30 days of habit tracking

May 2nd, 2020

For the month of May I'll be committing to 6 keys habits work towards improving my life.

Back at the start of 2019 I read James Clear's Atomic Habits. James has been a personal influencer for the last decade and Atomic Habits was the one book in 2019 that really transformed my life.

I was ending 2018 in a bit of a slump. Overweight, unhealthy and unproductve. I was drinking too much, eating rubbish and achieving very little. Kate and I had just moved to Edinburgh which was a highlight and we were getting married in June, so both of us were determined to make 2019 the best year possible. I knew significant changes were needed.

To summarise Atomic Habits, James writes about how teaching youself to make small, incremental changes will in turn create habits and deliver positive results. This book is not so much focused on the big goals, but more the journey of constantly improving and how achieving a little each day is a sure path to achieve your goals.

Atomic Habits put into context that the hardest part of running is just getting out the door. That the barrier to reading is just picking up the book.

For nearly 10 months in 2019 I was doing 100 press-ups daily, running nearly everyday, read every morning and lost over 2 stone in weight. To put the running into context, in 2018 I ran 15km and in 2019 I ran 1010km. But in October 2019 I got quite ill, suffering back and hip pains, alongside a constant flu like bug for nearly 8 weeks. It was a huge set back and almost dismantled the good habits I'd worked so hard to form throughout the year. I never really got back in the rhythm at the start of 2020 and like most, fell of the "New year, new me" bandwagon pretty quickly. Nearly 4 months later and my life is good, but I was ending April with a feeling of underachievment.

Clear Habit Journal January 2020

So for May 2020, I'm getting these habits back on track. 30 days of consistency to realign myself and improve my overall quality of life.

key habits for May 2020

  1. Wake up before 5:00am everyday
  2. Spend no more than 3 minutes in the shower
  3. Commit to 1 hour of code
  4. Write and publish something everyday
  5. 5 minutes of Headspace
  6. 100 press-ups

I could assign more habits, but past experience has taught me that less is more. Too many tasks become unnattainable and create a pressure that is more a detert than encouraging.

Below I've listed a breakdown on why the listed habits are relevant for me.

Wake up before 5:00am: I'm a morning person anyway, so getting up an hour earlier doesn't deprive me of much sleep, but gives me an entire hour where my dog is asleep and I can make headway on most of the habits on this list.

3 minute showers: I spend so long in the shower, for no reason. Probably about 15 minutes on average. A timed shower gives me a deadline to hurry the hell up and get on with the rest of my day.

1 hour of code: I want to be good at development, but I won't get there by talking about it. Committing 1 hour a day is achievable task that is going to push me closer towards a life goal.

5 minutes of Headspace: I love my Headspace time, but committing to much time will prevent me from creating a habit. Even 5 minutes a day is a good start for me, so I'll start on 5 minutes and build up to 10 minutes in June.

100 press-ups: I did this for good chunk of last year, so this is a good way to tick off some morning exercise and remind myself that old habits can be reformed.

So that is it. 30 days to form 6 habits. You can follow me on Instagram here to follow my progress.

Thanks for reading.