July 2019, Week 1

I don’t have any idea how this is going to go, but one of the habits I’m trying to build is to write every day. Volume isn’t important, but developing the habit is. Sometimes, it’ll be topical and sometimes it’ll just be garden variety stuff.

One of the ideas I had to make this happen was to track my progress on the habits I’m trying to build (there are a few), with daily entries in posts published weekly. As with this one, these journal posts will just be named by date.

Even if I don’t write anything else on a given day my journal entry will help me build a daily writing practice. With the preamble out of the way, here we go.

Monday

I made a conscious decision to not journal much today. It is our nation’s birthday and, as such, I didn’t hit many of my daily goals but I slept in, hung with Connie all day, hit the BC Legislature grounds for Canada Day, enjoyed a bit of beer and generally acted as one does on a stat holiday.

Exercise: 13k MLT run
Yoga: Yes

Tuesday

Began actually tracking my habits today. I’m not going to go into detail in these daily posts, but will summarize my success at the end of the week. I’m tracking about 14 habits in all, some of which are about stopping a behaviour and some about starting or being more consistent with a behaviour.

Beyond my habit-tracking, I’ve been thinking about how to get back a little more to my old running self (getting out for group training sessions, planning some races and getting a little faster overall). While I’ve been poking around Strava and the web to find running clubs, the options are quite a bit slimmer here than in Vancouver.

I’m starting to reach out to coached groups and see if I can find something that works. As getting my weekend runs and rides done earlier in the day is one of my goals, I may also begin hitting the Running Room on Douglas for Sunday 8:30 am runs.

Exercise: full body resistance
Yoga: Yes
Daily Dozen: 20/24

Wednesday

Late out of bed to deal with what started to feel like a migraine meant my morning habits took a hit. This was a pretty uneventful work day of meetings and flows, but I’m actively seeking connections that may lead to broader involvement in digital government stuff. And, the migraine never became a thing.

With regard to work, my team’s agile software development world seems a bit more fractured than it should be. I suspect I’ll have more to say in a more focused journal post at some point. For now though, I seem to be experiencing what many who work in agile environments do; a glut of focal points and a dearth of focus.

I have pretty strong opinions on how research, IA and interaction design fits into the early stages of web development and I’m hoping I can have a positive impact on that front. Discussions so far don’t seem to be moving the needle much, but it’s early days and I’m choosing optimism.

Exercise: 7k easy run
Yoga: Yes
Daily Dozen: 19/24

Thursday

July 4th. Independence Day in America! What can you say? Well, I’m not really sure, but Donald Trump had a lot to say and it’s all you could read about online. It was vintage Trump, almost as if his speech writers were fucking with him. If you missed the backstory, he decided to go mini-tinpot dictator and do a bit of a military show, followed by a speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

He mixed up the wars of independence and 1812, claimed there were airports during the latter and, as usual, indicated that the US is greater now than at any time in its history. It was a rambling hour of pure hyperbole set amidst a partisan display of armoured vehicles, aircraft and campaign rally accoutrement at taxpayer expense. You can filter through the crud in the clip below if you’re interested.

Exercise: Rolled my own 30 minute trainer ride
Yoga: Yes
Daily Dozen: 23/24

Friday

In terms of my daily habits, Friday was a day where everything went out the window. Didn’t get any kind of a workout, didn’t do yoga, didn’t write or read, and only hit 15 of the 24 servings of the foods I’m trying to get every day.

Work was interesting though. We finally began discussing the MVP for our team’s products. I’d led some whiteboard sessions with our developers the previous couple days for some very high level user flows to help inform their data model. Friday’s planned backlog grooming turned into three hours of working through more details in some of the flows and beginning to seriously map out what our key user roles look like.

While I didn’t get many of the things done I’m trying to develop into daily habits, I did get out for too much hummus and falafel and hit Twa Dogs in Saanich for a couple pints of one of my favourite bourbon ales.

Exercise: No
Yoga: No
Daily Dozen: 15/24

Saturday and Sunday

I’ve developed a habit of sleeping in on weekends. This has been borne of part laziness, but also part necessity. I’m a very light sleeper and I go through lengthy periods where I’m lucky if I get 5 hours a night, then things will improve a bit and I’ll get 6.5-7 hours for a bit, then cycle back to lighter sleeping. I used to have a lot of trouble getting to sleep, but in the past few months it’s been more of an issue to stay asleep around 4:30-5am.

Using time released melatonin does help with the quality of my sleep and I don’t find I sleep as lightly as I used to, but since I’m a little challenged in this area it’s really affected my desire and ability to sleep enough and get up early on weekends to do decent road rides or early runs. Remedying this pattern is a strong desire and I’m going to be using some of the habit-building suggestions of James Clear to improve this over time. Oh, his book Atomic Habits is very good. Read it.

I only mention this for my weekend entry as my Saturday and Sunday this weekend were very slow and quiet. Aside from a Saturday afternoon run, it was really nondescript. A few errands, a good deal on some NB1080 V9s, some new running shades and, I thought a lot about sleep patterns as I am wont to do. We’re also giving some serious thought these days to our renting or buying strategy for next year, given our desire to be travelling – maybe fulltime(ish) – within five years, if not sooner. So, weekends includes perusing real estate listings and the odd open house, mostly to see what we can get at certain price points, since we can’t buy for another 6 months or so.

Saturday’s Run Highlights

Exercise: Saturday, 12k tempo + nodes | Sunday, nothing.
Yoga: Both days
Daily Dozen: 18/24 | 20/24

The Week in Summary

As I look at my week’s journaling above, I’m not entirely happy with the format. Going forward I think I’ll still post a weekly summary of the habits I’m trying to build, but instead of small daily instalments with headings, I’ll write more of a narrative for the week. Making daily notes I can still reach my daily writing goals, but I suspect it will read a little better if I choose the most interesting thing to me and flesh it out. Given how a week goes for me, it still mightn’t be all that exciting, but probably a little better.

As for the week, I made some progress on some things but my mornings, for instance, were a dismal failure when viewed in light of the habits I’m trying to create.

Exercise: 5/7 days
Yoga: 6/7 days
Daily Dozen Average: 19/24
Reading: Daily, The Philosophy Book
Writing: Daily journal, aside from writing up Saturday and Sunday together.

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