Monthly Review: January 2016

I publish a monthly review of habits, work, etc. You’ll be able to find them all here.

I can’t believe the first month of the new year is already come and gone! January was pretty darn awesome. I celebrated my 28th birthday; we skied literally every weekend; and, I felt pretty darn productive at work (while taking all weekends off). Here’s a full look at the month.

What were my goals for December?

Grade: 3.5/5

Dumped: Finish 1 freelance project

I actually decided to put freelance work to the side for 2016 so I can direct more focus to other areas.

Fail: Finish React course on Udemy

I could’ve completed this, but honestly, I got tired of watching courses and started coding instead. I opted to only do an hour of coursework two times a week directing extra time to working on Theodoro, which is a React-based project I’m using to practice.

Semi-Fail: Four commits to Calypso

I ended up with three in total including fixing some areas of the Purchases page and adding some event tracking for a project I’m working on with a colleague.

Success: Read three books

I had a fantastic month of reading finishing five books in total. I’ve been spending an hour each night reading and an hour in the mornings on weekends. Full recaps here.

Success: Publish four blog posts

This month, I shared a recap of last year and some practical applications for Deep Work alongside thoughts on idea collision and excuses.

Success: Create a mock-up of Theodoro, a React-based Pomodoro timer

I made some decent progress here setting up the file structure and getting basics like the header, footer, and router mostly completed. It’s all up on GitHub here.

What habit did I focus on?

My focus for January was to segment out days for code-related projects and others for writing. I didn’t do so well in this department mainly because I found myself always drifting to code-related work. At this juncture, I find coding far more interesting than writing so I’ll choose code over words in a heartbeat. I was able to lay out a productivity system based on Deep Work that allowed me to make progress in both areas though.


My homescreen in January



I had a great month of reading in January continuing in my attempt to answer the question “How can I be successful in work?” Here’s what I got into:

For December


  • Finish up the React JS course on Udemy (Seriously, I’m going to do it)
  • Complete Theodoro (this is my big focus for the month) and publish a write-up of what I learned and where I got stuck
  • Read 3 books (finishing up my focus on being successful at work and transitioning to leadership)
  • Complete 4 pull requests to Calypso (I have myself setup on a 1x/week schedule currently)


  • Practice Español! I started using Duolingo to refresh my Spanish. My goal is to do 10-15 minutes four times a week. Why? I’m not really sure to be honest. I’m more interested in learning about their teaching style (it seems to be successful) than learning Spanish. Refreshing my Español couldn’t hurt though.

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