View Full Version : How do you measure your life?

05-15-17, 08:19 AM
I have been trying to answer this question for myself. I'm seeking some method of objectively knowing that any subtle changes I'm making e.g. eating eggs for breakfast, exercise, meditation, medication, etc. are having a positive (or negative effect) on my life. For example being less 'brain foggy' is something I feel. But how can anyone put a number of how 'brain foggy' (etc.) they feel or don't feel at any point in time?

05-16-17, 01:21 AM
Maybe I can record how long I've been 'foggy' for each each.

05-16-17, 04:56 AM
One way could be to notice a task which is sometimes difficult, perhaps as a consequence of not being able to concentrate, or that brain fog. Maybe something which is important to get done in your daily routine, or that is frustrating for you personally, so that you can be motivated to notice changes.

Then you could try and see if those subtle changes you're making having any impact on those specific tasks/challenges.

For example I find concentrating on some conversations, especially with some family members, difficult to concentrate in sometimes. But I know it's an area which I shoul

d improve in, because I do value it, and things go worse if those convos don't go well. I have been noticing it is somewhat easier for me to have those conversations since learning about how ADD could be impacting my behaviour/attention span.

So for me the subtle change I've been making is just trying to recognise aspects of my behaviour which could be explained by the underlying brain operations.

05-16-17, 06:30 AM
You could install some app for mood tracking. The simplest tracker would be just to note at regular intervals whether your brain is foggy or not.

I use Nomie to track whatever it is I want to track at any given time.

05-16-17, 01:16 PM
Yes, you can put a number on how brain foggy you feel ... It's the same way that doctors in the ER might ask us, "on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, what is your pain level?"

If the patient says 9 or 10, the doctor knows the patient is in excruciating pain.

Using numbers is simply a way to compare one day to another. You could create a word scale ...

super low level of brain fog = I feel so sharp and clear.

low level of brain fog = I feel sharp.

middle level of brain fog = not bad but a little sluggish

high level of brain fog = my mind feels like a mess.

highest level of brain fog = I can barely think at all.

But creating a number scale can make it easier to track your mind over time.

So let's say you feel highly brain fogged today ... and you give yourself an 8. And let's say tomorrow is even worse ... well, give yourself a higher number, say 9 or 10. Then you might have a day when you feel more focused and you rate your fogginess at a 5.

The point is not the "objective" number. The point of measuring like this is to compare one day to the next ... and to look for patterns for what could account for the good days or bad days. You'll also have better information to give your provider.

Also ... here's the deal ... after you keep track of things for a while, you might adjust your rating scale ... Example: since I started taking meds, I have definitely adjusted my informal grading scale. What I used to think of as a quiet mind, I would not consider a chattering mind (because the meds have showed me how quiet my mind can be.) That's fine.

Doctors adjust medical scales and measurements all the time as new research comes in.

Good luck.


05-18-17, 01:58 AM
People with adhd are notoriously bad self evaluators. Not saying we are incapable of it but being objective with ourselves when we already struggle with stuff like that is not easy. Its all very subjective. What are you trying to get out of this way of tracking? Is it curiosity or something else?

05-18-17, 09:14 AM
Maybe it's just how my brain is wired, but I measure my progress better by noticing my active functioning levels than I do by trying to assign numbers.

Numbers and language have only served to complicate things in my world, more often than not.

Was I able to get out of bed and stay focused on any of the things I wanted to do?

If so, yay. Celebrate healthily!

How'd I do that and what do I need to do to make it happen again?

If I wasn't able to do or accomplish anything, I ask myself why.

What can I do to change it? Once I learn, then I do it to the best of my ability and ask for help if needed.

Once I find and benefit from these helpful things, I must learn to continue to practice them, as I've very clearly learned that what we practice, be it intentionally or not, grows.
I find it helps to ask for input and feedback from those within close proximity to help us expand our views of ourselves. We tend to be our own worst critics as well as poor self-evaluators at times.

05-19-17, 01:05 AM
Hello. I live in the UK. I suspect I have ADD/SCT or something. When I read (and re-read) the symptoms of ADD/SCT, they resonate with me very strongly. Because I did average at school and have managed to do okay at work, I have never been formally diagnosed. And paying for private psychological help is very expensive. To that end - I am not on medication. I enjoy reading and I read a lot. So over the years I've picked up 'tips' and have experimented. For example - eating protein. So at the moment I'm eating eggs for breakfast. So then I start to ask myself - now that I'm eating eggs for breakfast - what's changed in my life? Am I less brain foggy? Am I being more productive etc. But then productivity and doing 'real work' stuff that gets you towards your dreams, are not always the same.
Not sure if I'm making sense.
PS - eggs, no flatulence jokes please!

