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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Teen Age Idol

As a teenager, I idolized Roger Federer, and still do.

I started playing tennis with my brother at a relatively young age, when I was in the 5th grade I believe, so around 10 or 11 years old. I definitely did not have the athleticism of my peers or the accuracy, but I had the passion and that was enough.

That passion came from the simple enjoyment of playing the game, of hitting the ball back and forth, having intense (well, intense is probably an exaggeration) volleys, and just trying different things. However, a huge part of it also came from watching the magician on court, doing things I wished I could do, but eventually realized I couldn’t (never give up but do know your limits!).

Federer was that magician. His smooth backhand, sweet drop shots, and the jaw-dropping between-the-legs shot captivated me. His excellence, especially at Wimbledon on the grass courts, was exciting to watch. I feel privileged and lucky to come into tennis early on to witness greatness in the form of Federer.

But the “Fed Express” was more than that.

His excellence off the court was also a lesson for everyone watching. A lesson in professionalism. He never showed signs of arrogance and always respected his opponent. Ever humble but equally competitive on the court.

He worked harder than anyone else, even if he was the reigning champion or held the most titles in the world. Always looking to improve with meticulous preparation, finding out the flaws in his opponents as well as in himself.

These things that I learned by watching him had a lasting effect on me. I will never be a professional tennis player or play competitively. When I do play tennis (for fun), my serves will still be way off, my forehand failing to land inside the court, my backhands not going over the net.

However, I know that whatever I decide to pursue, I will be a better person than I would have been thanks to Roger Federer and his exemplary attitude, being an inspiration to us all. That, I think, is his biggest contribution to tennis, even beyond being the greatest tennis player in the world.


Teen Age Idol Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

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Modern Families

If one of my late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join me for dinner, he would find the use of technology (obviously) and the dinner itself quite shocking.

I’m thinking of an ancestor back in the 19th century (who I don’t know). My family hails from the Indian subcontinent. This was during the time when countries in that region were under British rule.

All the different cultural foods we get to experience here in America, like Italian, Mexican, Asian, etc. would be completely new to my ancestor. At home, we usually have Indian food (rice and curry) but at times we like to eat out – pizza, pasta, lo mein, pad thai, burritos, etc.

I’m not certain, but I believe that back in the 1800s food was cooked using firewood, an outside stove, and pots/pans. So the use of ovens and stoves inside the house would be different. Plus, we sometimes have music playing in the house – this would be like magic to my ancestor, who probably would have only heard music played live, not streamed digitally.

Come to think of it, the one thing my ancestor would find most shocking is how “Americanized” my brother and I have become. Our style of clothing (sweatshirts, t-shirts, jogging pants, etc. vs. traditional wear) would definitely stand out. Also, we are not very fluent in our mother tongue, and speak English most of the time. He probably wouldn’t even be able to understand us!


Modern Families If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Worst Case Scenario

The worst possible thing that could happen to me today, well actually any day, is death or losing a loved one. Doesn’t get any worse than that – if I lose my job I can get another one, if I fail my classes I can retake them or do something about it, but you can’t reverse death.

The best thing that could happen is that everything goes according to my plan, which it rarely does. I start the day full of expectations, only to end the day with less than half of my goals finished. It’s disappointing at times, but I’ve learned that it’s best to let go and that every day is a new beginning.

Just writing these things down actually puts things in perspective for me. I usually get upset over relatively minor things, like not doing well in class, or not achieving my goals or getting work done, etc. Now I know that even if things don’t happen as I want them to, it’s okay, because there are other things in life that matter much more.


Worst Case Scenario Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

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Keeping up with the Jones’

I’m a pretty simple guy and I strive to live a simple life. I don’t have that many desires. But one luxury item that I wish I could afford would be the Tesla Model S.

Years ago, when I was a kid and my family was vacationing in England/visiting my grandparents, I remember taking a ride in my grandfather’s Mercedes Benz S Class (can’t exactly recall the other specifics). We went to the grocery store, and the scenery was supposedly great, but all I remember was that it was so nice in the car that I dozed off within 5 minutes, and even after we arrived I wished that I could’ve slept for more!

I then knew that that’s what I wanted to drive around when I grew up. Over time, trends and industry standards changed, and other cars caught my eye. The Audi A series had a nice collection – I think I wanted to drive the A6 at some point. I went from a Benz lover to an Audi lover.

Later on, electric vehicles started becoming more popular. Also, they were environment-friendly, and protecting the environment is something that I perceive as everyone’s duty. So then I knew that I would want to drive some type of electric vehicle to be environmentally conscious. But at the same time, I didn’t want to drive just any electric-powered car, but a nice one.

That’s where Tesla came in.

Tesla is, in a lot of ways, like Apple. They are led by a ruthless, hard-working innovator/visionary leading more than 1 company in Elon Musk (comparing him to Steve Jobs, but credit to Tim Cook too), have unbelievable focus (of course, there are multiple configurations to the cars but their product catalog is relatively small and simple – 4 models!), and strive for perfection. And I think that’s why Tesla, like Apple, also make amazing products.

I first heard about the Tesla Model S sometime during the summer of 2014, reading a comic by The Oatmeal. I was instantly hooked (who wouldn’t be?) – I’ll let you read it and find out why it’s pretty awesome; now they’ve added a lot of “auto” features, like auto-steer, auto-park and much more to make it even better (didn’t seriously think it could get better than that!). I had another “conversion”, from Audi to Tesla. I imagine that if I was an adult during this period who could drive and had the money to buy all these cars, I probably would have bought all three of them as my choices changed!

I just went to Tesla’s website (well, actually I went there quite a while ago and one thing led to another) and calculated the cost of a Model S with certain features. The cheapest price I would have to pay, with no extra features is ~ $77,000. Add in a few nifty upgrades like a different paint (titanium metallic looks pretty good), other interior decor (Tan next generation seats ftw), an 85 kWh battery (to last longer), Autopilot Convenience Features (!!!), premium interior and lighting , smart air suspension, and ultra high fidelity sound, and the total comes to ~ $104,000.

It’s settled then. That’s my new dream to work towards. Buy a Tesla Model S. Save $104,000.

Hopefully someday my dream will become a reality. Thank you Elon Musk for empowering my dreams and providing me with the motivation to work harder toward that dream!


Keeping up with the Jones’ Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.

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