If you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen. That’s the world we live in — steps we walk, food we eat, what we do. And most of it gets posted online via an app, or directly to social media.
Work generally includes goals and objectives, and we receive performance evaluations (and raises) according to how we stack up against what we said we’d do. Grants are tied to deliverables. Measurement is a necessary part of work. But ….
Most of us treat our personal lives like work — we record it all, and we share it with the world.
Our health is tracked by any number of apps — daily movement, hours of sleep, water intake, the food we eat, how long we meditate.
We writers track words on a page or the time we spend writing. Look how many of us share regularly on Medium!
All of us are paying attention to the likes, retweets and shares we are receiving, possibly measuring our worth against it.
Ten years ago many of these things didn’t exist. Certainly we weren’t using them regularly. The internet has been around for less than thirty years. Sit with that thought for a moment. How did we live without it?
I am thankful for technology and the convenience it provides, but like most, I’m questioning habits — specifically screen time, recording and sharing — of every thing.
Unplugging regularly has exceptional value. One hour in nature does wonders for the soul.
I get outside each day, but recently I realized that I measure and record more than I tune in.
After measuring for years, I know how far I hike in an hour. I’ve set habits around my water intake and sleep schedule. No one else needs to see what I’m seeing via a Snap, at any given time of the day (even though our woods are quite beautiful!).
I write and read everyday. I take time to consciously breathe. I know what my emotions feel like when I don’t include those activities in my day. I don’t need to record them — I feel worse when the numbers don’t add up.
I’d rather pay attention to how I feel.
Embodiment is a practice, like all of the other practices (habits) mentioned. It’s as simple (and as hard) as dropping in to felt-sensation of the body.
Feel your breath.
Feel your feet on the earth.
Where is there tension in the body?
Are you hungry? Tired?
How do you FEEL?
The mind lies. The body never does.
These, to me, are greater markers of wellness than the numbers I record and share. It feels a lot less stressful too. In an over scheduled world, it’s one less thing to do.