Hello, Quantified Self! I am a new user and I want to discuss the NYT article that lead me to find you, "The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life" by Amy Westervelt.
It seems that Amy is already getting swamped on Twitter @amywestervelt for examples of her spreadsheets, so I've been searching the net for similar projects and methods of applying data science to modern living, marriage, and personal lives. This community is one of the first things I found, and so I am hoping to survey the crowd for opinions and responses to the article that sparked my interest.
This article has inspired me to start collecting data on my behavior over time. I'm not quite motivated by a pursuit of self-improvement or performative accomplishment. “That which is measured, improves” does not grab me so much. I'm more interested in finding the more surprising benefits that are uncovered by this essay:
- a deeper and more detailed understanding of my behavior and time spent
- personal data as currency for conversation and decision-making
- identifying behavioral patterns that impact well-being and self care
I am newly married and I don't currently have kids, but we plan to have our first in the next few years. I am interested in 'auditing' my personal life in a similar fashion in order to observe patterns of change before/after baby and adapt my behavior accordingly across a variety of things. Maybe not everything. Did she really track everything?
If anyone in the community has attempted a similar project, or if Amy Westervelt is here somewhere, I would love to hear more about your methods and what small steps you took to get started.