So I’m two weeks in to my mood tracking, and it’s not working out so well. When things don’t work well, you adapt (I made a T-shirt that just says “ADAPT”). So I am switching gears on the mood collection.
First, how did it go?
That table doesn’t show it very well, but it’s the best I can come up with since I abandoned Excel at home (more on that later in a post about my wicked cool new laptop). The lighter a cell is, the more events happened of that type. More active than passive, more bad than good. Not that surprising, given that anger is my primary emotion.
Maybe I should have done it the other way around. I am working on better graphics, but matplotlib is not available for Python 3.x, so I need to figure out someway to custom generate my own graphs. BTW, I’m having a lot of fun reinventing the wheel lately. Seriously, I’m totally enjoying it.
Anyway, what’s the problem here? Two of those events lasted several hours: a depressed morning (bad-passive) and an angry evening (bad-active). But despite the their significant effect on the two weeks covered, they are weighted no more than any other event. The other problem is trying to track by desire. Desires are very hard to put into neat categories, I have found. They tend to blur and meld.
So, the new plan, which went into effect today, is to track moods every hour. I am switching to a five point scale for three reasons. One, I will need to distinguish things like active moods that are active without being extreme. Two, it works well with Tap Log, which has a five point rating scale as one of the logging options. Three, I’ve always liked five point Likert scales.
I added events every hour, repeating daily, to my phone’s calendar. That will remind me to log my mood every hour. I will continue to log extreme events, and may also try to log when I come down from them. This will give me a much better view of my overall day, and allow better comparisons with other days and correlations with other events. I even thought of a cool way to animate graphs of the data, although that will have to wait until I figure out how to program animated graphs. One wheel at a time, people.
I am giving up on classifying desires along with the two scaled measure. Instead I am going to try coding the context, like “At Work” or “Surfing the Web.” Those are mutually distinct categories. Honest. Anyway, I think that will be easier to put into distinct categories than my desires.
In other habit/data news, I start eating breakfast today and tracking all the food I eat. Breakfast went okay, I’m starting easy with a bowl of cereal and a mug of OJ. The data collection stumbled a bit. I got it all, but generally an hour after the fact. The plan is also to cut back one soda a day, from four to three. That went well too. We’ll see what the general effect on my weight is.