self.
The first month looked like this: Ellis took notes of what the weather was like and wrote about the things — both good and bad — that happened to her during the day. But she soon stopped writing about the bad things. She didn’t like thinking about them in the evenings when she recapped her day.
After a while she pondered: what else could she keep track of along with the data that was already in the book? So she added information about the amount of alcohol she consumed. Ellis thought she needed to work on that. And it helped! When she visualized how much and how often she really drank, Ellis was able to improve her self-control. She noticed that there was more wine in her life than it seemed.
Ellis continued thinking of what else she could improve in her life. So she added information about the amount of meals she cooked, because she wanted to cook more for her family. She also tracked her sugar intake and sports activity.
Eventually, there were so many entries that Ellis started to simply mark days on the scale from 1 to 3. 1 was a bad day. No sport at all with alcohol and sweets. 2 — a usual day. 3 — a fantastic day when Ellis could be proud of herself.
In the end, she got curious how all this data and all these marks could affect her motivation to become a better person and improve her health. To make things more convenient at the end of each week Ellis assessed what her week was like. If most of the days were bad she marked that week red, a usual week was marked yellow and if Ellis spent most of her time doing sports, cooking and had no alcohol or sweets she marked that week green. She, of course, wanted all her weeks to be green, but she admits, it wasn’t easy at all.
Here is what the average for the whole period of her experiment looks like:
Having analyzed her weight changes during that time Ellis realized that being in the yellow zone was already an achievement for her. She was losing weight! And she didn’t even keep a diet or have any restrictions, she just started to live a more balanced life.
She knew that if yesterday was a “red day”, she had to make today a “yellow” or “green” day. This helped her improve her health and lose weight.
Ellis also decided to measure the faces she drew:
She realized that the very process of drawing smiley faces put a smile on her face and made her happier. The analysis of the smiley faces also confirmed that her mood improved — the faces got bigger. Besides, her friends started constantly asking her, “What happened? You are so happy!”
The little sun symbols on the diagram denote a two-week break Ellis took from doing measurements.
When she finished her logbook she summarized her data. She said that analyzing her day, feelings and mood was extremely useful. Along with losing weight she became more inspired and energetic. But first and foremost, she found the motivation to be a better person and acquired an understanding of how to achieve that goal taking small and simple steps.
Ellis’s story was taken from Quantified Self, a website where you can find all the news about analysing your well-being by tracking your lifestyle. This analytical approach to health is Welltory’s core concept.
But we went a step further: you don’t need to carry a logbook around, draw smiley faces or count days. Everything has become much easier, more convenient and more scientific 🙂 You only need an iPhone and a desire to experiment.
Measure your stress and energy levels every day after you wake up. Measure it the second time in the evening or during the day, as you wish. Fill out a short questionnaire about your mood and health.
Take measurements every day and check the statistics. This way you’ll be able to see what affects your well-being and how. Got a good night’s sleep? Didn’t have enough sleep? Meditated? Went to the gym? All this will be reflected in the data so you’ll be able to find your personal life hacks to reduce stress.
If you want to have a full picture of your well-being get our $2.99 plan. You’ll be able to use additional data sources from fitness gadgets and apps and collect information about your sleep, eating habits, productivity, how the weather affects you and much more.
All this will be shown in 17 diagrams in your personal account both in the mobile app and the web-version:
So you, just like Ellis, will be able to take control of your health and boost your well-being. Join in!