Monthly Review: September 2016

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

September was a pretty amazing month! I had a chance to get together with all of my amazing coworkers in Whistler, BC for the Automattic Grand Meetup; I took a few days off to hang out with my wife and watch her crush her first CrossFit competition; and I stayed consistent with my workouts even on the road.

For habits and goals, it was a mixed bag as you’ll see below. I am really happy with the progress I made on the habit of shutting down by 5pm.

Speaking of monthly reviews, Belle B. Cooper, who inspired me to do these in the first place, is putting together a collection of monthly reviews from across the web. It’s going to be a really cool project. I would encourage you to check it out and contribute if you write a monthly review (you should).

See below for everything I worked on in September!

Goal Recap From September

✖️ Publish 4 blog posts on my personal blog and 4 on Drink for Pink

I missed the mark here, but I wouldn’t consider it a total failure. I did write 3/4 blog posts for Drink for Pink (I missed one planned day). On my personal blog, I actually didn’t publish a single post. However, I’m on a 3-day streak entering October. My plan is to write a post at least every weekday.

✖️ Send out two newsletters.

Fail! I even had quite a few of you sign up for my newsletter starting at the beginning of September. I don’t really have a great excuse here. I did send out quite a few newsletters for Drink for Pink (I’m digging into A/B tests and segmentation on Mailchimp), but I didn’t send out a personal one.

✖️ Read 3 books.

Another fail here. I only finished one as you’ll read about below. I just need to start carving out 30 minutes a day for reading like I’ve done before. That’s the ticket to check this one off next month!

What habit did I focus on?

Shutdown by 5pm. 9/9

Success! I hit 100% for this habit in September. You’ll notice I’m only tracking a total of 9 days. I worked many more than that. However, I didn’t count days that I was at the Grand Meetup (total of 8) or that I had previously arranged to specifically cover something later in the evening (4).

I’m pretty excited at the progress here. I was actually off the computer by 4:30pm most days and headed to the gym.


My September 2016 iPhone 6 Homescreen

The major changes here all involve habit tracking apps. I’m bouncing between and Momentum to see which one I like better. I also renewed my subscription to Exist to see if I can pull out some interesting insights from my tracking data.


I finished one book in September although I made some great progress on The Score Takes Care of Itself, which I’ll finish up this month:

I wasn’t particularly taken with Feynman’s book, but it was an interesting read.

This month’s list looks a lot like last month. I’m going to finish reading The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker, and Your Turn by Seth Godin.

For audio books, I’m currently listening to The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly.

Time Spent Coding

6hr 12m

I didn’t get any major pull requests into Calypso this time around (all of them were minor), but I did take an Advanced Calypso course at the Grand Meetup taught by two of our developers. We learned all about how Calypso handles routing, how the boot process works, and how we handle data management among many other things. I’m in the process of moving a data element from Flux to Redux so that will be a challenge this month.

Goals For October

Here’s what I’m focused on over the next month.

Goal: Publish every weekday on my personal blog and 4x on Drink for Pink

I think part of my paralysis in publishing on my personal site is always thinking the post has to be perfect. I have a lot of things I want to write about, but often times, they’re short. I’ve been aiming to write longer, more meaningful posts. Those will come, but for now, I’m going to also focus on sharing articles I’m reading, quotes, etc.

Goal: Read 3 books

I’ve been really enjoying the audio book format. I’m going to carve out some time each evening to read. I also have a few flights this month, which have historically been perfect times to dig into a book.

Goal: Migrate Site Roles to Redux state in Calypso

This is related to the coding class I took a the Grand Meetup in September. You can find the related issue on GitHub here. This pulls together everything I’ve been learning over the past several months about React and Redux. I’m looking forward to submitting a pull request that closes this issue in October.

Habit for October

I’m going to stick with the same habit of shutting down by 5pm for one more month. October is traditionally a busier month with everything going on for Drink for Pink. With the added workload, I want to be sure this habit is solid, and I can really manage my day effectively. I’ll move to another habit in November.

Photo: View of the mountains taken during a run in Whistler, BC.

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