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How Lifelogging Works

        Tech | Fitness Gadgets

How to Start Lifelogging
A Wellograph watch and activity tracker is displayed during a CES conference.  It's the only watch that can read heart rate variability which helps determine your stress level.
A Wellograph watch and activity tracker is displayed during a CES conference. It's the only watch that can read heart rate variability which helps determine your stress level.
© Yang Lei/Xinhua Press/Corbis

The general point of lifelogging is to provide people with data to make personal improvements. Nothing's going to motivate you to achieve ongoing success quite like making and reaching realistic, serious goals.

First, take off the rose colored glasses and take a long, hard look at yourself. Are you at a decent weight, but feeling sluggish and unhealthy? Look to sleep and nutrition fixes to rev yourself back up. Overweight and unhappy? Tackle diet, fitness and mood tools to lower BMI and elevate your self-esteem! There seems to be an app or device available to quantify literally any health or personal problem you're having, so do a little research and find one (or five) that meet your needs.

Then, identify goals you'd like to achieve in the coming weeks, months and reevaluate them as needed for the long-term. Unless your name is Ryan Reynolds you're not likely to ever achieve total physical perfection, so make your habits and goals realistic, or else you might risk burn-out down the line. For example, if you're focused on sitting less and moving more, use a device or app to log steps in a normal day. Then find out the number of steps you ought to be taking. Break down how you are going to increase your number to get nearer your goal. How many steps can you burn with an aerobics class or taking the stairs rather than the elevator? Small changes add up to big results over time and can be extremely motivating.

"When I first started tracking my nutritional data I was surprised at myself," says Emmett H., of Kennesaw, Georgia, who used the data to create a new nutrition plan. "I made changes like what, how much and when I ate." It also doesn't hurt that he has cultivated a support system to encourage success that includes his wife, Natasha. Both credit the competitive component their Fitbit challenge groups bring to the table with egging them on. "Seriously, when you are getting close to the end of a Fitbit challenge and you are only a couple of hundred steps behind a friend you will push yourself," explains Natasha. "Also, it doesn't hurt that there is trash talking involved," she says, citing one friend who chided the rest of the group at 8 a.m. by messaging, "Wake up and start walking!" as everyone else in the group lagged far behind her 3,000 steps. Most of us have at least a little bit of competitive instinct, and challenges like the one they participate in are specifically designed to awaken the sleeping athlete in all of us.

But are most people so motivated?


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