Empowerment Toolset: Record and analyse what’s going on

There is knowledge of self in terms of our various natural tendencies. Gretchen Rubin writes about these.

We can also observe and learn from our emotions.

Then there are practical observations that we can make (and record) about ourselves. Effects that we can try and find a cause for in our behaviours.

A (potentially weird, personal) parallel is using the Notes feature on my Soduko app.

I didn’t used to use it and just methodically went through each number in turn to see where it might lie in the grid through a process of elimination.

When I couldn’t go any further I would then look for rows or grids that had 3 of less spaces and again – using elimination – assess where the remaining numbers might be.

Then I discovered the Notes feature. A cool, unobtrusive tool that allows me to (manually) enter the numbers that could be placed into blank space.

When a number is eliminated because a number that was entered into another space on the board now made that number impossible, that number is automatically removed from the potential numbers.

Notes show in small grey font

It’s an excellent practical tool that can make solving puzzles a lot easier.

When Notes are used, there are other ways of considering and removing options to narrow in on the answer.

For example when there are two cells within a block (3×3 block or a single row), then the 2 cells will contain these 2 numbers and you can safely remove them from any other cell in the block or row.

These are not necessarily visible/obvious to someone with my limited mathematical ability without using the feature.

What about applying this kind of analysis into your life?

I want to know if certain actions (or in-actions) have negative impacts and if others have positive ones so I can work at doing less of one and more of the other.

But it may not be obvious what the relationships are. So it could be a good idea to try and find out using a tool. A tool like the Notes function in Sudoku apps that allow a second level of analysis.

A simple assessment COULD be that when I get to sleep earlier in the evening then I feel better when I wake up. But I’m after more encompassing useful insights and things I could test by trying them out more often.

For example, I feel my best in the morning when

  • I don’t eat sugary foods the day before
    AND
  • when I get to sleep before 10pm
    AND
  • when I get 7+ hours sleep
    AND
  • when I have exerted myself physically after work the day before

I feel content with myself when

  • I’ve learned something interesting and recorded it in my blog
    AND
  • I’ve spent time with each of the kids
    AND
  • I’ve taken an interesting photo
    AND
  • I’ve drawn something

I’m currently working on a bit of a checklist that I can run through each morning to hopefully provide some useful data around nutrition, activity and sleep.

For example, I want to see whether certain behaviours have a impact on how I feel when I wake up in the morning (physically) and whether I have any good ideas from subconscious priming.

  • Whether I feel stiff and sore or whether I feel energetic and fresh
  • Whether I get good ideas after times of unconsciousness (like after sleeping, while driving long distances, while walking, etc)

The types of things I want to record to help me with these are:

Daily Recording

Before going to sleep each evening

  1. The amount of physical activity/exertion I’ve had during a day [Plenty, Some, Not enough]
  2. How well I’ve eaten during the day [Good, OK, Bad]
    1. amount of sugar
    2. good carbs
    3. good protein
  3. Last meal time [time]
  4. Last water consumed [time]
  5. Theta messages (Worthy, Wealthy, Healthy) [Y/N]

Each morning

  • Theta Messages on waking (Worthy, Wealthy, Healthy) [Y/N]
  • Ideas and Solutions in the morning [Good, So-so, None]
  • Estimated time I fell asleep [time]
  • Time I woke up [time]
  • General Physical feeling on waking [Good, OK, Stiff &/or Sore]
  • Any particular physical ailments on waking (sore back, etc) [free text]
  • First water consumed [time]
  • Morning activity and/or exercises [Y/N]
  • Cold blast at the end of my shower [Y/N]
  • Power poses in the shower [Y/N]
  • Affirmations [Y/N]

That’s quite a lot and given I’m looking for potentially multi-faceted trends.

That said, there’s several practicalities that need to be accommodated at the same time

  • needs to be searchable
  • must be report-able
  • mobile friendly
  • form that can be filled out in 5 mins

I started with a Google Form but it might be easier to use a spreadsheet on a tablet that’s beside the bed.

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