Tracking the right things.

At the start of this blog, we were driven by our goal of FIRE, the ultimate nirvana to reach. A lot has changed ever since. What we track still stays the same. Do you spot the flaw?

Now that we want a a lot of LifeJoy, FIRE is no longer the end goal. It is a contributor to our end goal. In fact, we no longer have a goal, we try to build systems.

Looking at the things I track and report, I only see numbers that show progress towards FIRE

The amberindex: how far are we in our FIRE journey? This is a financial number

Our savingsrate: Of our take home pay, how much do we save?

Option income: It is nice to see the numbers, in the end, it is too focused on FI only

Looking at the graph of what really matters, there is much more to measure:



Meaningful things: how many new things do I explore per month? What are my experiences that month? Did I coach someone? Did I learn something new? Was there serendipity?

Quality time: How much screen free time was there with my wife and kids? How often did I meet friends to do a fun thing? Do they see me as a good father and friend?

Say No: was I able to say no to something that makes me unhappy?

Be Healthy: Do we take the time to eat, is our food healthy, do I move enough or am I a couch potato?



When looking at the list of things to track, I think OH MY GOD, that will be a full time job! That can not be the idea. Life is supposed to be fun and easy going, not filled with tracking and metrics. I thus need a more simple solution.

Here Is what I tried before

Happiness jar: On a dutch blog, I came across the idea of an happiness jar. The idea is super cool. Yet, I fail to implement. Right now, I am stuck with random emails to myself about things that made me happy. As an alternative, I was thinking of collecting pictures with a short description. Is there an app for that?

Being grateful: Each night when I put the kids to bed, I ask them what they are grateful for. And then I tell my top 3 as well. Hard to say if right now this is helping


What other ideas do you see?





11 thoughts on “Tracking the right things.

  1. Nice, I am on the same search (hence, the happiness jar). I am now blogging about a book I read: ‘If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?’ A more scientific approach to happiness. It makes a lot of sense. But still, I guess, working on happinness is hard work 😉


  2. Ciao ATL,
    It’s not easy to “track the right things”, because we usually give them for granted and we concentrate on what “doesn’t work” in our lives. This is at least how I feel most of the time, I let a crappy job bring me down and I do not see the positive points of what I am living or that I have experienced. I like the idea of sending emails as reminders, as well as the pictures… We have an idea at Stalflare’s home, where we make an “inspiration board” with pinning things, pictures, ideas that are worth keeping for example. Still working on the implementation though.
    Ciao ciao

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I made a half a page document with objectives I have and then next to it a few actionable steps to achieve those objectives. Better health is one of the objectives with swimming, fitness and dieting as steps. As you can see: very loosely defined and not putting myself under any pressure to do all of them. It is a work in progress, more a reminder of where I want to get. Before I had much more defined goals like: lose X amount of weight by X date, get to 80 swimming laps in X weeks. But off course you start missing some of those goals and that starts getting demotivation. And I get this ‘well if I cannot do it right, why bother at all’ mentality which resulted in abandoning the objective completely. This looser approach seems to be working better for me. I guess I have more of a system than a plan now 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you are on the right track. My idea of “the good life” includes categories like relationships (family and friends), personal growth (work and hobbies), freedom (experiences and recreation), and health (physical and non-physical). I’m not dogmatic about the categories but thinking it through helped me come up with an outline of what I consider good living. I agree it’s no fun to spend too much time tracking these things — just do what helps you appreciate life and what pushes you back into the real world of living.


  5. I am in between FIRE and happiness 🙂 I am still trying to figure out things that make me happy and in turn trying to see how FIRE aligns with this happiness. If I were passionate about my job I think I wouldn’t pursue FIRE as diligently. On the flip side there are some ideas that I have that requires that I reach FIRE in order to totally implement them. So it’s a nice push/pull scenario 🙂


    1. Figuring out FIRE and happiness is the most challenging task there is. It sounds like you have a good idea of what/where you want to go. I do have some ideas in mind as well that are done ideally when FIRE. I look for ways around that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have the impression most people around me even don’t think about this subject of goals in life and hapiness. I mean on the long term. Surviving the work week, having nice meals, shopping,…that’s what is driving them. Short term and easy to realize “kicks” to accomplish. Thinking on long term strategies, goals…like you ar all doing here is a sort of mind crack for me…like pulling open a canned tin of fresh air. You arrive on your destination when you don’t need any reminders, books or confirmation from other people,….And who knows then you become inspiration for others. Along the way it’s nice to read posts and reactions here 😉


    1. It kinda feels like the matrix, where everybody is happy in the system. Until you take the red pill, you do not see the next level. There are of course different ways to take the red pill. Some do this via meditation (and less focus on finance), the FIRE community tends to do this with a money focus. I struggle now to find a right name: it started with a money focus to be FI asap and now goes into a Joyful life.


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