Your “Game of Life” Dashboard
Life is an unwieldy wildery wilderness. Most days we just try to make it through the brush to get to the clearing, and very rarely do we ever get to see the path we’ve created from a bird’s eye view.
That’s where data and dashboards come to the rescue!
With dashboards and good data, we can know where we’ve been and where we’re going. That’s why I tell all my friends to track their “game of life” stats, just like in the game, with their own personal “Game of Life” dashboard.
Your “Game of Life” Dashboard
I hear it from a lot of my friends.
I want to improve on [INSERT THING HERE], but I don’t know how…
My first question is, “Well… How often do you currently do X now?”
Um… A couple of times a week?
As soon I hear this um, I know they need to dashboard their habit. The easiest way to get started is to start tracking your data in a Google Sheet and connect your data into a Google Data Studio dashboard (free).
Both of the tools are free, and they’re quite easy to learn. There are other tools out there, but I recommend you get started with Google Sheets + Google Data Studio because it's the easiest. Also, Google Sheets connects easily with a lot of automation tools (Zapier & IFTTT) which can help you automate your data collection.
It’s so beneficial, and I really wish more people would do it in addition to journaling. Dashboarding your game of life’s data and goals can help you accomplish the following things.
Benefits of a “Game of Life” Dashboard
Benefit #1: Hold Yourself Accountable
Dashboards hold you accountable not to your own goals; they hold you accountable for inputting the data. When you know you have to keep track of your data, that’s one more sticky point to remind yourself to improve on your habit, whatever it is.
To make it easier to input your data, automate it with a data collection tool like IFTTT that can log data straight to your Google Sheet from a button on (or SMS sent from) your phone.
Share your dashboard with your friends and family. Tell them why you’re doing this. Tell them how to hold you accountable.
Benefit #2: Track Your Wins & Losses
Everyone journals, but do they data journal? Well they should, because trends, wins, and losses can be easily seen in dashboards.
For example, I had a big loss (as did everyone else) in 2020 with reading books. My measurement of success was to read a book every month, but I only read one. ONE BOOK! That’s why in 2021, I’m dashboarding my reading stats to track my monthly “reading a book” win!
Here’s to improvement, including your data intelligence!
Benefit #3: Improve Your Data Intelligence
When you have input your own data, you learn quite quickly about things such as data integrity, freshness, updates, and parent/child data relationships. This can help you at work and in other parts of your life, even if you aren’t working in data.
Most people are data illiterate. Interacting more with data, especially your own personal data that you know by heart, can help you improve your data literacy.
Benefit #4: Plan For The Future
If you see where you’ve gone on your life dashboard, you can plan how much more of a thing you need to do to get where you want to go.
Planning to run a marathon? See how many miles you’ve run or your miles per day in your personal dashboard.
Planning to Make $100K this year? See how much more you have to go before you hit your income milestone.
Whatever your goal, measure it, track it, and make it SMART.
- Set your “SMART” goals.
- Log your goals’ data in a Google Sheet.
- Create your personal life dashboard with Google Data Studio.
- Reap the benefits of your personal life data dashboard, and achieve your goals!