This year for Christmas I’ve asked my wife if she’d give me a personal trainer.
Warning – Tangent Ahead…. It’s been years since I’ve had an organized exercise routine – and while I do eat reasonably healthily and attempt to walk regularly – I’ve gradually felt my body ‘slipping’ further and further out of shape. I’ve put on weight, get out of breath more regularly and find myself getting sick more often.
It was time to bite the bullet and get back in shape.
I’m not great on disciplining myself when it comes to exercise and respond well to being accountable to others – so I asked my wife if instead of a new gadget or toy for Christmas whether she’d give me a personal trainer. She agreed – enthusiastically.
A few days after I moved I showed up for my first session and Danny put me through my paces with a fitness test. The result was pain – dizziness – nausea and a realization that I was more out of shape than I thought.
Food and Exercise Diary
Danny said a lot of great things during our first session (we’re going to have a weekly session – maybe two) but the thing that I’ve appreciated most since then is the food and training diary that he set me up with.
The exercise is simple – to record all the food that I eat each day and to note the exercise that I’m doing.
It’s such a simple exercise – but I can already see the impact of it and think that it’s probably a worthwhile thing to do for bloggers also when it comes to analyzing their blogs. Danny simply asks me to record the meal, the time I eat, the quantity of food, the food itself, water consumption, the mood I’m in, the energy levels I feel etc
Recording my food intake has already helped me in two main ways:
- It shows ‘gaps’ and patterns in my diet – for example I can see that I eat more food in the afternoon and go most of the morning without much food – no wonder I crash early afternoon, there’s no juice left in the tank. Seeing the correlation between the food I eat, energy levels and mood is particularly interesting.
- It makes me think about what I’m eating – knowing that I have to record everything that I eat makes me think twice when I’m in the act of ordering food, cooking meals and snacking. Just knowing that Danny will look my diary over next Thursday in our next session has impacted my choices already.
Keep a Diary of Your Blogging Habits
We’ve talked here on ProBlogger about keeping organized with diaries, calendars and schedules numerous times before (here, here, here and here for starters) – but in each of these cases the diary idea has been to help you plan what you’ve got coming up on your blog and not to analyze what you’ve been doing.
It struck as I was filling in my food diary today that it would be an interesting exercise to keep a blogging diary for a week or two to see what patterns it might reveal.
Here’s some suggested items to check:
- Posting Times – when do you write your posts, when do you write your best posts?
- Post Topics – are you focussing upon part of your overall topic but not others?
- Length of Post - do you just post one length or do you mix it up?
- Post Type – what type/style of post are you writing mostly?
- Post Frequency – how often do you post per day
- Reading Other Blogs – how much time are you learning from others? Are you being distracted or inspired by it?
- Other Activities – what other blogging related activities have you engaged in (networking, guest posting for others, social bookmarking, responding to readers, commenting on other’s blogs)
- Comment Numbers – what posts are getting the most comments?
The list could go on. I think it could identify some interesting trends in a blogger’s rhythms and reveal when they are most productive, how they work best, what posts are working well etc
What else might we monitor with our blogging diary?
PS: this could also be extended into some sort of Points System as I wrote about a few months back.