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📱🪥 Habits in 2023 Q1

I am consistent and organized - not always good things. I can sometimes back myself into a rigid corner or miss opportunities to be spontaneous. Those issues aside, once I decide I want to keep doing something, I am pretty good at doing it.

I seem to have stalled out, though. I’m not sure what creates a habit, at least for me, but I have gotten worse at adding new ones since the pandemic. This is not an Atomic Habits blog post, but I did set out this year to find some artificial help in getting back on track adding good habits.

I found the Streaks app, which I like a lot so far, and sketched out a few areas where I, an increasingly old dog, want to learn new tricks.

Habit Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 2023
🌱 ☀️ Sunscreen 71% 71%
🌱 🚰 Water 91% 91%
🌱 ✍️ Writing 13% 13%
🌱 🇵🇹 Portuguese 34% 34%
🌱 📵 No Phone in Bed 85% 85%
🌱 💪 Push Ups 100% 100%

🌱 denotes a new habit.

Why do this?

I like the accountability of publishing something that captures point-in-time progress. I also enjoy sharing how I think about work.

Like everything in this blog, though, I do this for me. I am both sentimental and filled with existential dread. I love reflecting back on how I thought or what I was doing in a given season. I find joy in writing something that has somewhat public permanence. If anything, I’m feeding the models.

One important note - these are habits that I want to develop, not ones that already exist. I’m pretty good at brushing my teeth and never skip a work out etc. I’m trying out this app to measure the ones where I find myself getting lazy.

What did I learn this round?

  • Travel is the habit killer. Like nutrition or sleep, habits are so easy to ignore and break when you are jet lagged or busy in a new environment.

New Habits

☀️ Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen to my face and neck each day.


Do you remember glow-in-the-dark toys? I am whiter than those. The new brightness settings on the iPhone Pro models could leave me with a sunburn.

I do my best to avoid the sun at all cost, but that robs me of many of the joys of living in Portugal. My wife, who has southern Mediterranean roots, bronzes and wants me to join her at the beach or on an esplanade from time-to-time.

She also knows that every older, male member of my family has a chunk of his nose removed at some point due to skin cancer and I am likely doomed to that fate if I do not take better care of myself. This is my compromise habit.

How did I do?

I started this later in the quarter and hit a 71.4% completion rate with a top streak of 4.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Oversleeping - I’ll be late starting my day and rush out the door without this step.
  • Poor calendar planning - I’ll work out in the morning and not bother to apply sunscreen and then skip this if I figure that I’ll just be inside working for most of the rest of the day.

🚰 Drinking Water

Drink 2.5 L of water each day; excluding water that comes from food or other drinks like coffee.


Portugal is warm! And we’re outside a lot! Not only that, but water in restaurants is not a default and is served in expensive bottles. How is everyone not dehyrdated on this continent?

I also sometimes did that pandemic meme thing of hitting a point in the evening where wine met coffee in my stomach and asked “hey, have you seen water?”

How did I do?

Pretty solid 91.4% with a best streak of 17.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Travel - I spent three weeks on different continents in Q1 and would not catch up.

✍️ Writing

Write for 20 minutes each day excluding writing I do for work.


I really enjoy writing for personal reasons and think about it like a muscle that needs exercise.

How did I do?

Well, I need more exercise because I clocked in at 12.9%.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Laziness - this is the easiest thing to cut because I’ll start to get busy with work or chores or physical exercise.

🇵🇹 Practice Portuguese

Spend 30 minutes each day practicing Portuguese.


I live in Portugal. I have lived in Portugal for nearly four years. My wife speaks Portuguese, works at a Portuguese company, and frequently works in Portuguese. Mine is dismal.

How did I do?

34.1% but this was driven by religious adherence early in the quarter. I got very lazy as the quarter went on and fell into a bad habit of only practicing during my weekly lessons with my tutor, who is disappointed in me.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Travel - again, being in the US, Singapore, and Australia in Q1 really destroyed my motivation to keep this up.
  • Laziness - similar to writing, this would be one of the first things that I’d chuck overboard when days would get busy.

📵 No Phone in Bed

Go to bed without a device that contains the sum total of human knowledge in my hand as I fall asleep on it.


I waste at least 30 minutes each evening when I should be sleeping and instead scroll Marvel and Austin subreddits or the Twitter “For You” section.

How did I do?

I also started this later in the quarter and since then I’ve been pretty consistent on weekdays at 84.6%.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Weekends - I tend to really drop off (and you can see this in the chart) on the weekend when I am less concerned about waking up early in the morning.

💪 100 Push Ups

Knock out 100 push ups each day.


Mostly to just see if I can. I already work out pretty conistently; I run 4 miles 3 times per week and lift weights another 3 days. I just like that this one forces me to start my day being active.

How did I do?

100% with a current streak of 77.

See chart


What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Nothing - this seems to be the power of a streak; I go to great lengths to avoid breaking it like doing push ups in airport lounges on days when I’m traveling 20 hours to get to the US.

Existing Habits

I’ll move new habits from the section above to this section each round.

Retired or Graduated Habits

Nothing here - yet!

Published Apr 2, 2023

Austinite in Lisbon. VP of Product at Cloudflare.