“The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life” by Amy Westervelt

A few days ago Haley shared the New York Times Opinion piece by Amy Westervelt titled “The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life”. You can read the article here if you would like. Haley shared this with me with these words “That seems like something you would like…the spreadsheeting of your activities and how it makes you feel” and she’s exactly right…I love tracking my moods and trying to find a pattern with everything that’s going on in my life. There was a website that I used to use that did this, but the name escapes me at the moment (I remember that it used panda faces to help me rate how my day was going).

I like this article because it shows a real life example of how something like this works if you put in the effort:

The project led to a major life change. Our spreadsheets hammered home that what contributed most to our happiness was time spent together or with friends — while, crucially, not working — and there was no way to get more of that if we continued to live in the Bay Area, one of the most expensive parts of the country. So I proposed an idea that would have seemed radical were there not so much data backing it: “I think you should quit your job, we should sell our house, and we should move somewhere cheaper,” I told my husband matter-of-factly one day. So we did.

At this point in my life what I am searching for is not some grand answer to everything, but instead what I want is to learn how everything in my life is connected and how each element of my life can change the other. I’m excited to see where this goes, so I’ve started up my own life audit titled “The Justin Hoenke Tracking System” which you can view by clicking here. Right now I am tracking 11 things, giving them each a rating between 0-10 depending on the day. I then take the total, divide by 11, and see what my “mood score” is for the day. EDIT 6/17/19: I completely failed at updating and maintaining this. Maybe I will try again someday but for now I am setting this project aside.

Feel free to copy/use my template which I have linked to above. If you do try this, let me know how it is working for you. I would love to here any suggestions you have or improvements you have made.

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