February review

Started the February “review” a bit early this time, stated my goals, and tracked them more regularly (aiming for every week). I think this gives me a good chance to pivot on goals as necessary.

Habit goals

  • 22 minutes of reading every day. [Drop from Jan] Down from 30 minutes in January, which was a little too much for me. Again, counting only time spent reading books, not articles. Modified to read 1 chapter (of DDIA) per day on Feb 13. Modified to read 1 chapter every 2 days (on Feb 22).
  • 10 minutes of walking per day. Decided not to change this one; added a running goal instead.
  • 2 times a week running (for varying times). [New] Aim is to do 10 mins first week (continuing from January), 15 the second, 22 the third and 25 the fourth.
  • 5 chess puzzles in a row every day. [Same as Jan]. Dropped as a goal for the last week, can still do in free time (on Feb 22).
  • 3 sets of push-ups every other day. [Change from Jan] Weighted, 3x11 with 2:00 rest between sets.
  • 3 sets of squats every other day. [Change from Jan] Weighted, 3x15 with 2:00 rest between sets.
  • [Secret goal]. Will be revealed later. Upped from 2:0 to 3:1 (on Feb 22).
  • 1 design article per day. [New] Added on Feb 10. Reduced to 2 per week (on Feb 22).

Non-habit targets

  • 500 correct chessCom puzzles for the month. Total of 2744. [SUCCEEDED]
    • Week 1: At 2603
    • Week 2: At 2770
    • Week 3: At 2999
  • [Added end of week 1] Finish reading & paste notes for Designing Data-Intensive Applications [FAILED]

And now,

The results

in the same order: Reading Habit Switched to reading a design article per day on 10th. A bit too ambitious. Reading technical stuff is somewhat tedious.

Walking Habit Done pretty well.

Chess Habit Skipped last week (intentional). Takes way too much time as rating goes up.

Push-ups Habit Missed 1 day due to feeling unwell.
Squat Habit Missed 1 day due to feeling unwell.

Secret goal Went pretty well, from a target of 2:0 to 3:1 successfully on Feb 22.

Running went well as well, ran twice a week. Aim/Done went 10/12, 15/17, 20/22, 25/27. 27:40 and 27:50 to be exact on the last two runs, both covering almost 5km.

Week 1

  • The book Blood, Sweat and Pixels by Jason Schreier is pretty good and to some extent makes one want to dabble in gamedev. In particular the stories of Stardew Valley (which I was a fan of before this) and Shovel Knight. The game studios seem like tough places to work at. However, reading while sleepy is not great for actually understanding the book.
  • Running went better than expected, managed 14 & 15 mins, instead of 10. Could have run even more.

Week 2

  • Continued to get a 100% on exercise, chess and surprisingly, even running despite snow for half the week.
  • Struggling with the design/reading goals. Wish to ramp up, but will have to stick with the current levels (or dial down the others first).

Week 3

  • Similar to week 2, exercise was consistent, but missed out on the technical goals. Missed a few days of chess after enforcing a lower limit on rating above which the streak has to be maintained. Without that, I was getting many problems wrong before hitting the streak.
  • Many chess puzzles are getting repeated and I’m solving them from memory instead of calculating the solution.
  • Able to see that solving slowly/persisting slowly is a challenge (very visible with chess). My mood also influences the progress (a rushed mood leaves little time/energy/willingness to think).

Week 4

  • In general felt quite unproductive. Felt somewhat unwell for part of the week (hence the missed squat/push-up day).
  • Failed really badly on the design goal. Tough to read technical topics every day. Feels like a chore. Might be easier if you were reading because there was a problem to be solved, then you know if what you have read (& learned) enough - are you able to solve the problem after reading or not?.
  • Skipping chess entirely was not the best idea. Better to keep it going at a slower pace.
  • Exercising (as always) the only thing that went well. Probably the mechanical nature of it.


Overall, not as good a month as January, but better than if I had no tracker. Felt like I missed quite a bit in the second half, particularly with the design goal.

The weekly updates were good to ensure progress and to iterate, but possibly had some negative effects due to needing to document?