Habit update 17 – code every day

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So far:

Total: 7/17 days
Current streak: 2 days
Longest streak: 2 days

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Habit update 16: code every day

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I’m getting better at my coding habit. The progress is slow but nevertheless there is progress. Friday was when I actually coded a lot job-related stuff, so that explains that.

As I’ve always said, I’m aiming to take it day-by-day, week-by-week, and see what I’m doing right, what I’m doing “wrong”, and what I can change. For example, I need to have a reminder by my desk to say “code for 30 min” (just did!) on the days I actually forget to code.

Learning to code is an exciting experience, no doubt. It’s primarily why I’m aiming for this habit – because I want to do it, not that someone is forcing me. But at times, I forget – especially on days where I just have so much stuff to do.

So far:

Total: 5/10 days
Current streak: 2 days
Longest streak: 2 days

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Habit update 15: code every day

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Well on my journey to code every day for at least 30 min. starting this past Thursday (1/14), I started off okay. The first two days I had quite a bit to do, non-coding stuff. But yesterday went well, and I think I have a solid plan now. Because my writing habit is over (I learned a ton from that!), I can now fully focus on my coding habit.

I now have the pages I want open that let me know what I should focus on as soon as I turn on my laptop. I plan to code first thing in the morning every day, even during the school year. This one is going to be more challenging, given how busy my schedule is. But I believe that I can make time for it, just 30 min. every morning.

So far:

  • Total: 1/3 days
  • Current streak: 1 days
  • Longest streak: 1 days

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Things I’ve learned from writing every day

Well, my writing (blogging) challenge went really well. I wrote for 30 days in a row! I’m proud of this achievement, for doing any new habit takes a lot of persistence and willpower. Looking at today’s prompt, on Learning Style, I’m tempted to continue on… but all good things must come to an end.

Not everyday was a cakewalk, as I expected it to be at the beginning.  For some of the prompts, I really had to think about them for a while and be creative. It really made me focus and

A few things I’ve learned:

    • the use of a trigger is important: I had WP’s Daily Prompt open up every day when I opened up Chrome, along with my WP dashboard.1 This reminded me to blog first thing in the morning, before email or anything else.
    • make your environment habit-friendly: WP’s Daily Prompt ensured that no matter what, even if I was completely drained of ideas, I would have something to write about every morning. Needless to say, this helped me a ton with this habit.
      • I think you can do this with a lot of other habits too – take for example, exercising: have your set of exercise clothes, water bottle, keys, etc. next to your bed. And perhaps for your alarm, you can automate your smartphone to start playing your workout playlist to get you motivated (it is possible)?
    • do your new habit first thing in the morning. Although I failed in this many times, I think just having that mindset of getting my writing out of the way before I did anything else helped me be consistent with the habit, even if on some days I wrote as late as 11pm.
    • just do it (yes, the guys at Nike said that, but I’m saying it too!). On some days, I really didn’t feel like writing – I just didn’t have the motivation to. But I forced myself to do it, to be consistent and keep on going with the habit. And here I am, with 30 days of consistency in writing.
      • although this may seem blatantly obvious, a lot of writers say that to become a writer, you should write everyday (and of course read!) with some quantifiable goal (20 min, 500 words, etc.). Even if the writing is absolutely horrible, elementary stuff, you should still write.
    • time yourself. I used the Pomodoro technique, and made myself answer the prompt within 25 min. Sometimes I would go over time, but usually I wrote well within the time limit.

And some byproducts:

  • # of followers increased from 5 to 17 (thank you!)
  • My best day for views was Dec. 26, 2015 – 31 views, this post.
  • other stats indicated that (obviously) my blog did better in page views and other things

I’m excited to see what else I can do. I really like doing these 30-day challenges because it’s long enough to test you and start forming a habit, but short enough so that you won’t quit so easily.

Here’s to all the writers out there who challenge themselves to write everyday!


1 You can do this by going to settings  and under “On startup”, on the option “open a specific page…” click “Set pages” and then set the pages you want to be opened when you open Chrome.

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B+

Last weekend, apart from donating at a blood drive, I decluttered my room and organized, getting ready for the new semester to come.

