With the start of the new year, I have decided to make a few resolutions. The first is to make yet another attempt at weight loss. The second is to become more socially adept. The third is to become more politically informed. And the fourth is to be more OK with the often slow pace that life change takes.
I’m going to borrow a term from Agile programming: “sprints.” In each sprint you set goals and work toward them. At the end of the sprint you reflect and see what got done, what didn’t, what needs to be redone, and what to do from here. For my resolutions, I’m going to focus on building a couple new habits each “sprint.” The sprints in this case are a month long, beginning and ending with their respective month.
The January sprint is going to be a little short, since we’re already a week into it. At the end of the January sprint, I’ll review what progress I’ve made and see what I can expand upon, and what needs to be refined further. So, onto the categories!
I have been working on two projects. The first one, which I’m calling Primescraper, is a program that simulates a television by pulling videos from sites like Primewire, YouTube, and Twitch. It’s based on the My Decade TV project, which it mimics fairly closely.
The second project is also my first adventure with HTML5’s canvas tag. It’s a simulation of how ships and starbases from Star Trek might communicate with each other. It’s turning into a bit of an Internet simulator, really. I’ll have to make a post about it. For now check it out at http://shawnco.github.io.
In terms of habit forming, I won’t be trying to make this into a habit. During classes I don’t really have time for hobby coding. And if something does hit me with inspiration, I’ll find the time for it.
Originally I had come up with a plan where I’d do two months of plotting and three months of writing per year, taking two months out for rapid planning and NaNoWriMo writing. But I got burned out on the book I’m supposed to be planning for. It’s fairly Medieval in nature, but I know next to nothing about writing for Medieval stuff, so I’m stuck there. Right now I’m working on a massive plot that I’ve had in my mind for several years. I’m making good progress with it. Eventually I might even write some of the story!
I tried establishing writing as a habit, but it didn’t stick after NaNoWriMo. I think it comes down to my muse just coming and going so much. That and my plot is so big as to be too abstract – though I have certainly made some progress in chopping down to the story arcs. I will not make an attempt to make writing a habit this month’s sprint. By February I will be back in classes, and I will see what the workload will be like.
I’m pushing myself through Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. So far I’m really surprised the book could be considered revolutionary, when the main characters just don’t seem to do much meaningful stuff. I am hoping the story will surprise me, soon.
I’m fairly active with Minecraft now. I have plans for that, but I won’t divulge it right now. I’m trying to play a half hour every day, and so far it’s turning out to be a pretty easy habit to form. Eking out the time at college will be a challenge, but my schedule will be fairly reasonable.
Yeah, this one is a habit I need to form. My weight recently topped out at 215 pounds, the highest it’s ever been. My ideal weight was recently re-calculated to be 150 pounds. This sprint is going to be one where I try to get myself into the habit of doing a little exercise each day. Things like better food choices and whatnot will come next month, if I can get myself going this month.
From today to the 16th I will work on just doing some light exercise each day. Not much, just some push-ups and sit-ups. When I get back to college on the 17th, I’ll spend the rest of the month trying to get in a half hour of walking every day. It could be going around campus or using a treadmill – I just need to get myself moving.
Besides church attendance, not much going on here. I was reading Revelation, but that petered out. I’ve recently passed 8 years as a Christian, and in that time I’ve read the entire Bible once, most of the Bible twice, and some parts of it several times. I get the point. The general concepts are old news to me.
I’ve concluded I want to do something with the knowledge and the teachings I get from the Bible. Perhaps I could look for a habit to try and develop that would help show God’s love to others. I doubt I could make much progress this month, so maybe in February I would go further with this.
Praying is something I would like to get better with. Generally my main prayer session has taken place when I got into bed. It just works. Yet my prayer life has been struggling for the last few years. There are all sorts of resources out there that suggest things to pray about on a given day of the week or whatnot, I’ll have to look into one of those.
One of my resolutions is to become more socially fluid, i.e. be able to make conversation with people and maintain friendships. I’m just not used to having to work at keeping friendships alive, because I’ve spent so much of my life at schools and jobs where we were required to be in proximity with each other. Now’s a really good time to pick up that habit.
Recap: Habits for January
- Read for a half hour every day. Upgrade to an hour if the story is particularly fascinating and I have the time to spare.
- Minecraft: play for a half hour a day, working on this project or that.
- Exercise every day, be it simple push-up/sit-up routine while I’m home, or walking for a half hour every day when I’m at college.
- Read a chapter of the Bible every day.
- Come up with some style of prayer and pray every night before going to sleep.
- Have a meaningful conversation with a friend every day.
This all should take less than 2 hours a day. I’m not going to be a stickler about this. It’s not the end of the world if I forget a day or if circumstances prevent me.