Today I start a self-experiment. For 45 days I will be tracking and sharing health data via this spreadsheet. Novel parameters such as “the most interesting thing I learned today” and “how many times I stretched for at least 1 minute and less than 30, with corresponding metric of intensity” integrate with more traditional data collection points (weight, BP, exercise etc) in my first attempt at understanding the variability in my life.
The goal is to discover and explore possible correlations between health and creative output. When I have a great idea, such as the TEDx Global Music Project, is there something – or a set of things – I did during days prior that set the stage for ideogenesis and the pursuit of the interesting? What activities do I do but ignore (for example, the amount of time I spend on my iPhone before bed..)? How can I compel myself to more wisely utilize my time? How can I catalyze my evolution from good to great to excellent health?
These questions and more I am exploring in an organized and diligent manner. Stay tuned to this blog for thoughts, insight and the occasional infographic.
This first phase is “2 weeks to runway ready” (I’m walking in a fashion show July 16th). It kickstarts with a 100% plant-based diet and strict blend of 3x a week hour-long aerobic and anaerobic exercise. We have also orchestrated tri-daily mini metabolic boosts, which I’ll share more about in a later post.
I read a fascinating paper by Allen Neuringer calling for more people to engage in self-experimentation, particularly professionals in the psychology field. As I am experiencing first hand, the difficulty in designing quantified self systems is “exacerbated by our lack of experience in formulating questions about our own behaviors in a rigorous, empirically testable manner,” Jump in and try it. Use my spreadsheet if you’d like. There are lots of resources; check out quantifiedself.com.
I would love your input, encouragement, ideas, suggestions, brainstorms and anything else. The data is public domain so have at it. Data viz artists might have a good time playing with this or suggesting amendments to parameters that would streamline info conveyance. Some parameters would be easy, i.e. the hours of sleep I lose every month because I’m on my damn iPhone. Hopefully, this will help me streamline myself.
“The solution to many of our problems is a continuous process of discovery and change.”