Over the break, I’ve been trying to continually improve myself in all aspects – physically, mentally, spiritually, and even financially.

Some self-help books that I’m reading right now are The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz and Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. I’ve also been given How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People by Les Giblin.

I also got my first credit cards to help me build credit and become more financially literate. I’m learning to become increasingly financially independent, paying off my bills and loans.

Although I need to go to the gym more often, I get some exercise in by going for walks and playing basketball. Usually by myself, just shooting some hoops and having some fun.

Decluttering has always been one of those things I procrastinate on – I will literally find anything else to do. But following Leo Babauta’s advice, I’ve slowly begun decluttering my room and getting organized, and the results have been pretty amazing. It feels good to have a clear(er) table, which also impacts myself because it lets me think more clearly.

In hindsight, overall last weekend was really good, even if I didn’t do anything out-of-this-world exciting.


B+ Write about what you did last weekend as though you’re a music critic reviewing a new album.

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Morphing

Stream and dream!

Stream has several meanings: according to Oxford Dictionaries, it can either mean (1) a small, narrow river, (2) a continuous flow of liquid, air, or gas, (3) in computing – a continuous flow of data or instructions, typically one having a constant or predictable rate.

Here’s my evolutionary push to “stream”. It means: the ability to stay focused for long periods of time without getting distracted, entering and transcending the state of flow.

In the world we live in today, when we constantly receive notifications, new gadgets, and are always on our phones, staying focused is tough. It has become an increasingly valuable skill, and will continue to become more valued and perhaps a rare skill. If you can focus, you can do anything.

Other forms: streamer, streaming, streamed.

Examples:

“Elon Musk is constantly streaming – the man just doesn’t know how to get distracted!”

“Google is a place of streamers but Sergey Brin is totally unstreamed – he’s always jumping from one project to another.”

“I’ve streamed a couple times before, probably getting done 5x the work I normally would. Pretty amazing!”


Morphing Language evolves. The meaning of a word can shift over time as we use it differently — think of “cool,” “heavy,” or even “literally.”
Today, give a word an evolutionary push: give a common word a new meaning, explain it to us, and use it in the title of your post.

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Ripped Into the Headline

Saving lives, one pint at a time


 

Edtior-in-Chief, NS

Here at our local library, a group of good samaritans donated blood through the American Red Cross. These drives are set up at various points in the year, encouraging the local citizens to come by and donate in addition to raising awareness for those in constant need of blood.

Says Zenultima, 20-year old college student, “It feels good in the end, to know that you’ve potentially saved 3 lives. Although the process can be time-consuming, and you feel a bit tired after a whole pint of blood is taken away from your body, it’s a very small price to pay. Plus, with the new Rapid Pass technology, you can save time with the administrative process and get through the whole donation process faster.”

The technology mentioned, Rapid Pass, is pretty new, introduced October 2015. It takes care of the questionnaire donors need to answer, as well as some other information, shaving off a good 10-15 min. off the whole process. Rapid Pass allows more donations to be held in one donation period as well as encouraging more donors to donate.

The blood drive was organized by a group of high school students and was well received – at one point they could not accept any more walk-ins due to having a full capacity. The resounding success is undoubtedly an effect of the students’ hard work, persistence and collaboration. It is safe to say that the our lives are in good hands thanks to the work of blood donors and organizers.


Ripped Into the Headline Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story on your local paper.

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Habit update 14: code everyday (and new habit plan)

I failed. I failed really bad in my effort to go full-speed ahead and code for 2 hours every day. It was too big of a leap. I was so distraught with what was going on that I missed this past Sunday’s habit update, and finally got over it and decided to share it with you all.

Here’s what happened last week.

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And so far this week:

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This week’s mighty total is 40 min…

The plan was to obviously get back on track as I started to warm up – or so I thought. But functions, events, errands, family & friends, and unforeseen circumstances led to this. Well, that and not very good prioritization & time management. The most I managed last week was 44 min. on a couple days.

I’ve done some soul-searching over the last few weeks. And here’s what I’ve come to: code for at least 30 min. every day.

That’s right: I’m going to back where I started. Back to square one, you may think. Yet, I’ve realized that this habit was meant for me to be more consistent, with the end goal of becoming a better programmer. I emphasized “at least” because that’s what I’m trying to convey: I can definitely go for 2 hours of coding (and beyond) but I want to aim for at least 30 min. of coding.

