by Mike Shea on 23 January 2016
Every evening throughout 2015 I used my Lifetracker to record my activities of the day and score the six most important goals of my life: create, relax, love, befriend, health, and happiness. This resulted in a CSV file with over 11,000 rows of data. This was analyzed and graphed using R in R Studio.
You can compare this to my analysis of previous years:
Every day I track six goals on a scale of 1 to 10. Here are the results:
If we treat every score of 7 or greater as a success, we can take a look at successes and failures in a binary spark line. Each successful day is marked with a gray bar. Continuous gray bars show a streak of successful days.
Each day I tagged activities for that day in a series of key:value pairs. The following chart shows all of my tagged activities over the year for activities tagged three or more times in the year.
By analyzing both keys and values, we can dig deeper into the details of any activity. Which movies did I watch? What writing projects did I work on? We can dig all of that out of the values in the key:value pairs. Let's take a look.
Favorite Books: The Rise of Endymion, Pandora's Star, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, The Three Body Problem
Favorite Movies (besides the obvious): Interstellar, Grand Budapest Hotel, Almost Famous, A Most Wanted Man, John Wick, Mad Max Fury Road, The Wicker Man, Kingsman, Children of Men
Favorite TV Shows: Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, True Detective Season 1, The Wire
Favorite Videogames: Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Pillars of Eternity, Darkest Dungeon, Transistor
Why do all of this? Tracking higher level goals every day helps remind me what I think is really important or, as in the case of health, shows me what I'm not doing very clearly. Tracking activities gives me an interesting look at the specifics I do each day at both a micro and a macro level. Tracking interesting values for keys (such as TV With Michelle:George Gently) can give me a look at the specific things I did and when I did them. As a structured daily journal, this give me a very detailed and structured daily journal. If I want to know which books I read over 2015 and when, I can easily call that up.
Most of all I do it because it's fun. I love data. I love analyzing data. So why not analyze the most important data in my life, my life itself.