Saturday, 9 January 2016

Weight Tracking

A common recommendation for achieving goals is to setup a way to track your progress and assess how you are going or when you achieve them. This means you should set a specific goal with a number to achieve. For me I am going to start by aiming to lose 10kgs. Ideally I should give this goal a time frame according to the experts but that is one reason I am blogging, to stay accountable to myself and to you guys. I only told my wife a few days ago I was blogging so there is news!

I set out to find a simple way to track my weight. Weight fluctuates up and down throughout the day and week and many people will tell you to set aside one day a week at a certain time to weight yourself. I am rather forgetful and have tried this before but I suck at it. So I decided to just record it each time I do it. For this to happen I need a really simple way to enter the weight quickly and easily. I am also a bit of a sucker for a graph that charts the progress of how I am doing so I can see it visually. I recommend the graph so it is easy to see how you are going.

I searched the internet for a solid 45 minutes googling best weight trackers etc. and found some apps for my phone. I decided a phone app was the easiest as I would always weight myself on my scales at home so my phone is always within reach as I weight myself and the data can be added straight away. Only there was one problem....there was no good apps. when I say no good apps there are lots of apps just not to my liking. I even tried linking something with ITTT (If this then that) button app but that didn't work either.

Enter GOOGLE! What I have done to quickly and easily record my weight and body fat percentage is to create a google form online and add a shortcut to the home screen of my phone (I am an android guy so that was easy!)
So here is what my second home screen now looks like....
I simply click that icon and this form appears to fill out....
This takes less then 30 seconds to complete once loaded (Note: internet connection is required which is fine in my case as I will be at home so will have my wifi!). I fill in those two boxes and click submit and am done! It actually now takes longer to weight myself then enter my data which is great to keep my motivation up!

But where does it all go?

Well if you know anything about Google forms you will know that google conveniently compiles all the data for you in a spreadsheet. This is my spreadsheet:
The spreadsheet records the time the data was entered and has a separate column for weight and body fat percentage. I added the graphs as well to see how I am traveling. The entire spreadsheet automatically updates itself as do the graphs. So all I do is enter my number on the form whenever I want and then look at the spreadsheet sometime to see how it is going. Here it has been 6 days so there are no long term trends to see. I can even add notes next to a certain day if I like. If I ever have a cheat day I might make a note on the spreadsheet to see if it has an influence later on.
The other thing to note is the reason the graphs drop right off is because I created a fake entry further down the spreadsheet with a date in July and entered my goal weight. This gives me a good visual idea of how I am going at getting towards my goal. The dream is after a couple of months the line will have a general downwards trend toward that point but only time will tell!

This is honestly really easy to do all of this and so if you have any questions about it please leave them below.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post. Do you have a step by step guide or a link to creating this google form. I would like to do this.