Streaking for Success

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You knew that I didn’t mean running around with no clothes on – right?! No, this is part of my personal Happiness Project aim – June’s, but already underway (rather than May’s, but started very late ;)).

Looking for new and fun ways to improve my coding – one of my Scanner areas, as well as my work now (hurrah!) – I ended up at the Codecademy site. It’s back-to-basics level, but I’ve found myself drawn in: partly for the confidence in finding something (too?) easy (!), and partly ‘cos their system of tracking your ‘streak’ is highly motivating. That is, it counts how many days in a row you’ve participated.

Also always looking for new ways to successfully motivate myself with the dozen of things I want to do, I grabbed and then expanded on the idea…!

The real ‘trick’, I suspect, is picking the smallest of goals I can – hence the beginner’s-level coding ‘cheat’ – with the oft-suggested aim of building these things into habits. And building the habit FIRST, then worrying about pushing the challenge level a little later.

And glory be, but so far it seems to be working! As ever I’ve gone a little mad and have six or seven ‘streaks’ on the go at once – against all best advice, I’m sure – but teeny tiny things. I’ve got a spreadsheet to mark my ‘streak count’; this will become a printed sheet I can put stickers on soon, no doubt! Hey – and trick that works! 😉

So far I’ve got:

  • Javascript –13, including today already 🙂
  • C# – 6, but counting days from work. Probably combined with above as ‘coding’ soon enough, but since above is very easy just now I’ve got a separate one for the more important-to-learn.
  • Writing – 6. I’m halfway through an online MOOC on the FutureLearn site, called ‘Start Writing Fiction’. The streak is partly about trying to keep up with that a little better, and also to write something in my inspiration notebook every day.
  • Stretches – 6, the minimum of my ‘exercise’ aims, to run through my stretch routine daily!
  • Push-ups – 6. An odd one, perhaps, but the wider picture is strength exercise. They’re girlie push ups at the moment, but it was the smallest upper-body-strength thing I felt I could commit to. Seeing my biceps firm already – may have to stop before I get too ‘beefed’ 😉
  • One song, 5. Again probably sounds odd, but this is a cardio-esque exercise thing with the added bonus of the feel-good factor of shoving on an uplifting piece of music. Recommended for the ‘buffer’ between work and home J

I did have another for meditation, but as ever – despite knowing how much I gain from a daily practice – I suck at keeping it going. I suspect it’s the time factor plus the ‘not doing’ being slightly at odds with the stuff above. I will revisit, and eventually want to get something going for crafting/drawing (you’ll notice the above fall into learning – split geek/creative – and exercise), website building – and probably a dozen other things!

Having so many at once lets me cover different aspects of my Scanner-ism, as well as mixing ‘wants’ and ‘shoulds’. It motivates me both to keep the individual ‘streaks’ going, and to have a full row of ticks each day. Importantly, nothing is particularly time-consuming: I can manage each in 5 minutes, therefore never hit the end of the day with too onerous a task left.

Hoping to report back at the end of June with 36+ streaks, plus a feeling of making real progress on areas that matter to me, however small!

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