I read a few articles and it turns out I’m not alone in this struggle (specifically finding time to code side projects)!. Here’s one that inspired me, from John Resig, creator of the jQuery JavaScript library. But it was mainly inspired after seeing this software called Code Half posted on Hacker News and a comment on there linking to a Reddit AMA from a software dev. who coded for 365 days in a row.

The idea of Code Half is simple, just as I had started: code for half an hour (hence the “Half”) a day. And it’s not as challenging as coding for 2 hours. If I really get into the flow, I’ll code for well over 30 min. – but on those days when I seemingly struggle to find time, or lack the motivation, I’ll make sure I fire up Sublime Text and code for 30 min.

Failure will not  deter me this time. I know that I have to refocus, realign my goals, and recommit myself. I’m ready. 30 min. of coding for 30 days. I like to think big so I’ll define success by achieving this goal 90% of the time (27/30 days) although ideally I want to achieve this goal for all 30 days.

Here are the final stats for the coding 2 hours/day habit:

  • Total: 11/49 days
  • Current streak: 0 days
  • Longest streak: 6 days

Inspired by my success (touch wood!) with writing every day, I’ve decided to similarly create a habit plan for coding every day. Here it is:


 

habit plan

Start date: 1/14/16

Specific habit: write code, or learn to code, for 30 min. every day.

Triggers: after waking up, plan what I’m going to code/learn for 30 min.

Reminder(s): phone reminders and reminders on laptop.

Review dates: every Sunday morning.

Accountability: post to my blog.

Commitment: for the next 30 days (until 2/12/16).

Potential obstacles: school work; counter –

Make sure you don’t miss 2 days: (1) generate 5 ideas to code/work on, (2) no Netflix for the next Friday.

LogCoach.me/Code Half

Who will you share the plan with? my blog!

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Now You See Me

This superpower to appear and disappear at will would work perfectly for me throughout the day.

When I’m running late, I know that I’m not really late – I just have to make sure I use my superpower to appear a min. before the event or be somewhere. This can save me so much time on transportation and give me time to do so many other things. I sometimes have to travel a good hour for my job, and that hour would (hopefully) used productively in reading, studying, etc.

As for disappearing, I would use it for situations I don’t want to be in. Like if my friend somehow persuaded me to go to a place that I didn’t want to go to – just disappear.

The only downside to the superpower would be that I would be walking less. The answer to that? Use my superpower to show up at the gym early in the morning – no motivation required to “go to the gym” because I’ll be there already.


Now You See Me You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

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If I Could Turn Back Time

If I had a chance to relive a part of my life, it would definitely be the time when I was in elementary school. I was very mischievous as a kid and did some things that I regret. I’ve changed now and am a better person.

It all started back in the first grade. Pokemon/Yugioh cards were all the craze, and I would bring mine to school, to show/play with my friends. There was this one kid, I’ll call him Al, who was pretty obnoxious. Al once took one of these cards from me by force. Of course, at the end of the day, it was just a card but being a kid, it meant a lot to me. I never actually got that card back.

Anyways, later on in elementary school, I would do the same thing to others. I would, not take by force but even worse, steal from other kids – video game chips, yugioh cards, etc. And these kids were not just anyone but my “friends”. I always got caught in the end, as (I like to believe that) the truth/justice always prevails.

It got so bad that at one point (and the final time I ever stole) was when the parents of another “friend” said they would call the police if I didn’t return the games that I stole. And of course, the games were returned. It’s a long story, but eventually after a lot of pain and struggle and understanding, I got over this and there was no drama.

These days, I look back, and I really wish I hadn’t done these things as a kid. Of course, you can’t have everything in the world (or may not be able to afford it as was my case), but that’s never an excuse for stealing. Even if you had a bad experience. But at the same time, committing such acts made me learn over time. Now, I’m not even a video game fan; I hardly play, and there’s never been a desire to steal someone else’s belongings, no matter how much I wish I had it. It makes me happy to know that at least I’ve changed for the better and become a genuinely good person – or so I’d like to think.


If I Could Turn Back Time If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

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