Prasanna Natarajan

Habit progress for 2019

Instead of writing a “2019 in review” at the end of 2019, wouldn’t it be nice to setup some goals upfront and track their progress every month?

I’ve decided to focus on a handful of habits right now. But I think it would take at least a year or two to see real progress in them. So I want to track their progress from now till end of 2019 here.

Here’s what I think is reasonable to achieve within a year in all of these:

1. Side-Projects

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

I have shipped 2 so far.

Where I want to be

I want to ship these:

And more depending on future ideas. But these 5 should definitely be done.

2. Workouts

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

I weigh 78.4kg. And here are my current lifts:

Where I want to be

Weight should be less than 75kg. Gym visits should average at at least 10 per month. Seems realistic as a starter goal considering James Clear’s 2014 numbers. My expected lifts:

3. Planning

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

I’ve never planned anything recently. In the past I’ve planned weeks during the weekend and I remember it working out 70-ish%. Now I need to make it a habit. What could I plan when all day is the same (like the Groundhog day)? Well, more important than planning is doing the work that’s planned.

Where I want to be

So this is really 2 things: I need to plan and I need to implement the plan.

Here’s what I think would be a good plan, for now: The day before, come up with at least 1 item for each of the 5 habits. If I did those things the next day, then I’ll mark the day as a success wrt planning.

4. Sleep

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

No proper sleep schedule. I just sleep when I’m tired and useless. That’s great, except that the screen witches will hook me up on occasional nights and I’ll find myself awake till 1am. So…

Where I want to be

Any day that I don’t fall prey for the screen witches is a good sleep day - even if I don’t sleep the entire night. So a binary goal would be to put off mobile phone, ipad and laptop after 9pm. Only kindle is allowed.

5. Learning

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

Jesus. I want to and I have to learn so many things, but I just can’t seem to find the time! Somehow I couldn’t prioritize this at all. For example I have to learn Scala within this month for my office work, but I couldn’t fit it in anywhere.

Currently my outside-office hours are taken by 2 things: working on sideprojects and reading. I have to squeeze learning somewhere between them.

I’m married to the idea that I can pursue more than one thing at a time if I schedule them properly - like, work on sideprojects in the morning, write every other day, and read every night etc. This way, by the year end, I’d have made progress in all of these. But of-late there’s this new idea that’s visiting me more than once. Nathan Barry says do things in seasons and Derek Sivers’ favorite way of doing things is to dive deep into a project and spend as much time as it takes to do it. He has no fear of missing out because he says if you plan for the long haul, you could learn many things this way. (But I tend to think that it’s because he’s rich and doesn’t have a job that he can pursue anythings anyhow. Well, I love Derek still).

So my ‘learning seasons’ would look like this: “You have all of January and maybe February to learn scala (while you are doing other things like sideprojects), but beyond that, you can’t drag it because there are other items to learn and they are waiting on schedule”

Where I want to be

I have this 5-habit tracker for December 2018 pasted in my home office. It’s been a week since, and the only goal to have consistently failed there is the ‘learning’ goal. I think I’m going to have a hard time with this one. But at least I now know this fact. I’ll have to make time and place for this somehow.

My goal here is to learn work related things like scala, and also other non-work related things like video/audio editing. MUST MAKE TIME FOR THESE. Binary definition would be “Did I work on Scala in my client project at office?” and “Did I make some edited videos/audios?”

6. Writing

Where I stand now (Dec 4, 2018)

No tech posts since a long time ago. But there are new things I’m learning (both at work and in sideprojects) and I need to share them. I’ve started a “newsletter”, but haven’t even sent out the first edition yet. I’ll need a system to gather links throughout the week that I can share by the end of week.

Where I want to be

Weekly newsletters. I see this as a way to share what I’ve learnt while also giving me an excuse to practice writing.

Side-project updates and habit-progress updates in my ‘general’ blog. And ‘things I learned’ in the ‘tech’ blog. And of course, book notes in my ‘books’ blog.

Since I’ve scheduled to write every other day, I think I’ll somehow manage these.


And here comes the progress report.

Progress report