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What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

"What gets measured, gets managed." - Peter Drucker

There is so much power in this quote. If you've never tracked yourself, you don't even know how much power there is in tracking. I couldn't even explain it adequately. You wouldn't believe me. You'd think I was exaggerating. The simple act of paying attention to something will cause you to make connections you never did before, and you'll improve the those areas - almost without any extra effort.

I'm not a believer in "free lunch" and I don't think the universe vibrates things to you just by thinking about them. But the closest thing to a free lunch getting vibrated to you by the universe is writing things down as they happen.

Before I go any further, I need to give you one piece of advice - start small and build up, so you don't overwhelm yourself. This is just being pragmatic. You want to scale up gradually, as I wrote up in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking." You want to build small wins, lock them so they become automatic, and then expand.

I'd have a hard time convincing you of the power of tracking, so I'll just show you. I fill this out every single day.

Tracking What I Eat

On DROdio

Although I usually write about the intersection of entrepreneurism and technology, sometimes I'll throw in other types of posts, especially if they're indirectly related.

And this one is.  After I turned 30, my body stopped cooperating with me.  When I was younger, I could eat anything I wanted and stay in pretty good shape.  I would run 50 milers (#662 at 11 hrs, 52 mins) and was never that concerned with my caloric intake.  Now that  I've been doing hard-core startups with crazy hours for 10+ years, I haven't taken care of my body as well as I would've like to.  Recently, my wife and I decided to really focus on living a healthier life, and one of the things I'm doing to that end is tracking what I eat.  I use LiveStrong.com, which has been good.  They have an iPhone app, which has been great.

I'm doing this as a baseline.  This isn't about "diets" but rather, about knowledge.  Already I've found that when I started, my caloric intake was averaging 2,200 calories per day, without me really thinking about it.  My goal is to be just under 1,800 calories per day, and just tracking it has made me more aware of it.  For example, today, in the afternoon, the Livestrong app is telling me I'm at 1,141 calories, which means I only have 635 left for the rest of the day.  It makes me think about food.  And that's been very good for me.  Even just the act of having to track the food means I think about what I eat, because I have to open the app up each time I do it.  This is an example of a really meaningful iPhone app for me - one that's helping me change my life.

We'll see if I can keep it up.  To really motivate me, I'm making my food intake public.  Feel free to post a comment from the peanut gallery if you see something on there you don't like - a little shame sprinkled into the mix might just do wonders for keeping me healthy!

Although I usually write about the intersection of entrepreneurism and technology, sometimes I'll throw in other types of posts, especially if they're indirectly related. And this one is.  After I turned 30, my body stopped cooperating with me.  When I was younger, I could eat anything I wanted and stay in pretty good shape.  I would run 50 milers (#662 at 11 hrs, 52 mins) and was never that concerned with my caloric intake.  Now that  I've been doing hard-core startups with crazy hours for 10+ years, I haven't taken care of my body as well as I would've like to.  Recently, my wife and I decided to really focus on living a healthier life, and one of the things I'm doing to that end is tracking what I eat.  I use LiveStrong.com, which has been good.  They have an iPhone app, which has been great. I'm doing this as a baseline.  This isn't about "diets" but rather, about knowledge.  Already I've found that when I started, my caloric intake was averaging 2,200 calories per day, without me really thinking about it.  My goal is to be just under 1,800 calories per day, and just tracking it has made me more aware of it.  For example, today, in the afternoon, the Livestrong app is telling me I'm at 1,141 calories, which means I only have 635 left for the rest of the day.  It makes me think about food.  And that's been very good for me.  Even just the act of having to track the food means I think about what I eat, because I have to open the app up each time I do it.  This is an example of a really meaningful iPhone app for me - one that's helping me change my life. We'll see if I can keep it up.  To really motivate me, I'm making my food intake public.  Feel free to post a comment from the peanut gallery if you see something on there you don't like - a little shame sprinkled into the mix might just do wonders for keeping me healthy! Goodbye

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