How closely do you record the developments in your life?

An unexamined life is not worth living. – Socrates

NPR’s David Green spoke with two people involved with the Quantified Self movement who belive that if you want to make your life better you need to keep track of it. Green chatted with Kitty Ireland, who works for a life logging app called Saga, and to David Goldstein, who turned to life logging with the help of a coach.

Today’s Question: How closely do you record the developments in your life?

  • PaulJ

    I count my blessings but don’t live in the past.

  • JQP

    I prefer planning what I will do instead of describing what I did.

  • James

    I track my life the following ways:
    – I create a family calendar each year as a Christmas gift, which forces me to collect and look through the previous year’s pictures and remember the previous year’s typically good times.
    – I do a personal annual plan. First I review highlights and lowlights in 6 areas (career, recreation & service, family & friends, fitness & health, financial, personal growth) and then set goals for next year.
    I have decent awareness of past activities and accomplishments, but don’t really seem capable of altering my life’s rather sedate course.

  • AndyBriebart

    Turning off the technology and going outside for a walk pondering where I’ve been and where I am going.

  • Jim G

    I do a yearly check-in with Jim to see how we’re doing. It happens every November in my deer stands. There’s a lot of down time sitting there hour after hour: listening to geese fly overhead, squirrels dashing through the trees, and this year the rifle shot crack of freezing trees. I don’t use a smartphone app, or any new fangled electronic gizmo to record my thoughts. Reflections on the past year don’t need to be organized into a journal or any electronic format. But they do need to be acknowledged, and remembered, just as Socrates did 2,400 years ago.

  • Rich in Duluth

    We make a “year plan” for each upcoming year, listing plays, road trips, vacations, and other activities we want to make sure we do each year. This is our “bucket list” for the year, so we review the last year plan, when we make the new plan, to see what we did and what we missed. We tract our spending on a spreadsheet, review it at the end of each year, and then make adjustments to our budget for the next year. Otherwise, we take a few pictures at family events and reminisce about the things we’ve done in the past.

  • david

    I track my financial life to the penny and use it to keep a budget current. I’ve done that for over a decade now but got real searous during the wall street robbery in 2008.

    I still track my gas mileage faithfully. It’s a habit I got into when during the previously mentioned robbery and I had to commute 135 miles a day. I needed to squeeze every MPG out I could get.

    Besides those things I hardly care what happened yesterday, much less further in the past. Recently I thought about trying to come up with a time line of all the places I have lived, and all the cars I have owned. It would put memories more into perspective as to how long ago they were, and what else was going on at the time. But it seems like a lot of effort, and there’s too many more needed or better things to do today.

  • Aunt Elizabeth

    I keep a journal of my activities/outings with my 4 young nephews (ages 8-15); then i write them personalized letters for Christmas and their birthday recalling some of those events. (Plus, i give them another gift too, i’m not a scrooge!) I hope the letters will be interesting to them when they are adults.

  • lisa h

    When I train for a triathlon, I keep a 3-month training log b/4 the race. I compete with my previous-year sales to do better the next year. My husband & I track spending & earnings. We plan out a year’s worth of trips so no vacation goes unused. I started yoga last year & kept a separate calendar to track my progress. Is all this really necessary? I guess it gives a sense of time passing, but in the end, if you feel good & act with love, that’s all that matters.