Understand yourself and get things done through self-tracking

Check offs are basically checklists. Logging gives you more information about the topic you are tracking.

Check offs are basically checklists. To use a check off method, you identify the behaviors you want to track, and check them off as you do them. These are good for tracking and making sure you actually do these habits. In the logging method, you might track down a lot more information than if you finished the particular behavior such as how you finished it, the quality of your action, etc. This is useful for discovering trends, patterns, and correlations in your behavior.

Check offs

I have found check offs to be good for keeping resolutions and habits. To set this up, first identify what habits or resolutions you want to track, then create checklists and put them into a calendar. For me, I put these checklists into an Evernote calendar template and just check them off whenever I complete these tasks. Over time you’ll be able to see how well you adhere to your resolutions and habits and any patterns that may arise.

I use Evernote to track my activities, checking off the boxes whenever I complete my intended resolution. Based on this chart, clearly I may need to lower my lofty goals for next year’s resolutions!


When you want to understand more about the behavior beyond whether you are doing it or not, logging can help you. To log, you track a variety of information related to the behavior which will help you spot patterns beyond whether or not you completed the habit. For example, I’ve had some sleep problems in the past, and now keep a sleep diary which I update every day with relevant data such as when I went to bed, what I did in the hours before bed, when I woke up and how I slept that night. When there is enough data, I can use it to see if there any patterns by running the data through the spreadsheet functions. For this reason, tracking via logging is best done in a spreadsheet program such as Excel or Google Sheets.

By tracking a variety of information and using conditional formatting, patterns are already beginning to appear.

Go forth and track!

With these tools, you can easily self-track and both keep yourself accountable to your habits and resolutions as well as finding out patterns in your behavior. The key to self improvement is self awareness, and these methods will help you on your self improvement journey.



Linguist • accent coach • instructional designer | accentamazing.com

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Adrian Lin

Adrian Lin

Linguist • accent coach • instructional designer | accentamazing.com