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πŸ“±πŸͺ₯ Habits in 2023 Q2

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, when it comes to work that needs to be ongoing. Projects are easy. Creating consistent routines? Less so.

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. I’ve started writing down the results in this series for posterity.

Habit J F M A M J J A S O N D 2023
πŸ’ͺ Push Ups πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ 🟩 ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 97%
🚰 Water ⬜ πŸ₯‡ 🟩 🟩 πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 96%
β˜€οΈ Sunscreen ⬜ ⬜ πŸŸ₯ 🟨 🟧 πŸŸ₯ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 10%
πŸ“΅ No Phone in Bed ⬜ ⬜ 🟩 πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 43%
πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή Portuguese 🟨 πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ 🟧 πŸŸ₯ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 39%
✍️ Writing ⬜ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ ⬜ 10%


Symbol Range
πŸ₯‡ 100%
🟩 >= 90%
🟨 >= 80%, < 90%
🟧 >= 70%, < 80%
πŸŸ₯ Less than 70%
⬜ Future or was not a goal at the time

🌱 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 still 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.
  • The habits where I need to create something (writing) or learn something (Portuguese) are the most difficult to keep consistent.
  • That maxim is true - if you miss two days in a road, you’re toast. That happened to me with push ups after I skipped a day due to procrastination and then forgetting to do it. Once I missed one day, it became way easier to miss another day when I was at something like a 12 day streak.

New Habits

Nothing added since the last post.

Existing Habits

β˜€οΈ 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.

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.
  • Carcinogens? - I promise I am not a conspiracy theorist, I have all my vaccines etc, but the goofy bubble of tech-bro-podcasts that I live in started to caution against sunscreens that do not use zinc oxide and so I paused for a few days while I found one.

🚰 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 β€œhey, have you seen water?”

What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • I made this a priority and it worked out.

✍️ 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.

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.

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή 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.

What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Travel - like Q1, I spent a lot of time on the road and that always means I feel less motivated to keep pursuing Portuguese.
  • Laziness - similar to writing, this would be one of the first things that I’d chuck overboard when days would get busy.

πŸ“΅ 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 β€œFor You” section.

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.

πŸ’ͺ 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.

What stopped me from hitting 100%?

  • Later - this was my absolute best streak until I decided to postpone getting it done one day, forgot, and went to bed only to wake up realizing I had broken my streak. And then the act of breaking it once made it easier to skip a couple more times and suddenly it starts to fade. I need to make this a priority as soon as I wake up.

Retired or Graduated Habits

Nothing here - yet!

Published Jul 5, 2023

Austinite in Lisbon. VP of Product at Cloudflare.