Brandon's 2015 Annual Report

Hi Internet, It's Brandon. Welcome to my 2015 Annual Report. (see 2014's Q4 Report here)

Data for this report was collected using nomie. Charts and graphs were generated by a soon to be released version of NomieLab, an open source Nomie analyzer.

Overview

  • 145 different aspects of my life tracked.
  • 21,840 events recorded
  • 6,746 positive events. e.g. exercise, drinking water, positive thoughts, healthy eating
  • 6,420 negative events. e.g. alcohol, bing watching, unhealthy eating, negative thoughts
  • 736 life notes recorded. 99 positive, 50 negative, 587 neutral.

What's in this report

  • Sleep
  • Food / Consumption
  • Work
  • Body
  • Locations

My Sleep

This year I started tracking the following aspects of my sleep: Hours Slept, Quality of Sleep, Unable to Sleep, Sleeping Pills, Dreaming, and Tired.

When to Bed? When to Rise?.

Quality of my Sleep.

Back in April I started tracking if I had a Good Night or Bad Night of sleep.

While not surprising in hindsight, I record better nights of sleep at a more consistent time in the morning, specifically between 7am and 8am. Meaning, when I'm waking up at a consistent time I also had a better night of sleep. Compare that to my logging of Bad Nights of Sleep which is much more chaotic.

Good Nights Sleep

Bad Nights Sleep

Comparison week over week

Lessons learned:

  • If I can get myself to bed between 11pm and 12am, my chances of having a good night sleep increase. However, persuading myself to go to bed between 11 and 12 is easier said than done.
  • Beginning in October my sleep becomes highly erratic. Specifically, I'll wake up at 2am or 3am and fall back asleep at 6am or 7am. I'm still not sure why, but at least I've identified the pattern. Next year I expect to have a few working hypotheses.

My Food Life

2015 was a pretty good year for eating healthier. When I started tracking in 2014, it was horrifying how often I would eat fast food, while convincing myself that I ate a fairly healthy diet. Happy to report I haven't eaten a single insanely tasty Chik-fil-a for all of 2015.

As evidence in the diagram above, I eat healthier meals more consistently earlier in the day. When I eat late at night it's much more likely to be something unhealthy. I see this type of pattern over and over in most of the things that I track that require will power.

Snacking

The same basic rules apply for snacking as for meals. The earlier in the day, my will power is strong and I will have a healthy snack. Later in the day I will more often opt for an unhealthy snack. Unlike meals, Unhealthy Snacking totally kicks the ass of Healthy Snacking in terms of sheer volume (278 to 123 times).

Cider and Wine

Being "Gluten Free" has "forced" me to focus my alcohol consumption to cider and wines. Last year, I noticed a seasonal trend to my drinking that I can once again confirm. During colder times I like Wine. During warmer times, I like cider. However, as I consume more cider, my craving for sugary foods and drinks increase.

Sugar!!!

If you know me, you know I love my sugar — and not the natural kind. I love man made, highly concentrated, china-white sugar. While I've learned to control it (for the most part), if I let myself go I could down a 5 pound bag of Costco Sour Patch Kids in record time. Thanks to FedUp and my wife, I'm now actively working on hacks and work arounds for this sweet "need".

This year I've identified that my "insatiability" for sugar peaks when I'm at home and is most intense on the weekends. Additionally, I can clearly see that my "need" for sugar increases with the consumption of ciders, gluten or other sugary foods.

Soda

Up until 2010, soda and sugary drinks were my primary source of liquids. Since that time I've been actively working on drinking water only. Unfortunately as you can see in the chart below, soda has started creeping back into my diet. Notice how the time I start drinking soda also matches the start of my summer cider drinking.

Water Vs. Soda

When I drink soda

Gluten

I love gluten, but my body hates it (specifically my stomach). The following chart highlights how I'll eat gluten over a period of time without a problem then BOOM, my stomach issues start. Since we've identified it was the gluten causing the problem, I now know if I stop eating gluten, a few days later the pain goes away. If I wouldn't, I'd end up bed-ridden for a week.

Now for the crazy part: once the pain subsides I sincerely convince myself: "It wasn't the gluten! I'll just have a little... mmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... see! no issues... Then BOOM".

Apparently, I need to repeat this insane behavior until I'll learn to finally kick the gluten addiction.

