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In The Media

Ditto What Matt Said

by Larry Chiang on March 22, 2016

Unedited by Larry Chiang

By Matt Hunckler

A harp plays softly, as if in the distance, and my eyes gently fold open.

My hand lifts my iPhone from the bed to silence the app before the alarm can progress any louder. I yank the phone free from the cord as I walk to the room-darkening shades to let the morning light spill into my bedroom.

After downing a tall glass of ice-cold water and I lay my yoga mat out in the living room. Bill Withers plays through my speakers to reassure me that it’s going to be a “Lovely Day.”

Waking up in the morning definitely hasn’t always been this pleasant, believe me. My high school self would have been floored…

Wake up to harp sounds? Are you kidding me?

Despite growing up delivering papers by 5 AMeach day, I had to physically and mentally forcemyself to wake up early until I figured out what actually works for me. 

It took a couple of years of testing and tracking to hone in on my current set of daily habits. But now when I follow through on those habits, I have the highest levels of energy and clarity I’ve ever had in the AM.
So that first-thing glass of water is intentional. As is the Bill Withers tune. And those soothing harp sounds emanate from an alarm app I discovered called Sleep Cycle, which measures my movements while I sleep in order to wake me up at the optimal point in my biorhythms.

In other words…

Measuring daily activities ain’t just for pro athletes no more.

Most of my entrepreneurial friends track at least a few activities that make an impact on their lives. And that seems consistent with the latest findings from Pew Internet Research, which found:

21% of adults now use tech to track their own activities.

But isn’t the percentage actually much higher than that?

Whether we like it or not, all of us are tracking our habits through the software and web tools we use. Think about Mint for your personal finances, Nest for your home activities, and even Twitter and Facebook for tracking where and when you were (and who even who you were with). There’s serious potential for this information.

Disciplines like Quantified Self and BigDatahave unlocked unlimited opportunity to measure and optimize all aspects of life. So people are discovering new ways to work, grow, and experience life to the fullest.

What habits will enhance your physical and mental performance while increase your happiness and wellbeing?

You could measure:
  • Glasses of water consumed
  • Hours of quality sleep
  • Minutes of cardiovascular exercise (and yes, walking meetings count!)
What habits detract from the life you want to live?

You could track:
  • Minutes spent on Facebook and other social media (I’m looking at you, Reddit)
  • Hours wasted watching TV …not including Shark Tank, because I like to think that’s not a complete waste of time 😉
  • Cans of soda or alcoholic drinks guzzled down your gullet
The potential is seemingly limitless. And health research has shown that the simple act of recording your actions and activities can create positive and lasting change in your habits.

That’s why I was captivated by a new business that was launched by my good friend, and Verge veteran, Brandon Corbin. His new app, Nomie, is a free tool that allows you to track whatever habits or activities you want and even suggests some examples you might use to get started.

You can check out Nomie here:

And guess what? Brandon is coming to the Verge stage to pitch Nomie at our Indianapolis Pitch Night next Wednesday, March 30.

We’ll take tickets live tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM EST.

After you set yourself a calendar reminder to RSVP in the morning (if you’re in town), shoot me a reply let me know if you’ve ever tried tracking your habits or “quantifying yourself.”

What did you track? Did you change your behavior based on your discoveries?

Let me know. 

Until then, I’ll just be over here stretching out on my yoga mat, chugging water and listening to Bill Withers. 


P.S. You’re going to dig the rest of our lineup for next week’s Verge, and our fireside guest is an entrepreneur you’ll want to learn from. But space is a little more limited at the HI-FI than other venues, sooooo… make sure you check early tomorrow morning to see the full lineup and secure your 

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