Posted on Mon 02 February 2015

Monthly Review: January 2015

At the start of each month I do a review in my Day One journal of my goals, habits, and experiments from the past month. During January 2015 I started using my @bellebethcooper Twitter account to share public logs of everything I get done each day. To continue the trend of being open about what I'm up to, I wanted to try publishing my monthly reviews on my blog instead of keeping them private. I hope you'll find them useful and/or entertaining.

My monthly review template is a work in progress. It's been fairly similar to this for the past few months, but this review includes two new sections I'm trying out: how many books I read and how much money I spent in the past month.

WHAT DID I COMPLETE THAT I AM PROUD OF IN JANUARY?

  • Lots of bug fixes in the Exist iOS app
  • Developed a new morning routine
  • Started a new hobby project: an iOS reading app based on Pinboard

WHAT GOALS DID I ATTEMPT IN JANUARY?

  • Release Exist for iOS to the App Store: nope. It's getting closer, but there are a couple more critical things to do before I can release it, and ideally I'd like to have the Dashboard implemented before a public release.
  • Contact 20 people about press for Exist: did it!

WHAT 1 HABIT DID I FOCUS ON FOR JANUARY? (HOW DID THAT GO?)

Shipping every day. I thought I'd have a better day if I felt like I'd accomplished something early on, but my requirements for what counted as shipping (uploading a new beta build of my app, sending a completed blog post to a client, etc.) meant that it was really hard to get this done early in the morning every day. Once I developed my new morning routine I let go of the "ship every day" habit.

WHAT EXPERIMENTS DID I TRY?

New morning routine: get up between 6 and 6:30am, shower, walk to get a coffee, eat breakfast and read my current nonfiction book, do a Duolingo French lesson, play piano, start work.

Public logs: I'm using my @bellebethcooper Twitter account to tweet a log of each thing I get done every day.

@bellebethcooper public work logs

Time tracking: I didn't manage to find an app that I'm happy with for this, but I'm attempting to track how much time I spend on various tasks so I can plan them better in the future and see whether they're taking more or less time in the future.

WHAT BOOKS DID I READ?

  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams
  • The Innocent Man, John Grisham
  • Show Your Work!, Austin Kleon

HOW MUCH MONEY DID I SPEND?

$3,871

Biggest chunks: $1350 for the first term of my acting course, $1293 for rent, and $468 on shopping (mostly shoes and board games).

Goals for February

I WANT TO COMPLETE:

  • Send out beta build of Exist for iOS with Dashboard included.
  • Write 4 Exist blog posts (1 per week).
  • Add offline caching to my Pinboard reading app.

I WANT TO FOCUS ON THIS 1 HABIT:

Maintaining my new routine. Even if I get up late, I want to keep the routine of a walk, breakfast and reading, French, and piano before work. Also the tail-end of my routine: stopping work at 5:30pm to go for a run.

In case you're interested in doing a similar review for yourself, here's a tip: I write my goals and my focus habit for the upcoming month on my whiteboard or the front of my notebook. Anytime I don't do this, I forget what they are, and my next review doesn't look too good.


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