All Articles

πŸ“±πŸͺ₯ Habits in 2024 Q1

Quick Context

I am consistent and organized to a fault. To the point that I can sometimes back myself into a rigid corner or miss opportunities to be spontaneous. Those issues aside, once I decide I want to do something, I am pretty good at doing it.

At the start of 2023 I realized that I was getting worse at this, though, when it comes to habits 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 to find some artificial help in getting back on track adding good habits.

I landed on the Streaks app 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 and accountability.

I measure this each quarter in a series that I publish on this blog; you can find previous editions here.

Key

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

AM Habits

The goal is to do these before 7AM. This is especially true now that I am a parent. For some tasks that require deeper focus this is my only time when I can focus at all.

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

πŸ’ͺ: Knock out 100 push ups each day.

πŸ›οΈ: Do not get back in bed.

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

πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή: Spend 30 minutes each day practicing Portuguese.

β˜€οΈ: Apply sunscreen to my face and neck each day.

Month πŸ“΅ πŸ’ͺ πŸ›οΈ ✍️ πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή β˜€οΈ
Jan πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ ⬜ πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ πŸ₯‡
Feb πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ 🟧 πŸŸ₯ πŸ₯‡
Mar 🟨 🟧 X πŸŸ₯ πŸŸ₯ 🟧

Health Habits

Goals that contribute to general health and well being.

πŸ•—: Close the kitchen at 8pm. I am an early eater - left to my own devices I eat dinner at about 6 PM. When I eat after 8 PM I am not hungry - I am scrounging because I am bored. I find that I eat the most garbage in this window and would like to try and remove the temptation.

🦷: Floss my teeth.

🫧: Rinse with mouthwash.

πŸ‘οΈ: Preemptively address my chronic dry eyes by applying eyedrops each day.

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

Month πŸ•— 🦷 🫧 πŸ‘οΈ 🚰
Jan 🟩 πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡
Feb 🟨 πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡
Mar πŸŸ₯ 🟩 🟩 🟨 🟩

Digital Habits

Goals that focus on putting down technology.

🐦: Use Twitter for a maximum of 20 minutes each day.

πŸ‘Ύ: Use Reddit for a maximum of 20 minutes each day.

πŸŒ…: Don’t open social media of any kind until after 10 AM.

Month πŸ‘Ύ 🐦 πŸŒ…
Jan πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ ⬜
Feb πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡ πŸ₯‡
Mar 🟨 🟩 🟩

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?

  • Whoa, having a kid changes things. Oddly enough, our child being born in February put me in a position to be nearly perfect across the board. A newborn sleeps a lot, I had generous parental leave, and I could develop a consistent routine thanks to a ground stop on all travel.
  • The wheels came off in March. Our (blessedly healthy) son protested nearly all naps. We spent over two weeks hosting family from the US. Hosting family is nearly as destructive to habits as traveling. Our night nurse took a well deserved week off. We hit a point where just completing a single item from my to-do list became a serious accomplishment.
  • I’m retiring a habit as this new phase of my life begins, Don't Return to Bed. This habit made sense when I was a childless bon vivant who could snooze an alarm and sleep until 11AM on a Saturday. Now, I relish 30 minutes of shut eye whenever I can get it.

Published Apr 1, 2024

Austinite in Lisbon. Emerging Tech at Cloudflare.Sign up for emails