2012: The Year of Quantified Self

By Leslie Ziegler

Although here in Chinatown it’s technically the year of the dragon, 2012 is my personal year of quantified self. After several well-intentioned but poorly executed attempts to understand my food intake, sleep, exercise, etc, I’m committing to a steady diet of apps, devices, scales, wristbands, tests and tools for the year. The goal? To first get a baseline of my physiology and overall health, then find small easy changes (think BJ Fogg’s 3 Tiny Habits) and continue to ferret out amazing new companies. Note: this is NOT about short term weight loss or fads (as those who know me can attest, I’m pretty healthy in general) but rather an attempt to find meaningful, long term small tweaks to live a healthier life.

For those of you not yet privy to the quantified self movement, it’s all about self tracking through numbers, then (optionally) sharing what you’ve deduced from this glut of data. While there are an increasingly large number of products designed to help, I’m especially interested in tools with the ability to export data, those with an iPhone and/or web app component, completely passive tracking (sensors are tip top) and anything else with a major cool factor or life-changing potential.

Although I’m just getting started, here are a few things I have tested or am currently testing now:

My first big commitment for 2012? Throwing aside my fear of needles (gulp!) for WellnessFX‘s panel of 50+ diagnostic tests. Details forthcoming, but it’s an amazing product thus far.

Suggestions? Comments? Ideas or something new to try? Email me: qs@rockhealth.org.