Thoughts from a self-professed nerd
By chubbyhubby
3/19/2007 11:54:59 AM
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure…and what gets measured gets done.”--- Bill Hewlett, Hewlett Packard

As my moniker in this forum indicates, I am overweight. I am once again trying to do something about it. As a nerdy engineer, I have worked up spreadsheets to track my daily caloric intake and to chart my weekly weigh-ins. Surprise, surprise- now that I am measuring my progress, I am actually losing weight.

I have decided to do the same thing with the things I am supposed to be doing daily, weekly, and monthly in order to not only fully recover from my addiction but also be the kind of husband, father, and priesthood holder I should be.

My spreadsheet tracks progress in the following categories:
- Abstain
- Personal Scripture Study
- Personal Prayer - Morning
- Personal Prayer - Evening
- Couple Scripture Study
- Family Scripture Study
- Couple Prayer
- Family Prayer
- Exercise
- Stick to Diet
- Help with at least 1 chore at home
- Spend time with wife & kids
- Home before 6:00 PM
- In bed before 11:00 PM
- Up by 5:45 AM

- Family Home Evening
- Participate in Sunday Church Worship
- Fulfill Calling
- Date Night or Couple Time
- Uplifting Hobby Time
- AR Group Meeting or Post/Read on Website
- Write in Journal

- Attend Temple
- Meaningful Fast
- Home Teaching
- Deposit $ into Savings Account
- Reduce Consumer debt
- Add to food storage
- Bear Testimony (in church, FHE, or group meeting)

There are some categories I am doing great in, and some need some work (like journal writing and going to bed on time). However, I can tell that I am now doing better generally now that I am keeping track.

I know this probably wouldn't work for everyone, but for this nerd it seems to be helping.


"My wife and I were just talking this weekend about how we (and especially I) have begun to let little things slide over the last year that I have been in recovery. We had gone to the temple for a few months (I would just sit outside and read, write and ponder because I can't go in) and haven't gone in a while. I was gung-ho about service for a while but have been pretty self-centered lately, we were reading and discussing something each night as a couple and have let that slide and the list goes on and on. It feels quite daunting to see where I am and look at where I need to be. There are so many things I can improve in. It's interesting that you wrote this list just as I've been thinking about all these things. I'm a nerd too (I programmed and manage this website we're all using), so maybe I could benefit from your idea. Thanks for the tips and keep posting!"
posted at 13:14:06 on March 19, 2007 by derek
Yes, thanks.    
"I'm a checklist guy too so this was really helpful in assessing the daily "where are you?" question.

I just wanted to thank Derek and all of you as well for the site. I asked my wife last night how she felt about where we are in our pregress and she specifically mentioned that when she sees me posting or reading here it helps her to feel safe in trusting me. I didn't really think of that since, like all of you I'm sure, it is something I do for me, like meetings, prayer, etc. Anyway, my point is that she expressed that it has given her peace and comfort to have me going here. So thank you for being part of the healing in my life and family. God bless."
posted at 09:37:45 on March 20, 2007 by matt2
a fellow nerd    
"I am also into lists - I am almost obsessive sometimes about tracking things. I've been known to keep detailed spreadsheets about the point at which one long distance plan becomes cheaper than the other, complete with graphs. I've been known to provide my bishop (I am the ward clerk) with really useful information like the median age of all married members of the ward. I obsess over tracking and planning finances. Yet what have I done (formally anyway) to track my own spiritual progression? Jack squat nothing, other than the sobriety counter on this site.

Your comments have opened my eyes. I love your lists. I needed just something like this to keep me going, to keep me sincere. Obviously we don't want to become like the pharisees in obsessing over details and missing the big picture, but I think this is just what I need right now.

A few years ago our stake made a little poster that they wanted on every family's refrigerator. It was called "Deepening Spirituality." It contained a list of the things we should be doing on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. I don't have it handy right now, but I will post it later. I've often thouught about how I need to start paying more attention to that list. The idea of a spreadsheet might seem silly or trite to some, but I think that is how I am going to start paying more attention to these things. Thank you so much for this post. It may seem like a little thing, but it is just what I needed, and is an answer to prayers."
posted at 20:55:38 on March 20, 2007 by josh
Deepening Spirituality    
"I promised I'd post our "Stake Emphasis." I don't really have a way to post the graphic, so here's the lists:
The poster is based on Mosiah 5:2, "A Mighty Change of Heart"
Personal & Family Prayer
Personal & Family Scripture Study
Study Words of the Living Prophets
Serve Others

Family Home Evening
Nurture Family Relations
Keep Sabbath Day Holy
Attend Church Meetings

Regular Temple Attendance
Parent Interviews with Children
Contribute a Generous Fast Offering
Home / Visiting Teaching

Hold a Current Temple Recommend
Increase Self-Reliance
Participate in Stake & General Conference
Attend Tithing Settlement

Of course I will add my personal goals to that list, like you have done, but I really wonder what changes would come about in my life if I consistently and sincerely did all of these things."
posted at 07:08:57 on March 27, 2007 by josh

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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006