Tag Archives: habit

Habit update 17 – code every day

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 7.12.37 PM

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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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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Habit update 13: code everyday

I’m getting there. Still haven’t done software development for 2 hours since 12/9/15 (woah!), but I’m slowly getting back into the habit. Yesterday was promising, and I plan to work in small sprints (or pomodoros) to reach my goal of 2 hours of coding everyday.

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So far:

  • Total: 11/42 days
  • Current streak: 0 days
  • Longest streak: 6 days

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Habit update 12 – code everyday

Although my writing habit has been going well, coding over the break has become more of a challenge than I expected it to be.

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I didn’t even touch 1 hour on any of these days, and on Friday and Saturday, I didn’t do any coding at all. Although it is embarrassing, that is the point of this accountability test.

I do think that I need to work in small time chunks, like pomodoros, to get back to my best. Eventually, when that happens, I’ll get into that state of flow, where I can code and code and code without stopping. I know it’ll happen eventually, I just have to start.

So far:

  • Total: 11/35 days
  • Current streak: 0 days
  • Longest streak: 6 days

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