Lessons Learned:

  • If I force myself to eat a healthy breakfast, I'll tend to eat a healthy lunch and dinner.
  • My will power decreases as the day and week progresses.
  • When I start to consume more Angry Orchard's I'll crave more Sodas and sugary foods.
  • I'm a gluten crack head

My Work Life

2015 will prove to be a major turning point in my work life. It was the end of a 7 year career at Fifth Gear, a wonderful eCommerce Fulfillment company as the Director of Ecommerce, and eventually Director of Marketing. The company was purchased by SpeedCommerce at the end of 2014, and since I prefer smaller companies to public ones, I decided to make a career transition in parallel with Fifth Gear's corporate transition.

My last day at Fifth Gear was April 1st 2015, and I started my new job at a local Indianapolis consulting firm on April 2nd.

Wednesday, Apr 1st 2015 10:04pm

By Friday, Apr 3rd 2015 12:39pm I was already thinking of throwing in the towel at the new job.

Ugh. I really hate this - I'm totally not myself right now. I know it's the initial change and not knowing many things and people. This is what I do when I have to learn something new. It's the transition you asshole. So quit feeling sorry for yourself. Figure out how to survive and make Nomie a real fucking product. #work #life

I'm happy to report, I learned how to survive (and in fact thrive). But used my unhappiness as motivation to go part-time at the consulting company within 6 months. I now provide my own Product Development and UX consulting services, as well as building nomie.

Productivity

My productivity peaked in August. Each of these spikes are directly related to development of Nomie, once I've published a new build, I usually take 2 to 3 weeks off to decompress and to experience the new nomie build more as a user, opposed to the developer.

What time can you guarantee that I'm not being productive? 6pm on Friday. That's the hour I sit down, have a drink, watch some Reddit TV with the family and relish in the past weeks awesomeness or horror.

Here are the primary locations I'm the most productive in Indianapolis


My Body

When (and where) I pee

I've been tracking my pee for well over a year, during that time I've peed pretty much every hour of every day EXCEPT: Wednesday at 2am and Monday at 3am. I have a new goal of 2016 (set the bar low, right?).

Here's a map of my 2015 Midwest Peeing Tour

While we're talking about bodily functions, here's another one (or two) I track - guess what it is:

My Whereabouts

Everywhere I've been in the US in 2015

  • Fishers, Indiana 15013
  • Indianapolis, Indiana 1641
  • Pleasant Acres, Indiana 1376
  • Westchester Estates, Indiana 797
  • Traders Point, Indiana 523
  • Carmel, Indiana 369
  • Bay Lake, Florida 312
  • Sweetwater Lake, Indiana 261
  • Noblesville, Indiana 236
  • Gulf Highlands, Alabama 230
  • Woodbury, Indiana 111
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama 88
  • Glendale, Indiana 82
  • Fall Creek Highland, Indiana 44
  • Macon, Georgia 29
  • Victory Camp, Ohio 27
  • Hamilton County, Indiana 26
  • San Francisco, California 18
  • Hopewell, Indiana 17
  • ChampionsGate, Florida 12
  • Chester, Indiana 10
  • Orange Beach, Alabama 10
  • Oak, Alabama 9
  • Kansas, Indiana 9
  • Delaware County, Ohio 8
  • Muncie, Indiana 8
  • Franklin East, Tennessee 5
  • Wilson's Corner, Florida 5
  • Palmer Heights, Tennessee 5
  • Pataskala, Ohio 4
  • Gap of the Mountain, Alabama 4
  • Gulf Shores, Alabama 4
  • Orsino, Florida 3
  • Sampson, Florida 3
  • Steelwood, Alabama 2
  • Madison County, Florida 2
  • Whiteside, Tennessee 2
  • Gem, Indiana 2
  • Riverwood, Indiana 2
  • Louisville, Kentucky 1
  • Madison County, Florida 1
  • Flat Ford, Georgia 1
  • Clark County, Indiana 1
  • Greenwood, Indiana 1

2015 was an interesting year. There we're many personal victories and failures, a lot of happy times and a lot of sad times. But what I find most interesting about this year, is how well I can recall it. Unlike any other year in my life, I have a very clear mental picture and timeline of what actually happened. I attribute this mindfulness 100% to tracking, and more importantly, going back and reflecting on my data.

If you're interesting in tracking your life, check out nomie. It's free, private, silly easy and doesn't require an account.