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Reid Main

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June 2017 Retrospective

June was a fairly solid month. I did not make progress in all the areas I wanted, but I did manage to branch out and expand to others so I definitely count this month as a step forward.

June was also the first month I really wrote a lot for my blog because WWDC and E3 provided a substantial amount of material.

Health

I rebounded from my shitty month of April and managed to exercise four or more times times every week.

Every weekend my colleague, Jan, and I ran at least 15km including a half-marathon which we managed to complete in under two hours. We also took advantage of my Dogpatch Boulders membership and climbed a couple of times which really made me remember why I love climbing with friends.

During the week most of my exercising came from running on the elliptical or climbing the stairs in my building. I didn't strength train as much as I wanted to again because Strong app still hasn't been enough to motivate me and I haven't spent any time reading up on it.

Food has been trending in the right direction as well. Avocado toast with eggs has been a delicious and nutritious breakfast. The lunches at Affirm have been healthy when I avoid the carbs. I have done a good job at not buying unhealthy snacks and instead focusing more on fruits on vegetables. I am still purchasing some dinners from the prepared section of the grocery store but I also have been substituting some dinners with Soylent Drink of which I've tried all three flavours. Original tasted like pureed sugar cookies. Nectar tasted like the milk left over in a bowl of Fruit Loops. Cacao tastes exactly like chocolate milk. Most likely I'll get a subscription of Nectar and Cacao so I can replace 60-70% of my dinners with them.

My weight and body fat percentage have not changed at all so my fears seem to have been confirmed. Unless I cut my caloric intake and continue exercising the same amount I probably won't lose any more weight. The alternative is to work on increasing my muscle mass which should result in me gaining some weight but burn some of body fat which is really the only thing that matters.

Read a book

I did plan to read Hyperion in June but I got distracted by the Death Note anime which made me want to read the Death Note manga and that was exactly what I did.

After rewatching the anime and reading the manga for the first time I can honestly say that every single person should experience Death Note. It is not your typical Japanese anime or manga and I believe that it can appeal to everyone.

But in July I swear that I am going to read Hyperion!

Play a video game

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS was the only new game that I played in June. It is your standard battle royale type of game that was made popular by mods for ARMA 2 and 3 as well as DayZ and standalone games like H1Z1: King of the Kill. It is still in early access so it is quite janky (network hiccups and frame drops being the most egregious) but after playing 10 or so hours I can understand its allure. The game does an amazing job at ensuring you never feel completely safe. You're never more than a minute or two away from having to take some kind of action that will force you into potential danger. The constant tension is palpable but games last less than 30 minutes on average so it is never too long before you get relief. You either die, the likely outcome, or you win that sweet chicken dinner. Either way once you get that release you quickly think over all the great moments of that game and usually you just want to dive right back in.

Become conversational in another language

Duolingo finally added support for Japanese so I resurrected this resolution and have been practicing every day for the final 10 days of June. I am under no illusion that Duolingo is suddenly going to allow me to converse in the language but I hope their gamification will kickstart my interest in learning Japanese so I can go back to the Pimsleur audiobooks on Audible or Genki book series.

Release an app

I did absolutely nothing this month to release my app. I spent the majority of my time writing, reading or playing video games. I won't say that means I wasted my month but I really need to find a way to motivate myself to work on this stuff. I need to find a way to convince myself that trying is not the first step towards failure and accept the fact that I am not going to write amazing code for the frameworks I want to build even if I spent months planning them.

Do not indulge in time killing activities

May was pretty much the exact same as April with respect to time killing activities. I did a decent job of keeping myself busy with either a game or a book but I still did spend too much time browsing Reddit or watching YouTube/Netflix. I've noticed I routinely say "I am tired and it is so late that there is no point starting a game or programming" and then kill time rather than being productive. I need to figure out a way so that, no matter how little time I think I have, I can pick up something and be productive. If I wait until I feel that I have a couple of hours to get deep into an activity I am never going to do anything and instead just fall back to killing time on Reddit or YouTube.

I think what I need to do is break my activities down into much smaller goals. Instead of it being "Release an app" it needs to be "write a logging framework" or maybe even smaller than that like "write the interface for the logging framework". Goals that are so explicit that even if I only have 30 minutes I should be able to make progress on them instead of just pulling out my phone and playing more Magikarp Jump. Also fuck that game and its addictive jumping Magikarps.

Conclusions

While May felt like a lost month June definitely feels like a step in the right direction. I think I can easily maintain everything that I did in June and if I add even just a minor bit of work towards releasing an app I think I will finally be able to count July as a truly productive month.

#MonthlyRetrospective

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