Jun 24, 2016

Daily Questions

Nerd alert. For the last two years I have been tracking my daily life by answering a set of questions designed to help me reach my goals. The questions change with my goals and other life circumstances, but the practice is always there. 

I traveled this week and found it hard to do as well on Health as I wanted.

How I Started Daily Questions
Introduced to the concept of daily questions in my American Red Cross LEAD program, which is a cohort of employees there being groomed for executive positions, my colleague Carrie and I teamed up and committed to talking to each other every morning for 15 minutes to go over our progress from the previous day. Sometimes these conversations are like therapy and other times a mechanical checking of the box, but every day we are held accountable to one another. 

How Our Daily Questions Practice Has Evolved
I left the American Red Cross in January, so Carrie and I agreed to continue to do our questions daily but to talk just on Fridays. We skip some of them because our schedules are nutso, but by and large we continue to support one another in this nerdy way. 

My questions are divided into 4 categories: Health, Wellness, Learning, and Work Performance, with 3-5 subquestions designed to push me to reach my overall goals. Most of the answers are simple yes, no, with 3 qualitative questions I treat sort of like a diary. 

Since Carrie and I talk on Fridays, I organized my questions to showcase Friday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday rather than a traditional work week. 

Additional Motivation: Adding Grades
About a month ago, I decided to take it up a notch. I am continually embarrassed that I don't know as much about what's possible with spreadsheets as I should, so I decided to use my questions to teach myself a few formulas and some conditional formatting. I coded the yes/no questions as 1s and 0s, and averaged my scores by category and activity horizontally, and by each day's performance vertically. I then average my scores for the week to give myself a weekly grade. 

It's much tougher to get all As on this report than it ever was in school. 

Week of May 30

Week of June 6

June 13

Jun 18, 2016

Alligator Attacks in Florida from 1970s to now

I grew up in Stuart, FL. I learned to water ski in the St. Lucie River, and I know that river better than I know how to use social media in disasters.

I've never looked at a single body of water without figuring it has an alligator in it, but realize now that's a byproduct of the location of my upbringing. I don't assume I will be attacked, but I respect the possibility and stay aware.

I mapped where and when alligator attacks happen, based on this wikipedia list and this Orlando Sentinel article:

Here's the breakdown of the time of year alligator attacks happen:

Quick side story. My family and I were lucky in July 2011 to attend the final shuttle launch STS-135 Atlantis at Cape Canaveral. My cousin's little boy had fun learning to say, "3,2,1 ... blastoff!" We cheered and hollered while witnessing this historic event in real life. As we walked back to our car when it was over, there was an alligator chillin' in the parking lot. I don't think the little boy remembers the shuttle launch at all, and he reports that the exciting thing that happened that day was seeing an alligator by the car!