Habit Tracking January

I found the system for habit tracking I adopted in July last year overall quite insightful and useful for keeping me on track for simple habits. I thus decided to continue following this system in the new year.

Due to travel around Christmas and New Years it took me a while to get back into following my habits regularly. Here the overview of all habits for January:

Habit Tracking January

And some comments on the individual habits:

  • Exercise and Stretching: I exercised a total of 13 times in January. Overall I am quite happy with this. We got the Nintendo Switch RingFit Adventures game, which provides a nice alternative way to my normal exercises.
Playing RingFit Adventures
  • Emails: During our travels my email inbox got quite out of control. I regularly worked on reducing the number of emails in my inbox but it took me until the 11th until I had reached my target of less than five emails.
  • Meditation and Learn: Since I had to get straight back to work after our return from travels and was not overly successful at waking up early, I did not follow my usual morning routine and thus failed to do my regular five minute meditation and touch typing practice.
  • Posture: In January I tried a few times to take my Upright Go to work but more often than not forgot to take it in the morning rush.

Here my results for my touch typing practice this month. I think it is fair to say that my efforts are plateauing. The following inspirational quote keeps me going in my endeavours.

Whether you like it or not, there will be plateaus, which in my experience tend to occur right before a breakthrough. Weight lifting teaches you to embrace them, or at the very least accept them. This is an important outcome, with consequences extending far beyond the gym. “In the land of the quick fix it may seem radical,” writes George Leonard, a pioneer of the human potential movement in the 1960s, “but to learn anything significant, to make any lasting change in yourself, you must be willing to spend most of your time on the plateau, to keep practicing even when it seems you are getting nowhere.”

from The Zen of Weight Lifting in the NY Times

Learning January

I also did not write quite as regularly as I used to. I think writing is very important since it fosters clear thinking. I think in January and December I was not quite as successful since a lot of my free time was take up by another project: To move my collection of quotes from unstructured word documents into a structured database. This involved a lot of copy and pasting. But I am happy to say that I finished going through all the quotes I had haphazardly put into Word documents and moved them to Airtable.

Collection of quotes moved to Airtable

Unfortunately the quotes I collected in Word documents are only the tip of the iceberg. I have many more I collected on my Kindle as ‘clippings’. I am now in the process of moving these into a database, so that I can categorise and tag them. I started with writing a small tool that can extract the information from Kindle clippings files: kindle-citation-extractor. However, there is a long way still to go and this might keep me occupied for another one or two months.

Habit Tracking November: Getting There

After having done very poorly on keeping to my habits in October, things have greatly improved in November. Here the overview for November:

Habit Tracking November

Some things to note:

  • Exercise: While in October, I was only able to do exercise twice due to being injured, I exercised eleven times in November. For some time, I thought that I would be able to go running every day. Unfortunately my muscles got too stiff and I needed to take a break (that would be between 21/11 and 25/11). We went on a short trip to Brisbane around the 7/11 and I am especially pleased I was able to exercise notwithstanding the travel. I went running on the beach which is nice in itself as well.
  • Meditation: I still was not too successful with meditating. To some degree this was due to me not being able to find a bit of quite time in the morning.
  • Emails: I was quite successful at keeping my email inbox empty. I like spending a little bit of time every day rather than having to ‘clean up’ the inbox in one go on the weekend, which feels more like a chore. Sometimes I still get frustrated though if I find 15-20 emails in my inbox after having cleared it the previous day (this excludes work emails). Most of these are not spam emails and require me to do one or the other thing.
  • Posture: I feel like my back pain is getting worse. I was able to use the Upright Go quite frequently but I think I need to take further action, such as doing specific stretches and exercises.
  • Learn: My speed for doing my current touch typing exercise (lots of special characters, see below) was between 43 and 50 words per minute in October; in November, it was between 43 and 53 words per minute with a higher average as well. I also did a touch typing test for typing more common words (typingtest.com/); my speed was around 50 to 55 – still not as fast as my wife, who gets 60 plus.
Touch Typing and Writing

This is the text I am currently practice to touch type. I upload this to speedcoder.net as custom code.

(p)
(p)
(elem)
(elem)
(a, b)
(a, b)
(a, b)
(a, b)
(x, y)
(x, y)
(x, y)
(x, y)
=>
=>
=>
=>
=>
a => b
a => b
a => b
a => b
{ al }
{ al }
{ al }
{ al }
(a) => { b };
(a) => { b };
(a) => { b };
(a) => { b };
(a) => { b(p1); };
(a) => { b(p1); };
(a) => { b(p1); };
(a) => { b(p1); };
const f1 = (p) => { b(); };
const f1 = (p) => { b(); };
const f1 = (p) => { b(); };
const f1 = (p) => { b(); };

Apart from this, I started a larger project in November about organising the quotes I have collected. I had collected them in multiple Word documents (organised by topic). I realised this was a very poor way to organise them and are now working on bringing all quotes into a database using airtable.

For the next months, I again want to focus on exercising as much as possible and also to work on my posture.

Habit Tracking October: Injured and Distracted

Following my new system for tracking habits I have again kept track of various habits I try to follow. Here the overview for October.

Habit Tracking October

Overall, I didn’t do very well, just like in September. Here my notes on the individual habits:

  • Exercise and Stretching: Since I injured my rib at the end of September, I was not able to do much exercise. The two times I managed to do so I went on strenuous walks, first to the Werribee Gorge and then to the 1000 Steps.

  • Emails: I have adopted a new habit where I aim to have less than five emails in my personal inbox (certainly not possible with my work one). I managed to do so quite consistently. I think it stresses me when too many emails pile up in my personal inbox so I think keeping things managed day by day is a good habit to adopt.

  • Meditation: While I was not being very good at meditating regularly in October, I improved somewhat from September. I also developed for myself a little meditation map that I followed:

Meditation Map
  • Learn: For the latter half of the month I was not very diligent in continuing my touch typing practice. I think this was due to me being involved in a small programming project; I taught myself how to develop 3D graphics using JavaScript. So, in a way I did some learning during most of these days just not the kind I planned for.
3D Application
  • Posture: I was able to use my Upright go for around half of the days in the months. Should definitely try to do better.

For the next month my main goal will definitely be to pick up exercising again. For me, it is the most important habit but one I often fail to adhere to.