Resolution Preparations

New Year’s Day is coming up fast, and almost everyone will be thinking about resolutions.

One of the problems of resolutions is that we tend to start thinking about them during the holiday season, when our minds are really not ready for buckling down. Then the big day comes and we “wing it.” Right. How long does that usually last?

This year is going to be different. Not because I’m just saying so, but because I am pro-actively preparing for a real change for the better.

Before I decide on all the things I am “going to do and not going to do” in the new year, I thought I’d track what I am actually doing now, so I can make a more informed and realistic change when the time comes.

To this end, I decided to keep track of  everything I do for a whole week, hour by hour, or by the half hour when I can.

I prefer not using an app for this. I think its easier, for me at least, to carry around a sheet of paper and a pen. I also wear an plain old digital watch. I prefer a cheap Casio, because if I lose it (which I used to do frequently before I started using something like the Spider technique for it) and because it has many functions, like stopwatch, timer, and multiple alarms, which I use to full advantage. You can get one at any Cosmo-Demonic Mega-Mart for under thirty bucks, so you can get a few and keep them in your car, home, work, etc.

Nevertheless, I just scoured the Mac app store for productivity tools that track the use of your time, and haven’t found any. There are apps that record which applications you use for how much time, but that doesn’t help you record time you spent napping, testing paper airplane designs, yakking on the phone, and other “productive” activities, or actual productive activities like calling clients, stuffing envelopes, building cabinets, or whatever else you might have to do for your work.

So I made some very simple spreadsheets and turned them into PDFs for you to print out and use as you like. You can download them or the spreadsheets themselves if you like, here.

If you do find any apps that do accomplish what we are trying to do here, please leave a link to them in the comments box.

The point of this is that although we think we know ourselves, I’m sure we can find out lots of stuff about our daily habits that we didn’t want to face before. We can identify gaps where we can improve, and also find out what time of day our best productivity is, and build on that. Sort of along the lines of my motto for this plan, “If you don’t know what’s broke, you can’t fix it.”

In another week or so, I’ll be posting more New Year’s Resolution preparation Ideas, so when the day comes, you’ll be loaded for bear.

Until then, download the sheets (one it to track your time for the day, and the other has space for recording all seven days of the week. I’m using the latter – but chose your own style) and give this a try. I’d be interested in hearing how anyone did with tracking this. Did you keep it up for a week? Learn anything valuable? Get any motivation to change out of it? Leave a comment. .

I’ll come back here in a week and let you know how I did.

Best of luck!

~ Brian


  • Artie Martello

    Reply Reply December 7, 2015


    Both sheets are the same. There is no “Day” sheet.


    • Brian

      Reply Reply December 7, 2015

      Thanks for the heads-up, Artie. I’ll fix that now.

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