A “Hackable Me” post is a few words on incremental personal self-improvement: a personal hack to better myself. I’m actually very skeptical when it comes to the kind of DIY, fixer-upper, read-this-book-to-change-your-life sort of self-improvement one normally thinks about. On the other hand I tend to consider that (a) publicly scrutinized goals and (b) introspective evaluation of those goals through words tends to lead to making me a better person. This is just a thing to do with that.
A couple years ago when I started this whole idea of “Hackable Me” (and yes, I still track a lot of things with regard to this little self-improvement initiative) I had the idea of automating a key component of that system, specifically the public accountability side.
See, in the spirit of the project, the whole point of tracking and gamifying your personal effort towards a goal is (a) to quantify that effort to make it easier for your brain to comprehend your success (or failure) in moving towards that goal, (b) to link that effort to real-world results, and (c) to add a level of public accountability so that to successes (and failures) can be a motivating factor to always trying to improve.
Most people balk at the public accountability part. But, for better or worse, you’ve probably already figured out that I’m not most people.
So when I started using this little system (admittedly, off and on over the past two years) the part about public accountability simply meant that I would keep track in a spreadsheet and then occasionally report my results. I’ve tried to keep my running tallies up-to-date, but the rest of it… that’s a lot of little numbers to always be updating.
But over the past few weeks (and after a couple long evenings of sitting in front of the television watching the Olympics and writing PHP scripts) I’ve finally got a version one (beta) of my Hackable Me Console which allows (a) simplified tracking system for a number of the key data points I’ve been recording, (b) a mobile-friendly (at least for my phones) website for inputting my data on-the-go and wherever, and (c) a graphical output for both the app-site and which I can embed in the side-bar of this blog.
You can explore — and as always I continue to tweak this system — but the simple tool lets me track points-based positive efforts around four factors: food (red), fitness (blue), mental (yellow) and lifestyle (green) and displays a graph of the same for the day of the year (###) and the total points for that day too.
And, with almost everything I make, there is no such thing as a finished product: so (it that’s the sort of thing that interests you) watch for improvements, additions, and as time goes on. And remember to yell at me if you start seeing too many zeros on my little graph!