How I used my Whoop to boss my New Year's resolution

My recovery scores soared with one simple change
Wareable whoop 4 goal setting
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It was the Whoop end-of-year report delivered late in December that inspired my New Year’s resolutions. 

The round-up of my year’s data made for sobering reading. As an active and generally fit person, I’m used to getting a glowing report from my fitness tracker data – but clearly, my less-than-committed attitude to my daily readiness lags behind the rest of Whoop’s user base.

I was in the bottom percentiles for sleep, readiness, and recovery for the year. And, clearly, I was consuming more alcohol than the rest of the user base.

Most damningly, I was a multiple award winner of the dreaded 1% recovery badge. 

Amid the gloom, though, was an interesting nugget of information. My average bedtime (or at least falling asleep) was 23:15. This seemed like an opportunity. If I could get that to 22:45, I could amass 3.5 hours of extra sleep a week.

So, there it was: a quantified New Year’s resolution in the making, borne out of wearable data. And implementing it had a huge effect. 

Anecdotally, the two weeks after New Year’s are some of the best I’ve felt in the two years since our son was born – but the benefits were laid bare in the stats, too.

First, let’s look at sleep performance versus need. Against a typical week in November, I increased my average sleep performance from 77% to 85%.

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It took a while for my sleep habits to change, and the first couple of days it took me a long time to get to sleep, but the effect on recovery was sizeable.

By getting the extra sleep – and no doubt staying away from alcohol as a result – my recovery scores surged. 

I averaged a recovery score of 77% from 11 Jan – 17 Jan with HRV up at 89. I only averaged 56% across the six months that came before. 

And there was another curious benefit. When I did drink alcohol, my recovery was way better than expected. So, all the good work done in the week by getting that extra rest paid off when I needed it.

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I’ve been using wearables to track my data for nearly a decade – and there’s nothing inherently unique about the information Whoop has provided. But I've fallen in love with the way it's presented.

The end-of-year report, the color-coded recovery stats, simple scores, and accurate data make for a powerful wearable. But perhaps its greatest strength is its wearability. I have worn it nearly every night for a year, thanks to a mix of its comfort and battery life.

The sheer amount of days tracked – the best part of a whole year – has meant it’s been more effective than anything I’ve used before.

Of course, come the end of January, old habits crept back. Most resolutions fail by mid-January. A few late nights and a couple of drinks too close to bedtime after a stressful day – I was right back where I started.

But is it a failure? Absolutely not. For the first time, I’m making a February resolution - to try and make the habits I built in January stick in the long term. Overall, we'd call it a success.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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