05-19-17, 01:07 AM
So maybe writing a journal and reviewing that against 'life changes' would provide me with feedback. Such as noting that I'm eating protein for breakfast, and noting that at that time I feel good and am getting stuff done etc.

05-19-17, 03:11 AM
Sometimes its not how you measure your life, but what you use to measure it with.

05-19-17, 03:46 AM
how do i measure my life? different ways at different points and depending on why i'm asked to measure it, and by whom.

evaluating my life, just on my terms...asking depends on what aspect of life to give details, but overall i measure it in terms of seeing others and being seen by others for who and what i am. i measure it in terms of my capacity for compassion and my ability to endure those elements of life that threaten to exterminate me. i measure it in terms of what i instantiate as myself, by my actions, every day. what i've created as myself in thought, speech, and action, and what impact that has on others.

my life looks different from various perspectives, though. if you only saw my academic record, you'd think one thing.if you only saw my psych records, you'd think another, and if you saw my legal records you'd think still another. measuring it me depends on which aspects of me you choose for the critique.

as for me, i know that i would hope my measure is on one or more of these:

in a time of ultimate need, i saw someone for who he was and embraced him. he didn't leave this world alone or unloved or without being understood and appreciated.
i have been a compassionate person and saw others on their own terms without simply trying to fit them into my pre-mold
i know that i proceeded with my surprise pregnancy and now have a small girl who truly is a gift to all those around her. she's becoming her own little person and i have the privilege to guide her in making that happen. i get to learn with her every day.
i have a loving partner who supports me and is my compliment in so many ways despite his non diagnosed with anything vs me being diagnosed with three significant things.
i have people, even when i self isolate, i have people who remain. not many, and fewer each time, but some remain. even if there were only one, i would conclude myself grateful for that one.

i don't know if my answer really is what you're looking for, but i've been measuring the value of my life quite a lot of late--probably for reasons unrelated to your question. and i could give you a list of pros and cons. the list of accomplishments dwindles, but the value of those that remain increases.

i tend to agree with aristotle though. we can't really measure our lives until we finish with them. so i'll say that, thus far, i've done my best with what i was given and i've found my timeline punctuated with joy and sorrow and outrage and compassion and fear and so much more. there's a plenitude of life within my life. i don't like a lot of the things i've done and things i've not done and parts i've become. but i accept them all as me.

sol...why measure ones life? in my mind, it's something that cannot truly be measured until it which point, i'll hopefully cease to worry about the measure of the value of my life.

in the meantime...i have a small girl. and that's enough.

05-19-17, 02:16 PM
I have been trying to answer this question for myself. I'm seeking some method of objectively knowing that any subtle changes I'm making e.g. eating eggs for breakfast, exercise, meditation, medication, etc. are having a positive (or negative effect) on my life. For example being less 'brain foggy' is something I feel. But how can anyone put a number of how 'brain foggy' (etc.) they feel or don't feel at any point in time?

so...clearly my post above was based solely on title and i didn't read your thread start, i realise, in the light of day :o

you could try a qualitative approach to "how" brain foggy you feel. or you could go for a quantitative approach; e.g. mark your times focused/non foggy.

so, to your question: create a means of recordkeeping...whatever that looks like for you.

then record the following: a mark of the time for when you are focused and feeling not foggy. then when you find yourself foggy...mark the time again. repeat this as often as you can. over time you should see a pattern. maybe, for example, 30 minutes after you take your meds you find yourself focused. then three hours later you find yourself foggy. etc.

just don't get caught in the trap of estimating duration of time you have to have your recordkeeping device or pad or whatever at hand. if you try to look back on the day, and this is my experience, but i've been told this is due to my adhd, you will under/overestimate significantly. i can give you and example of this in a forward thinking sense. how long will it take me to do tasks x,y,z? in my head i estimate __ amount of time for each. usually i go with 30 minutes or 60 minutes. i am almost NEVER right. reality will end up being task x is 15 minutes, task y is 45, and task z needs to be completed over multiple days.

you can also rate yourself on various mood apps. that way you can track your mood, which, is probably to some degree correlated with your fogginess.

with seeing what makes a difference, jot down everything. your meals, time you had them, when you felt focused, when you felt foggy... there will emerge patters.

05-20-17, 03:19 AM
I'll forget what point I'm trying to make in measuring my life. So I forget what to measure or forget to measure because I'll forget what I was thinking days ago anyway. I just go with the flow and if I'm happy then that says sonething.

05-20-17, 05:37 AM
"Five-hundred-twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes..." ;)