Daily Habits Checklist (February 13 – 26): REAMDE and the irony of freedom

Skipped a week (February 6-12) because I was sick for most of it.

I continue to underperform, again due to business travel. But this past month had a useful outcome, which was to help me realize, again, perhaps for the last time, that I’m just not ready for, nor interested in, a full-time job or business project.

I’m going to focus instead on writing – random essays, short stories, maybe a sci-fi novel. And with the increased flexibility and reduced travel of a writer’s life, the habit scores *should* rebound.

Current book: REAMDE by Neal Stephenson. The title is not a typo. A techno-thriller about a brilliant businessman, an addictive MMORPG, a group of young Chinese hackers, and a spunky girl geek turned heroine.

Current quote:

True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline – Mortimer J. Adler

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.

Daily Habits Checklist (January 23 – February 5): Lonesome Dove and Gandalf

Another disappointing 2 weeks, with the usual culprits of more “business” work and a lot of Asia travel. Some days – like Wednesday and Thursday – I get off to such a bad start that I just say “fuck it” and give up habits altogether that day…

Current book: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty [Kindle]. The best book I’ve read in months, maybe years. Here’s my brief post on it

Current quote:

Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East. – Gandalf

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.

Daily Habits Checklist (January 9 – 22): Swarmwise and Milton Friedman

As a result of my shifting priorities, I’ve made some tweaks to the habits checklist:

  • Brought back the “Publish” habit, which means I need to write and share something publicly every day (Quora counts)
  • Removed Singing and Guitar – this makes me sad, but I was seeing only incremental progress at best with the existing habits. If I re-commit to music in the future, I’d need to up the ante, maybe by enrolling in music school, or joining a band lol
  • Reduced writing time to 1 hour
  • Changed from “Evening Prep” to just “Evening To Do’s”
  • Will share a current book I’m reading and a current quote on my mind with each habits update

Current book: Swarmwise by Rick Falkvinge [free PDF]. It’s a concise and tactical book, almost a how-to manual, on social movements and crowd behavior. Falkvinge started the Pirate Party which took Swedish politics by storm, coming out of nowhere to receive almost 10% of the popular vote

Current quotes:

I’ve always wanted a ship. Now I want a dozen. Strange, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter what we want, once we get it, then we want something else – Little Finger in Game of Thrones

The only person who can truly persuade you is yourself. You must turn the issues over in your mind at leisure, consider the many arguments, let them simmer, and after a long time turn your preferences into convictions. – Milton Friedman

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.

Daily Habits Checklist (December 26 – January 8)

A mediocre two weeks. And it won’t get better, because my schedule’s gotten busier. I’m moving away from a writer’s schedule to a business person’s schedule. Which means more meetings, more emails, more unpredictability, more travel. Which has been a shock to my habits system. That’s the ultimate test – how can you keep your habits up when it’s hard to do so? Easy is easy, but hard is meaningful if not always fun.

The main areas where I fall short are singing and guitar. When traveling I simply don’t have a guitar on me. So trying to think of alternatives. For example at my uncle and aunt’s home they have a piano. Maybe I can count 30 minutes of piano playing as a replacement. Or maybe just scrap these two habits, and focus on the foundational ones: Waking early. Running. Writing…

Evening prep is also not consistent. I just haven’t bought into the value of picking tomorrow’s outfit and planning tomorrow’s to-do’s. In the morning, I pick my outfit in 5 minutes. And I keep a sense of internal priorities, of what’s important and what’s urgent. At night I like to relax, not think about work, read my books, and watch Netflix lol.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.

Daily Habits Checklist (December 12 – 25)

Happy holidays everyone! I’m gaining weight for sure. Too much good food. And lots of travel. Which probably explains the subpar weeks. But tracking is even more important when my performance is poor, even though the temptation can be to skip it. Thanks to everyone who’s emailed me sharing their own checklists and habits and systems. It means a lot and I’m learning every time!

I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions for 2016 – for the first time in a decade – but it wound up being a good year. I won’t make any for 2017, either. Just increasingly skeptical about the value of setting yearly goals. Would rather emphasis habits and priorities instead – priorities being some mixture of your values and long-term (ie, 5 to 10 year) goals.

Here’s an explanation of how and why I track my daily habits. And here’s a starter template if you’d like to create your own. You can download it in Excel, PDF, etc.

What habits do you monitor? Which habits would you like to develop? Email me anytime.

Hi! I write about habits and spirituality and random whatevers. Click here to see the daily habits that I track. Find me on Twitter @kgao.