Monday, March 12, 2007

Link: Joe's Goals

Well, it looks like I'll be getting a bit of blogging time, which is a good thing, because I miss it. This is all ironically because I'm working 2 extra days a week, for the next 2 weeks. I'm working with Lance because his boss is taking her vacation and they needed someone to fill in. Their office is a bit slower than my normal one, plus, I don't have my usual list of tasks I can sit and do, since I don't know where much is here. That suits me fine though, as it gives me a chance to do some research in a few areas, catch up on reading, and do a few blog posts.

Today, I'm going to tell you all about Joe's Goals. It's a web application and I just love it! It's simple and flexible and works great! There is rarely a day that goes by where I don't use this site.

Do you remember those charts in elementary school where the teacher could give you gold stars for doing things you were supposed to? Well, this is the same simple concept except that you are both teacher and student.

Basically, you are "joe" and you can set up as many or as few goals as you want. They then list the goals along with the days of the week (you can even select which days it displays on) and you can give yourself points everytime you do something on your list. So, if you're training yourself on a new habit, something I try to be continually doing, it works great for a bit of positive reinforcement. Not to mention, you can get reports and see just how successful you were. It's also great if you're trying to break bad habits since you can have positive or negative goals. You even get a daily points total at the bottom so your good stuff will hopefully outweigh your negatives and you'll end up with a positive score.

What I really love about the program though, is that you can adapt it to other things as well. For example, I read where someone was using it to track her headaches. I thought this was a great idea! I have infrequent moderate migraine attacks, but have only been able to rely on my memory to really tell how frequent they are. With this program, I can generate a report that will help me track the frequency. I also set up a few things that I think are headache triggers. Hopefully it'll help me see a relationship between the triggers and my headaches. Plus, if I have a mild headache one day, I just give it one click. If it's a rip-roaring, full-blown, crawl-into-bed kinda headache, I just click multiple times to give it a richter-scale type measurement. On a related note, I could set up a headache scale with different goals since each goal can have a different "weight" measurement attached to it. So you could set up "Level 1 Headache," "Level 2 Headache," etc. if you wanted to.

The second way I'm adapting Joe's Goals right now, is to help me track my nutritional choices. I'm trying to eat a balanced diet right now, but I never really pay attention to how much of each food group I actually get. So, each food group is a goal and each serving is a click. This way I can easily see at a glance how many servings I average and which areas I'm getting too much/too little. Plus, it might help me make different snack choices. For example, I love fruit and would skip almost all vegetables in favour of fruit. But, seeing that I've already had 2-3 servings might make me think I should probably grab a carrot instead of grapes this time around.

One of the other great features that I am under-utelizing is the log book feature. This is basically like a mini-journal where you can add notes for each day of the week. I think it would be great, but I just have so many other ways that I keep notes about things (like my palm pilot) that I don't really need it.

No comments: