Are you attracted to the idea of activity monitoring? Maybe you’ve purchased some wearable technology. Whether it’s the steps we take, the duration of our sleep or the number of calories we consume activity monitoring is a mainstream activity. However, it’s all numbers based. How would it feel instead monitor which activities fire you up, give you energy and light a spark inside you?

I discovered the idea when listening to some of the Do Lectures. The annual Do event is described by the Guardian as an ‘Ideas Festival’. All of the talks can be accessed on the Do website along with a series of podcasts. This is a real treasure trove to explore.

One of the talks was given by Ian Sanders and called Finding Your Story, Your Purpose and Your Compass. In the talk Ian describes what he calls The Good Times Experiment. The whole talk is approx. 24 minutes but if you want a quick listen the extract about the Good Times Experiment, a different approach to activity monitoring comes towards the end.

The Good Times Experiment is an approach to activity monitoring which develops a personal data set about activities give you energy and light a spark inside you. Doesn’t that sound more fun than counting?

It’s very simple to do. Allocate time each week to reflect on the week and make a note of the things that made you feel alive and gave you energy. For those of you who may, like me, love stationary this is just calling out for a wonderful new notebook or journal. Don’t feel constrained in what you write down, this is about you. That’s it, setting aside time for some focused reflection and do some journaling. Over the weeks you are building your own dataset.

Why would you do this?

When you are feeling low or needing to refuel you can look back over your data and see what it tells you about what you need to do to re-energise.

With pressing deadlines, increasing workloads and pressure to do the things we feel we ‘should’ be doing it is easy for things that have heart and meaning to get lost and fall off our ever expanding ‘to do’ list. We can give them less priority, we can see them as self-indulgent putting the needs of others before ourselves.

I see this time and again through my coaching work – the tendency to loose perspective on our own self-care when we are under pressure. To give ourselves permission to do things which energise us and not focus our attention in the wrong place.  To connect with the things that lift us up not drag us down and build some intention around being clear what those things are.

Photo by Riccardo Annandale via Unsplash