Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Non-Obvious Path to Well-Being

Hot shot researcher Justin Wehr applies what he knows about analyzing data to his everyday life. He is recording numerous variables, some that are driven and some that are drivers, and using regression to find non-obvious correlations.

What a great way to optimize your efforts for maximum positive effect in your life! Want to know if the latest fad diet works better than the previous fad diet? You can! Want to figure out whether video game abuse is ruining your life? No problem!

Of course there are also the added benefits of daily feedback. In organizational management there is a saying that 'you get what you measure'. Want to watch less TV each week? Keeping a daily record of your habits can raise your awareness, and help you form concrete mini-goals to achieve each day.

To me, though, the really interesting part is the possibility of discovering a combination of small tweaks to your daily routines that could have a large impact on your sense of well-being. Who knows how much happier you could be?


  1. Thanks for not leaving out the "hot shot" part. :-)

    I will write a post on the costs and benefits of self-tracking shortly, but to summarize: I think everyone should self-track but not for my originally intended reasons. Any deep hidden truths you discover are just a side benefit; the best reason to do it, I think, is just to reflect on the day and use it to put your life and your growth and development in perspective. For that reason, I have cut down on the number of variables and really focused on those that are important to me.

  2. This sounds like a good idea generally. But I wonder, do you track how much time it takes to do the tracking? And what kind of impact does that have on your day and mood? Is it worth the extra effort?