Posted on Sat 07 January 2017

Monthly Review: December 2016


Last month's review. All monthly reviews.

What went well this month

  • Christmas. I'm not actually a fan of Christmas, or of driving to the country, but since we went away for a few days over Christmas I did enjoy the forced break from work and other responsibilities. It was really nice to switch off and relax for a few days in a row. And I got to enjoy presents and games and yummy food as well.
  • Starting my new job. I'll talk more about this in January when I officially start, but I eased into my new part-time role in December and finished up my freelance work for the year. I think this is going to be a lot better for me than freelancing.

December goals

✖️ Write 3 posts for the Larder blog

I did publish two posts, which is a good start. I'd like to get up to publishing four every month in 2017.

❓ Finish and launch the version of Exist for iOS that's in beta right now

The problem with making my reviews public is that I write vague goals like this one, since the specifics are either private or wouldn't make sense to anyone but me. But when it comes time to assess my progress, I don't know if I achieved my goals or not. I think the version I was referring to in this goal was released near the start of December, so this is a win, but I definitely need to be more clear about my goals in the future!

✔️ Finish customer development for Changemap

This is a sort-of win. We actually decided to put this off for now, after I'd done a little bit of the work. There's way too much for us to do, and I was feeling overwhelmed by all my Hello Code responsibilities, so we had to carefully prioritise my to-do list and this fell closer to the bottom.

✖️ Write 4 posts for my blog

I only published two posts, but I'm not too upset about this. I drafted six more posts in December and chose to relax in the last couple of days of the year instead of racing to edit and publish two more of them. I'm still happy with how much I wrote, and I'll have plenty to publish in January.

December's focus habit


I dropped drawing a few days into December because I was unsure about why I was doing it, how to go about it, or how to get any better.

I did pick up piano a lot more, which was my focus habit for November that didn't go too well. I really enjoyed seeing tangible progress in my piano skills and learning more, so I played quite a bit in the middle of December.

At the end of the month I picked up drawing again with a fresh perspective and started spending a bit more time on the habit. It's not a solid habit yet, so I'll probably focus on this in a future month.

Time spent coding

12h 8m, 7 commits

Up a little, but not as much as I'd like. Hopefully steady day job hours in 2017 will make it easier to code regularly.

Most played music


Spent 131% of my ideal budget, and 109% of my realistic budget, which is a little worse than last month. In 2017 I've set up automatic payments into a travel savings account and my superannuation (retirement) fund, so I'll need to be more careful about not over-spending since I'll have less income to work with. I've also set up a new rule around buying stationery in the past month that worked well: I can only spend money on stationery that I earn through selling Productive Habits or Larder subscriptions. This has helped to stop me making impulse purchases, and it helps my budget because I'm only spending that extra money that I don't rely on for bills, etc. When Larder starts making more than pocket money I'll stop counting it as my stationery fund, but while it's making so little this helps incentivise me to work harder on Larder marketing.

Books read

  • Sketch!: The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life, France Belleville-Van Stone 3/5 (Amazon affiliate link )
  • The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible, A.J. Jacobs 3/5 (Amazon affiliate link)



Goals for January

  • 4 posts for my blog
  • 4 posts for the Larder blog
  • 1 Exist for iOS App Store release
  • 1 Exist for iOS beta release
  • Start rewriting Larder's iOS app in Objective-C
  • Attend 3 social events of any kind

Focus habit for January

Working out.

This really dropped off for me lately because it's been hot and humid, I travelled over Christmas, and I lost my motivation and interest in working out. But it does make me feel better if I exercise in the morning so I want to work hard on making this a habit in January.

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