Reading Your Inner Compass
Put science-ing to action with an experiment day.
Collecting the data that charts the roadmap to your goals
Today, your experiment is to collect a snapshot of you.
Not an actual photo.
Instead, you’re going to collect a snapshot of how your body is doing and what it’s feeling.
Learning to read your inner compass
The data you gather will help you start to learn to listen to your body.
The better you are at “reading” your body signals, the better you’ll do things like:
- learn and do movements;
- correct your technique for exercises;
- sense immediately when something is wrong or out of balance;
- know what foods (and how much) make you feel and function best;
- discover what’s working well, and what you might change.
You can think of this like learning to read your “inner compass” that tells you what direction to go next.
As you learn to navigate by your inner compass, using the data your body provides, the more adept you’ll become at steering dynamically and correcting course on your own.
You won’t be swayed by someone else’s “rules” or another fad, because you’ll be governed by your own cues, and able to respond quickly when things change.
You’ll move well and confidently, and be able to learn new movements and habits easily.
You’ll worry less about making the right decisions for yourself when it comes to eating and exercise.
Instead, you’ll have more confidence in knowing and feeling when those decisions are right for your goals. (Even if they’re not, you’ll notice that quickly too. So basically, paying attention means you win either way.)
Today’s experiment is simple. Here’s how it works:
- Get your smartphone or a timer, and set it to go off every 2 hours. (Quietly if need be.)
- Have a notepad handy. (If writing isn’t your thing, feel free to text or type a brief note, or do a quick dictation to your phone or computer.)
- When that timer goes, jot down a few quick notes about whatever you notice about yourself.
- At the end of the day, review your data and see what you learned.
What to look for
Start off your notes today by asking yourself:
On a scale of 1 (awful) to 10 (awesome), how well did I sleep last night?
Then, throughout the day, when that timer goes off, ask yourself the following 3 questions.
- On a scale of 1 (exhausted) to 10 (superstar!), how is my energy level right now?
- On a scale of 1 (completely freaked out and frazzled) to 10 (Zen master), how calm and focused do I feel right now?
- On a scale of 1 (utterly miserable) to 10 (hooray for everything!), how is my mood right now?
You can jot it down shorthand like this:
Start of the day 7 a.m.
Sleep last night: 7
Energy level: 6 Calm and focus: 5.5 Mood: 7.5
Again, every time that timer goes off, jot down the same 3 things using your 1–10 scale:
- Energy level
- Calm and focus
And so on, until the end of the day.
What did you discover?
Did you notice any patterns or strong links? For instance, did Event X seem related to Outcome Y?
Was your data different than you would have expected? If yes, how so?
Did things change throughout the day? If yes, how so?
What seemed to be working well?
What was it like to do this experiment? Why?
Can you identify any next actions that might come from this data?
- Would you change anything about your routine?
- Could you try to do more of what is working well?
How would you be a coach?
Imagine for a minute that this data belongs to someone else.
And imagine you’re that other person’s coach.
What would you say about this data?
What advice might you give your “client”?