2016 – Quantified Self year

I am interested in actually doing something to change things this year.
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.
The past few years I feel I have just been in survival mode, but it seems that if we don’t make some changes, that is all we are going to be doing, just surviving. Bearly.

If I just run this year through the same algorithm as last years, what is going to change?
What can I change? What do I want to change?
I have noticed a solid link between my physical health and my mental health.
While I am (pretty) happy with my physical health, I am pretty far from Ok with the state of my mental health….. Have considered medication for that side of things, and it is pretty safe to say that we tried drinking my way to better mental health last year, but neither of those options are sustainable or put in things in my control.
What does that leave?
Fine tuning (correcting?) my brain via fine tuning my physical health.

What data do I have on last years physical health?
Running data from Strava. That’s it.
strava 2015

Is that all we did physically in 2015? No, we did a lot more, but I do not have a single record of any of it.

So, here then is my focus for the next few weeks. By the end of January I want to have in place some devices / software to track as much of my physical activity as possible.

It is a small start, but here we are in groov…. Since I use it every single day, it made sense to me to put more of me data into it.
groov health data

Halfway into the month and we have made a pretty good start.
I can log, manually and automatically, more of my activity.
The plan is to write a quick script in the next few days to push this data into a MySQL database so that we can store it for more than a year, but also once it is in something like a database, then there are many tools that we can use to extract and analyze the data. As you know, AI is just around the corner for the common man, so in say 2-3 years time, I will have a wealth of data that new (as of 2016) tools, that do not currently exist, can be applied to that data set.
Of course, in the meantime, I will have data to start looking for patterns myself.

We are currently using Withings devices and software to do a lot of the tracking. (They have a rough and ready API so I can pull the data and import it into groov).
withings dashboard

At the moment I have their body analyzer (a set of scales that weigh and electrocute you – that’s how you work out body fat, your resistance to electricity) and blood pressure cuff. But am looking for heart rate, skin temperature and skin conductivity. (Extra points if I can find a wearable device that tracks respiration rate)
At the moment I do not have a sensor for those, but am looking hard to find something as soon as I can that will track it and expose it via software so I can get it into my database.
Those bits of data will not be in the Withings dashboard, so hence the interest in getting as much as I can into groov and my own database. (I also don’t trust any company to keep my data long term).

So, here we are, day 13 of 2016 and we are making a late start, but a start none the less.
Once we can see some cause and effects, we can start to make some changes and so can look forward to seeing some positive reinforcement on those changes.

I just can’t let myself have (yet) another year like the past 5.