Tracking happiness is very simple. It only takes me 5 minutes a day, but helps me to create more value in my life. I can do it everywhere, and nobody will notice it. I have been doing it for more than 3,5 years now.
3 simple ideas
Tracking happiness is based on 3 simple ideas:
1. Happiness ratings
The first simple fundamental idea is that each day should get what I call a ‘Happiness rating’. What this means is that you rate every day based on your happiness, on a scale from 1 to 10. If you experience a bad day, then you give it a low rating. If you experience a very happy day, then you give it a similarly high rating. Mind you, this is not rocket science!
It’s important to remain consistent in your rating process. Please know that the relative difference between happiness ratings is far more important than the exact difference in value. Do you want want to find out how your relationship correlates to your happiness? Well, then it doesn’t matter if you’ve been rating your happiness on a scale from 3 to 6 or from 6 to 9. If the relative difference between these happiness ratings remains the same, then the correlation will also be the same for each method. Consistency is key here!
2. Happiness factors
The second step is to determine which factors have had an influence on your happiness rating. If you had a lovely date with your partner, then why not determine your relationship as a positive factor on your happiness? If you felt miserable because you had a fever, make sure you determine that fever as a negative factor! The list of factors is endless and obviously varies per person, but be sure to be as honest as possible here.
3. Keep it up
The last step is to just keep up this process for as long as possible – maybe forever? One dayrating in itself has basically no analytical value. But as many statisticians know, the more data you collect, the more reliable, interesting and eye-opening the results are going to be. It will not take long before you are able to spot trends in your happiness.
Pretty soon you will be able to determine what exactly makes you happy in life. And once you know just that, you will be able to create more value in life by focusing on the things that make you happy!
In addition to these three basic ideas, there’s room to add whatever you want to the lay-out. Personally, I like to fill the ‘Comment’ section with my personal thoughts. I have found over time that this helps create harmony in my mind. Just typing/writing down my thoughts helps my mind give each and every one of them its separate location. You know, once I have written about an emotion, I can completely forget about it and move on.
I use Google Spreadsheets to track my happiness. I find it extremely convenient to use, as I can access it from my smartphone, tablet and laptop. It saves the data in the cloud instantaneously, and I never have to worry about losing my precious data. It comes with some analytical computing capabilities, but it’s also super easy to export your file to your preferred format!
I would like to refer to the ‘Happiness through…‘ series, since that’s where I do all the fun analytics on my data! If you’re interested, I will also share any template sheet that I use for further analysis of this data.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me by commenting on here or by sending me an e-mail!