Tracking Your Way to a Life of Betterment
“What gets measured gets managed”. This famous quote is often attributed to Peter F Drucker. It not only applies to business but also to our personal life.
To rephrase it, we can say: “What gets tracked gets managed”.
And that’s how my life changed. There was a time when I was going downhill. The curtains of my room never opened and liken to me the room stayed in darkness.
Then I took the decision to track my moods. Every day before going to sleep I wrote down the overarching emotion of the day.
When I repeatedly noticed that most days I was writing down anxiety, sadness, and anger. I knew I have to change big.
The simple practice of writing down emotions then went a step ahead when I discovered something called Bullet Journaling.
Bullet Journal was invented by Ryder Carroll in his college days. I enjoyed watching videos of people going crazy with their bullet journal designs.
I choose to stay minimal and go ahead with the essentials. I brought a dotted notebook and started by adding the heading — Mood Tracker.
Listed out the days and wrote down the different emotions below with symbols corresponding to each. Every day in place of just writing down the emotions, now I made symbols.
And that ritualized the whole process. It helped me be mindful and reflect upon my days.
As said by Gaur Gopal Das any ritual done with spirit becomes spiritual.
By me putting my spirit into being a better version of myself, I started adding new habits to my life.
The bullet journal kept the track of my habits.
I started with simple habits and only added new habits once I was sure the old ones has stuck.
The idea of building systems rather than goals from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear helped me get a headstart in the journey.
I read this book by William H. McRaven titled Make Your Bed. And that became my first habit.
I woke up and made my bed, and that ensured that I started my day always with a small win.
To suppress the negative talks in my head, I started listening to audiobooks. And it became a habit that I cherish to this day.
The habit indeed gave ideas for other habits to follow. And gave mental models for being successful in habit-building.
I listened to books like Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi and Habits for Happiness by Timothy J. Sharp.
Then that transcended into me picking up reading as a daily habit. And that indeed gave more and more mental models to bring light into my life.
Reading helped me stumble upon different schools of thought like stoicism, psychology, and spirituality.
I picked up chess and that helped me slow down my thoughts and focus on one thing at a time.
The commitment was simple, play at least 2 games of chess every day.
In the start, I could miss out on days but the idea of putting a tick mark next to the habit in the bullet journal kept me going.
The habit that merely asked 20 minutes of mine in a day started taking in more and more hours as the days passed.
Looking back at it now, out of the 365 days I might have only missed about 15–20 days.
To have the records set in digital form I went ahead and created an excel sheet to track my habits.
At this point, I was addicted to building habits and tracking them.
I was always on the lookout for improving myself every day. That’s what happens when you start tracking the aspects of your life.
Your life becomes more fun and every single day is a new win.
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