Posted on Thu 01 December 2016

Monthly Review: November 2016

Door and window

Last month's review. All monthly reviews.

What went well this month

  • Finished a full four-week workout plan in the Nike+ Training Club app. Counterintuitively, upping my plan to 5-6 workouts per week actually worked better than only doing 1-3 workouts per week. I'm not convinced I can see or feel any difference yet, but I'm really proud I stuck it out for the whole four-week period, and I'm hoping after another few weeks I'll start to see signs of progress in both lowering my body fat percentage and increasing my strength.
  • My birthday! It was one of my favourite birthdays for a long time, with lots of cake, balloons, surprises, and outings. I took the week off from freelance work and really enjoyed relaxing and having fun for a few days.

November goals

✔️ Write 4 BBC posts

I actually published six posts!

✖️ Finish drafting and edit ongoing personal project

Decided not to continue working on this project for now, as I'm not super enthused about it.

✖️ Write 2 guest posts

Decided guest posts aren't providing a great return and changed this to be a goal of writing two posts for the Larder blog instead. Only ended up writing one, so it was a half win.

✖️ Finish and submit major uni assignment

Dropped my uni class, as I wasn't getting much out of it. Decided not to keep studying in 2017.

✖️ Finish and launch Exist for iOS version that's in testing now

Really struggled to find time, energy, and motivation to work on this. I did work on it earlier in the month but for the past couple of weeks I've struggled to figure out and fix the last couple of bugs I've found in this version.

✖️ Get my side project iOS app ready for beta testing

Decided not to work on this and focus on Hello Code work instead. May pick it up again in 2017.

✖️ Pitch 2 more magazines on personal essays/feature articles

Didn't do this, but don't have a good reason. It's been a tough month where I've felt overwhelmed and avoided even facing the work I need to do or the goals I haven't hit yet. This goal definitely suffered because of that.

November's focus habit


Very inconsistent with this habit. Partly due to mental/emotional struggles this month, and partly because I struggled to find a good time in my day to schedule this habit. Because it's noisy, I can't do it first thing in the morning when I do most of my other habits, or right before bed when I do my night-time habits. I'm pretty bad at doing anything at a regular time if it's not at the start or end of my day, so I need to rethink how to schedule this one.

Time spent coding

8h 30m, 7 commits

Down to almost half of last month's time. Really want to improve this in December.

Most played music


Spent 123% of my ideal budget, but only 103% of my realistic budget. Definitely did a better job of cutting back on unnecessary spending this month. Biggest expenses included rent, new lenses for my glasses and my regular six-month cleaning and check-up at the dentist, Christmas gifts, and tickets to My Fair Lady for next year.

Books read

  • Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, Emily Nagoski 4/5 (Amazon affiliate link )
  • Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, edited by Mark Kramer & Wendy Call 3/5 (Amazon affiliate link)



Really enjoying my Android Pixel. The stock keyboard is so much better than iOS keyboards, and I love not having a physical home button anymore. But I'm still really struggling to find a reliable RSS reader and a notes app.

Goals for December

Focus habit for December


I've been trying to learn to draw, and I'm hoping daily practice in December will help me improve more quickly.

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