If you’ve met me, you probably know that I love tracking things.
- I’ve kept track of my reading habits on Goodreads (and other services) since 2006. That’s almost a decade at this point.
- I’ve owned three Fitbits over the years and am constantly trying to figure out ways to get more steps so that I can reach 10,000 steps a day.
- Whenever I decide that it’s time to lose weight, I use apps like Lose It or MyFitnessPal to track calories (until I get frustrated and eat all of the calories I can find).
- One of the main ways I’ve tried to get serious about my writing is by tracking my daily output. I’ve had some success with this in the past, but whenever I’ve failed, I’ve failed spectacularly and gone months without writing a word.
This year I’m making an effort to track all of those things again because I’m a masochist. They’re basically listed in order of how difficult I find them to achieve.
Reading a bunch of books every year comes pretty naturally to me at this point, although I do sometimes pad my numbers by reading a graphic novel or novella. Still counts, though!
Getting my steps in is much easier when it stays light past 5pm during the week. I don’t really like going to the gym that much, but I do like walking around a park listening to an audiobook, so I’m definitely looking forward to the end of winter.
Losing weight is a constant struggle. I’m pretty good at eating a specific breakfast and lunch, and I even do a decent job of not eating terrible snacks while I’m at work. The problems happen when I get home and there are unlimited snacks available and I just throw up my hands and don’t even bother trying to track what I ate for dinner.
Tracking my writing is the real doozy. A few years ago I managed to write every day for the entire month of January. I was pretty proud of myself, but my streak fell apart shortly thereafter.
This year I’ve created a new version of my tracking spreadsheet, and I’m slowly but surely building a streak by writing something every day. I feel good about my goal so far. I just finished a new story this weekend, and I’m really proud of how it turned out.
It definitely helps that I’ve figured out how easy it is to meet my goal by opening Drafts on my iPhone and writing literally anything for fifteen minutes. That’s about all the time I need to produce a minimum of 100 words, which is the bar I’ve set for myself. If I’m on a roll, I can crank out way more than that.
In fact, writing this post means I’ve met my goal for the day today, which is very meta of me. I’m going to keep checking in on my writing goals constantly in the hopes that it’ll keep me accountable.