We often think about changing or making new habits to improve lifestyle, but it is really difficult. Since, this takes time and a lot of patience to get through it. However, we fail to realise how our habits influence our lives. We have often heard the phrase ‘habits define character’. This makes us realise all the more of the importance of habits. The most difficult part of acquiring a new habit is not starting with it but, is keeping up with it. When we get soaked back into our normal routine without the excitement (as we had at the time when we thought of acquiring the habit), it becomes very tough. The process of lifelogging helps us to keep track of these habits.
Basically, the most important part of acquiring a habit is remembering to carry it out spontaneously. This seems to be very difficult under routine circumstances. Failure in this causes failure in acquiring the habit. Lifelogging helps us here as it includes observing our day as it assists to figure out the most common activities we perform. By doing this, we can associate our habit to the activity. This eases things by a lot as we remember to carry out the habit before, after or during the activity until it involuntarily becomes a part of our routine. Lifelogging allows us to Quantify our habits measurably.
Breaking down the habit into subparts helps quite a bit. If it is a mammoth task, there’s a very big chance that we’ll end up procrastinating to the point that we’ll never perform. So, breaking it down helps us get started with the first task. It becomes easier from here and easier to stick to. However ,it’s unbelievably easy to forget to perform one of the subparts. We can keep track of the subparts on the phone using life logging and make sure we perform all of them until we do them involuntarily.
Another very important aspect is keeping the track of time while performing the activity. We end up trying to pursue a habit but drop it later because it unnecessarily, consumes way too much time. So, keeping track of the time spent using life logging devices helps us improve our efficiency and perform the activity in optimum time.
Whilst carrying out the habit, for the first few days we probably won’t end up carrying out the activities as we desire. It takes some time for getting used to. There’s not much we can do in this aspect but, self-tracking can help. We can log in how effectively the habit was carried out and make sure we are improving when we review the logs or make due changes in the process.
Lifelogging allows us to review the whole days activities very easily. Using this, we can see how many times we have carried out the habit. This allows us to judge and improve our routine in many aspects. It also allows us to rethink when we perform the habit and how we perform it hence, allowing us to optimise it.
If we want to follow up on our day a little more obsessively and make sure we’re performing our activities, devices like a lifelogging camera can be useful. Basically, a lifelogging camera keeps taking photos periodically and automatically which get stored to review later. This allows us to review the day in more detail and shows exactly how and where we were carrying out the habit. This is not only good for habit formation but also, for habit destruction (to remove bad habits).
Lifelogging has helped me acquire really good habits like flossing, and reading. I’m pretty sure it can be used for a variety of things using newer automatic Quantified Self technologies.
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